This four track holiday EP from legendary Journey guitarist Neal Schon is an interesting listen. In that his choice of songs to cover aren’t what you might normally expect. Four tracks, two covers & two renditions of Journey originals.
A complete acoustic EP, this is all about the squealing of Schon’s guitar as he breathes life into the likes of Ave Maria & Can’t Help Falling In Love. All before delivering stellar versions of the Journey hits, Open Arms & Faithfully.
Ave Maria is the focus here seeing as it’s also the title of the EP. Being a song that is commonly now associated with religion, it’s a bit of a questionable one for Neal Schon to tackle but it’s got such a recognisable melody that it’s not long before you’re humming along. Ultimately the question is if it is a good cover or not & happily it is. Schon makes his guitar absolutely soar as he captures the beauty & emotion of the track.
The same can be said for Open Arms & the cover of Can’t Help Falling In Love, the latter of which really does Elvis justice even without lyrics. Neal Schon is such an impressive guitar player that he captures every nuance, note & melodic moment with ease & with very little help from additional instruments.
Now is this really a holiday EP? It’s called that but it’s severely lacking in holiday songs! Arguably a bit of a cop-out to end on a Journey original but…here’s the big but….it’s bloody amazing. It’s a great song but Schon makes it sound so modern & fresh, his guitar skills are simply out of this world.
It will put the the biggest smile on your face, in fact the whole EP will. There’s been a lot of effort & love thrown in here. It shows & it’s better for it.
Neal Schon – Ave Maria EP Full Track Listing:
1. Ave Maria
2. Open Arms (Journey Cover)
3. Can’t Help Falling In Love (Elvis Cover)
4. Faithfully (Journey Cover)
Check it out yourself below via Apple Music.
Neal Schon - Ave Marie (Neal Schon Music)