Just puttin' in my 2 cents on this one, even though it's been out since Oct. '12. Hey, it's tough to keep up on everything these days. Oh, and I'm also drawing from Premier Guitar's Jan. interview which is shameful cuz bloggers are supposed to be ahead on this stuff. But the interview is good, and Schon's album is great!
The above clip is a few years old. You just don't see Neal playin' Strats often. But ya never hear ol' Neal puttin' 'em down either.
Just know that "The Calling" is badass & in yo face! Conceived and recorded in only 4 days, the album started as a studio jam between Schon and drummer Steve Smith, quickly constructing tunes from a bunch of Neal's riff loops they were sifting through. Later, keyboard tracks were added from Jan Hammer & Igor Lens.
Pretty unreal for 4 days! And there are 12 cuts too, so this ain't no chintzy EP. Overall the album is fresh and exhilarating; not what you'd expect from a player this long in the game and livin' the fat life. Schon's executions are not merely hungry-- they're bloodthirsty! Plenty of soaring melodic lines interspersed with his trademark Sugar Ray Leonard combinations over an uptempo platform of Smith's monster bash, Vital-Tech-Tone grooves. Also, it's entirely instrumental and vocal-free without even the slightest trace of Steve Perry, GMO Steve Perry or any other ingredient containing a Steve Perry based substance; natural, artificial or otherwise.
He's off the sauce, gotta fine new wife with a bit of controversy and who knows... maybe he's doing Crossfit or P90X and the Paleo diet too. We can only guess. But damn, is he fired up!
So, if the last couple Satch & Vai albums have been- yawn- more of the same studio spa overindulgence to your ears, The Calling could be calling you.
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