Neal Schön - So U

Neal Schön So U cover
Neal Schön
So U
Frontiers Records
Neal Schön, the iconic & legendary Journey guitarist, returns with a new solo record only two years after the previous “The Calling”. Too soon, in my opinion, if we consider the fact that a solo album should be a way for musicians to express themselves differently from their main band & music “style” and actually give them the freedom to do things their way without nay compromises.
Neal has the renowned drummer Deen Castronovo (Journey, Ozzy Osbourne, Steve Vai, Hardline) & the eminent bassist Marco Mendoza (Black Star Riders, Ted Nugent, Whitesnake, Thin Lizzy) by his side. The three musicians apart from sharing the vocals on this album have also co-written the songs along with the contribution of singer & bassist Jack Blades (Night Ranger, Damn Yankee etc.).
Unluckily, all the fun ends there. Undoubtedly, they are all celebrated musicians & songwriters but this album features nothing that can live up to their fame. If an unknown trio had delivered this album then ironic & poor reviews would have been all over the place. If they didn’t have a major label to back them up too, then this album wouldn’t have made the front news. The very lame songwriting with the repetitive and overdone ideas & themes along with insipid & tasteless melodies makes the final outcome quite uninteresting, dull and tedious. Not exactly what one would expect from 3 legendary musicians like Neal, Deen & Marco. I guess that’s what happens when you have no ideas or inspiration and you decide to release an album. I’ve been following Neal’s solo albums for many years and I think that apart from a couple of tracks that are somewhat OK, the rest sounds like b-sides that never make it to any actual album. The most listenable track here “Love Finds a Way”, with Deen’s very good vocals, could have easily been on a Journey album as a bonus track. Perhaps Neal’s worst moment along with “I on U”. When you see “U” on the album title you know that something ain’t right…