With their third album, 1979’s ‘Head First’, The Babys finally gave the world a genre classic. Their first two albums weren’t short on great material, but occasionally wavered with a couple of lightweight tracks here and their which sometimes seemed to lessen the overall quality, especially from an AOR/melodic rock fan’s perspective. In ‘Head First’, it felt like the first time all of the pieces truly fit. Aside from a bizarre song where John Waite recounts a childhood visit to the dentist, pretty much everything on the album represented The Babys at their absolute best.
Rob Moratti’s first solo album ‘Victory’ (released via Escape Music in 2011) featured a very strong set of AOR numbers. Musically accomplished, session bassist Tony Franklin and Winger guitarist Reb Beach gave the arrangements a great punch, but the extensive use of vocal filters made the release hard to listen to in long doses. However, given the quality of the songwriting, it was a record that showed off Moratti’s talents well and gave hope that a follow up might just be of a similar standard…and hopefully, with a slightly more natural vocal sound, as such material surely deserves.
Taking time off from touring with Journey, guitarist Neal Schon released his seventh solo album in October 2012. His first release for Frontiers Records, ‘The Calling’ showcased the more indulgent elements within his repertoire and while the heavy jazz-rock leanings may not have been in keeping with what most Journey fans were looking for, most of the results were spectacular. An album so good, in fact, he mightn’t top it if he attempted something similar so soon…and so, with ‘So U’ Schon looks far more towards song based material to ensure it isn’t just a retread of its predecessor.