An official statement describes the follow up to 2015’s Vortex as a “mixture of symphonic classical blues, R&B, soul and rock-fusion,” calling Schon an “iconic virtuoso guitarist and composer [whose] soaring melodic and soulful playing will guide you through a journey of your senses and emotions in only the way his mastery of the instrument can, where each listen feels different and fresh every time.”
Schon confirmed an “early December” arrival for Universe last week, adding that the album will offer “some beautiful original healing music for healing times.” He’s been working on songs with producer and current Journey drummer Narada Michael Walden for several years.
“It’s very melodic, powerful and majestic. There’s also some fusion on it,” Schon said in 2018. “We did some cover tunes, but most of it is written by Narada. He produced it and played the hell out of it, on drums. We got his bass player, Buddha, playing on it. It sounds really solid and it’s probably one of the best-sounding records I ever made.”
Universe includes updates of songs by the Beatles (“Hey Jude,” which closes the record), Jimi Hendrix (“Third Stone From the Sun,” “Voodoo Child”), Prince (“Purple Rain“) and Stevie Wonder (“I Believe”). Schon also returns to his own catalog, covering Journey’s “Lights” and the solo song “Caruso.”
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