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Soul SirkUS World Play Soul SirkUS Records/Warner Music
· Produced By: Soul Sirkus

· Running Time: 57.51

· Release Date: December 7

· Released: US

· Musical Style: Hard Rock / Melodic Rock

· Links: Soul Sirkus
97%
Songs: 99%
Sound: 85%
Soul Sirkus is the first new hard rock supergroup along in some time. The band features legendary axeman Neal Schon, acclaimed vocalist Jeff Scott Soto and the meanest rhythm section in rock n roll – Deen Castronovo on drums and Marco Mendoza on bass.
World Play is an album that lives up to the high expectations a lot of people have been hoping for. It's a monster of an album, but not for the most obvious reasons.
This album showcases what rock n roll is all about. It is an untamed record and showcases four first class musicians playing how they were born to perform.
World Play is very loose and raw…it's a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of record. It is recorded how it sounded as they guys belted the music out – no high-tech polish, no endless overdubs, no piece-meal note by note over-thinking.
This isn't a perfect record, nor is it the best sounding release you will ever hear. But it is about as honest and as energetic as it gets.
Soul SirkUS is part Hardline, part Talisman, part JSS solo and part Journey. As one would expect, it's a true mix of the line-up's past experiences, blending together to bring something new to long time fans.
Rather than the hard edge stadium rock of Hardline, Soul Sirkus has a far bigger groove and is less constrained by structured songs and formulas.
The bulk of the album was recorded in just 4 days. Yes, you read correctly. It took several weeks to mix the album after that, but the music was recorded in very quick time and that's why you can feel the energy of the record feeding through the songs.
Neal Schon really gets to let fly, and plays with the energy and conviction of a man recording his debut album. Vocalist Jeff Scott Soto gets to showcase the full range of his vast talents – from his booming hard rock vocals, to some high pitch screams, back to soft soulful balladry, with his trademark funk and groove fitting perfectly with the flawless rhythm of Mendoza and Castronovo.
The production might not be as crisp and clean as Journey, or as precise as the Hardline record, but the performances are electric.
There are some monster harmony vocals throughout, with Jeff utilizing his trademark layered harmonies in line with supplemental vocals from the rest of the guys.
I find myself liking different tracks from week to week, which proves two things – the album is quite varied and it proves true depth, providing new experiences for listeners beyond the initial period of getting to know an album.
Track By Track:
Highest Ground is one of a couple of obvious Hardline-esque tracks and opens the album with an extended intro that bursts to life with a big Schon supplied riff. The mid-tempo hard rocker has a vibe similar to Hardline's Life's A Bitch, but a far groovier soul.
New Position bursts to life with a snap and doubles the pace of the opening track. This is a freely rocking track that features a real swagger and a dirty guitar riff from Schon. The highlight of the track is the chemistry between Soto and Schon, who's vocal and guitar lines dart in and around each other throughout, all while the rhythm section carries the groove. This track features some truly wild guitar work – especially at the end of the track.
Another World returns the album back to a mid-tempo groove, but with a heavier and darker vibe than Highest Ground. Jeff's vocals offer something new for fans of his – a growling, moody rasp that matches the smoldering guitar riffs. The track features another nice solo and some solid harmony vocals in the subtle chorus. This track isn't as instant as others on the album. I think it works well in the context of the album, but wouldn't rate it as highly when judged as a stand alone track.
The first taste of the softer side of the band comes with the 6 minute plus Soul Goes On. The title says it all – this is a revelation for fans of both Schon and Soto as it features two killer performances. Jeff's vocals are some of the smoothest and most soulful of his career and Neal's slow, meticulous soloing is a joy to listen to. There's a definite Journey sound in his guitar work, especially in the song's longest solo, mid-way through the track.
Right about now I'm thinking a tempo lifter would be good and Peephole delivers. This song is one of two written by Schon and Sammy Hagar for the defunct Planet US project. It's the only one of those tracks featured here and suits the album and vocalist Soto to the ground.
This is a tough, aggressive, hard hitting rocker with a supremely dark message about child abuse, delivered in a high-impact way. The track sounds like a Hagar track and Jeff delivers a very Hagar-esque vocal. Another outstanding vocal, this is Jeff at his best, moving from a brooding rasp to a high-pitched scream.
Periled Divide follows the intensity of Peephole perfectly. It builds slowly from a soft guitar riff to an accompanying vocal, which gets a little more urgent each minute of the song. The song is only mid-tempo, but it has this feel about it – as if it's about to break out into something bigger. It doesn't, but the extended guitar solo and some layered vocal harmonies continue to build the song and work the feel of the track in its own favor. Schon's hard edge riffing is a highlight.
The swagger of Praise sees the guys provide another well placed tempo lift. This is a swinging song that features some very loose and very groovy guitar riffing, not to mention a Talisman inspired lead vocal from Jeff. This is an easy going, breezy rocker with a good fun message. Well placed and much needed in the terms of where it is positioned within the album. A little screaming and some kick ass guitar playing towards the end just add extra value.
My Sanctuary is another killer track that is a personal favourite. Keeping the tempo up and sending the album into overdrive, this song rocks from the outset in double time and features a thumping bass line, over powered by a hammering guitar riff come chorus time. As this is another big Hardline styled rocker, I feel it will be a fan favourite.
The mid-song pause and break to a guitar solo only serve to increase the already high energy levels.
The mid-tempo'd and moody Friends 2 Lovers is an interesting track and a somewhat original one. I don't think I have heard anything like it from Schon or Soto previously, although it's nothing too far removed from either's usual style. It just has a certain twist to it. Maybe it's the appearance of a keyboard during the chorus, which climbs from the verse without any fanfare. Only the added vocal layers give any hint of its arrival. A very simple guitar riff gives way to a classy solo towards the end of the song.
I can't wait to hear what Journey fans think of Coming Home. This feel good mid-tempo ballad is the only track on the album which has a really obvious Journey flair, and for me this is one of the best tracks Journey never released! From the opening bar, it's Neal Schon in full on Journey mode, with that tell-tale soft guitar playing a perfect match for the super soulful lead vocal. This is perhaps one of Jeff's finest ever vocals and if I didn't know better, I would swear the soul of Steve Perry had possessed Jeff. Even down to the seemingly adlibbed vocal expressions and soulful delivery of the chorus. Amazing!
Close The Door is a mid-to-uptempo rock track to close out the album. I think it's perfectly placed here, as it's probably my least favourite song on the album. But saying that, I'm quite partial to it this week, which is further proof the album has changing moods and will keep listeners entertained after the initial euphoria has evaporated.
The song has a great little boogie inspired guitar riff and features another great vocal, but perhaps could have been a little faster or heavier still.
The Bottom Line
This is without doubt one of Jeff Scott Soto's finest ever releases. It also ranks up there with the best Neal Schon has offered us over his illustrious career. His guitar playing on here is simply fabulous and sees him cutting loose more than anytime in recent memory.
Where the album will rank with individual fans will be down to what they expect from the record and what they take away from it. On face value, World Play is one of the grooviest hard rock records in a long time and stands alone as far as style and content.
I have fears the album will not receive the promotion and attention it deserves and could struggle to reach the fan base I know would be interested in it. The production could definitely have been better – the rhythm section could have had more impact, but any tweaking could have resulted in the album losing some of its raw energy.
Absolutely essential for any fans of Schon and Soto and anyone who adores the Hardline album. Bring on album #2.
Discography / Previously Reviewed
· World Play

Line Up
· Jeff Scott Soto: Vocals
· Neal Schon: Guitar, Synths
· Deen Castronovo: Drums
· Marco Mendoza: Bass

Essential for fans of:
· Jeff Scott Soto
· Journey
· Neal Schon
· Hardline - Double Eclipse
Track Listing
· Highest Ground*
· New Position*
· Another World
· Soul Goes On*
· Peephole
· Periled Divide
· Praise*
· My Sanctuary*
· Friends 2 Lovers
· Coming Home*
· Close The Door
--*Best Tracks


07/08/05: Rich - lovedrug_ld50@yahoo.com
Rating: 65
I expected more from this release,world class musicians,decent production but mediocre songs,hope this doesn't flow over to the next Journey c.d.......Jeff Scott Soto's finest work to date remains Humanimal and some of the earlier Talisman albums.

18/06/05: Miguel - miguel.brochado@interbolsa.pt
Rating: 50
This is just a medium cd. I was execting suche more than this. I`ve listen to it 20 or more times in the last week, and i cannot find the melody and powerful songs i was expecting from these guys. I`ll wait for the new jouney cd...

08/06/05: Adam - aewsalford@aol.com
Rating: 50
This is just OK, not a classic killer album at all!!
Too few memorable songs, and the production is more like a demo!!
Do not buy expecting a classic!!

19/05/05: Eduardo Rocha - edurocha73@ig.com.br
Rating: 45
I thought it was only me, but there are several people that dont like this CD. An all star team playing a not melodic, not catchy music. I expected much more. Save your money and buy the last JSS solo album or wait until the next Journey CD comes out - much better!!!

18/05/05: RL - rlsays@aol.com
Rating: 72
Once again, a major league promising group with a mixed reaction inducing release (see Velvet Revlover). Half this material feels brilliant (the mid tempo numbers ANOTHER WORLD,FRIENDS 2 LOVERS, PERILED DIVIDE,& album highlights COMING HOME and SOUL GOES ON). As far as the uptempo numbers (aside from opener HIGHEST GROUND), the majority of them feel like quick paced excerises in boredom. Tracks like that usually feel unstructured and 'slam bang' in delivery...giving them a dime-a-dozen musical 'cookie cutter' effect.

The mid tempo tracks show the bands true playing ability and save the release for me... great stuff... but major work in the songwriting department needs to take place to keep the uptempo material from sounding similar the faster tracks on the last Mr. Big & Harem Scarem, (not a fan when those great groups displayed nu-rock/pop feel...prefer them at their traditional rock best, same was expected from the members of Soul Sirkus..) etc.

I look forward to a sophomore release and hope the songwriting is a few notches higher to match the obvious talent within the group.

18/05/05: Peter B. - spacebadger2@hotmail.com
Rating: 50
(New version)This is an average cd which has been greatly over hyped. What do the folk who gave this 90+ ratings listen to normally. There are a couple of good tracks, let down by some dross, Peephole is simply horrible. I have tried to like this album but can't.It's the first tme I have heard JSS, he has a good voice. Have heard better fron NS, and the production could be better, I thought it sounded muddy at times. The album has left me so under whelmed , I can't be bothered to watch the DVD.Life is too short.

19/04/05: Scott - SPDPTARA@aol.com
Rating: 75
Are you kidding me!!! This CD is far from a 97 Rating!! You have hyped this CD from the beginning and suckers like me have taken your review seriously..only to find that the CD is average..very average!! It didn't take long to eject this CD after only a few plays and replace it. Sorry to burst your bubble but after the first song, this CD loses my interest. It is not horrible but it is far from the way you describe it. This is not a "monster group!!" PLEASE!!!

15/04/05: Marty M - mgmrb77@verizon.net
Rating: 97
What a great CD! Has a little something for all Melodic Rock lovers. The rockers: "Highest Ground, "New Position", "Praise", "My Sanctuary" and "Peephole" - AOR: "Periled Divide", "Close The Door", "Coming Home", and Friends 2 Lovers", as well as the unbelievalbe ballad, "Soul Goes On". I am partial to the original (black cover) release with Deen Castronovo on drums, it seems that the new remixed version with Virgil Donati is a little muffled in the mix. But, the newly added acapella song "My Love, My Friend" is great, while the other new song "Alive", kind of sounds like a demo. The musicianship on this project is unbelivable, the guitars of Neal Schon are both rockin' and soulful on this release, the vocals of JSS are just what he is on all of his releases, incredible, what a talent this guy is. My pick's for best songs are the opener "Highest Ground", "Peephole" (JSS doing his best Hagar impersonation), "Friends 2 Lovers" (great synths from Neal), and "Coming Home" (sounds like Steve Perry era Journey). If you have a chance to see them live, do not pass up the oppurtunity, the put on a great show. Hope these guy's can stay tohether and produce more recordings due to hectic schedules with their other projects.

13/03/05: Neil - falkeeins@aol.com
Rating: 75
oh dear....two of the most talented musicians in the world ..and most of this is a raucous cacophony saved from utter disaster by two beautiful ballads.... Neal Schon shows once again what happens outside of a 'band' framework if there's no-one to rein in his totally tuneless shredding tendencies...poor old Jeff just sounds lost..I think some of the low scores here reflect the disappointment at what should have been a classic ..it is growing but very slowly..sorry guys.. on your day you are the greatest ..but not here..

10/03/05: Laurent - jazzhard@hotmailcom
Rating: 78
I am a huge fan of all the members as individuals. They are all brilliant. Unfortunately what counts is the songswriting and it left me somewhat disappointed. I can't really get into the music even though it has a huge potential to please me. It's a good album for sure. Maybe I was expecting too much. To me the problem is that Soul Sirkus is not feeding its members. Therefore they may not have had enough time to further improve/arrange the songs or write better ones. This first album is a good start and hopefully the first stone to build a house that will last for a long time. The guys have much more to offer and, again, I think I was expecting too much. On the other hand, the album is a grower and the music takes some time to really get to one's brain. Like good wine, it improves with age. Problem is that in our world artists are not given time to develop. Either you sell or you don't.

06/03/05: Chewsmoka - chewsmoka98@yahoo.com
Rating: 50
What a shame, all this talent and the results are crap, it all boils down to your opinion, however, after playing it for some people, they all came to the same result, not catchy at all but at least they tried, once again,, the case of a band trying to be something they are not

19/02/05: John - jkivlin@midwest-therapy.com
Rating: 90
I don't know what people were expecting from this album, but anyone who heard the soundbytes HAD to hear them going in a jam band/hard rock direction. I love it. If you're expecting Hardline Part 2 or Eyes Part 2, don't purchase the record. If you want incredible hard rock jamming that NEVER wanders into the 'wank' zone, this is a must have.

18/02/05: Darren Preece - dpreece@btdigitaltv.com
Rating: 35
Man this is awful, No melody, poor songwriting, screaming awful vocals and no ime not reviewing an Iron Maiden CD I am reviewing a CD that has probably the best melodic rock guitarist of all time on it. This Cd has been hyped up like no other and if this was a new band with Fred Jones on guitar and Billy Smith on vocals would of been forgotten about already. What a shame Planet Us never materialised we then may have been spared this monstrosity. I marked it at 35/100 and thats because ime in a good mood. New Journey please Neal this is CRAP

14/02/05: John Elway - megjimp@cableone.net
Rating: 88
Real solid record. It's quite hard for the most part and Niel Schon is all over the place. Definitely worth picking up.

14/02/05: HarryB - Harryb1234@hotmail.com
Rating: 90
At first, I wasn't sure what to make of this. But, boy does it grow on you! Anytime Neal gets to stretch out a bit, I'm on board. Frankly, I was dissapointed in Coming Home, only because I was hoping for a complete change from Journey. (This coming from the biggest Journey fan there is). Go out and get this album and give it a few listens.

09/02/05: Freddy De Keyzer - freddydekeyzer@hotmail.com
Rating: 40
Oh boy, such talented guys and then release such a disappointing, even BAD CD ? !
Too modern, guitars down tuned, Jeff screaming . . . ,hell, where is the melody ?

15/01/05: Jon - jonjuanthedude@yahoo.com
Rating: 90
Ahh, Soul Sirkus, my most anticipated album in a while. I certainly wasn’t disappointed, but it wasn’t the best album in the world either. It met expectations, which were high, but didn’t exceed them. One thing to note, Neil Schon is all over the place on this record. His solos, especially in New Position, are done with technical precision not usually heard nowadays. It’s nice to hear a band that doesn’t care about being modern, just about writing great songs with good musicianship. Dean also makes his mark as his drums are creative and different than what you hear from Journey. I love the occasional double-bass that he employs. This is a big rock record and is a burst of fresh air in the gas chamber of modern hard rock. To the songs:

Highest Ground-This has a rollicking riff, in the verses, but it just doesn’t do it for me. The chorus, however, is awesome, with a great vocal melody.

New Position -A great up-tempo rocker with a cool melody and some great drums.

Another World-This is a cool, slow-burning, spooky rocker with a catchy chorus. I love the “duh duh, duh duh” underneath the solo, very menacing.

Soul Goes On-This is the worst song on the album. It has some decent melodies in parts, but is anti-climatic and too long.

Peephole- My favorite tune on the album. This is another menacing hard-rocker, a little faster (but still mid-tempo) than Another World, with some killer riffs, including the verse and intro riffs. Jeff’s vocals during the chorus are quite reminiscent of Sammy Hagar, which I guess is appropriate since it was co-written by him, for his voice. But, Jeff gives it his own flavor despite the touch of Sammy, and it works well. Just a killer, killer song.

Periled Divide-This song is pretty cool, but fails to become the amazing anthem which its intro hints at. After the first verse you’re expecting a big chorus, but the energy never rises much above where it starts. This is a laid back song for the remainder, especially vocally. It’s a good song, but never reaches its potential.

Praise-A great up-tempo rocker with a cool riff and great chorus. I love this song.

My Santuary-Another up-tempo hard-rocker, but this one is rhythm guitar-based instead of riff-based like most of the songs here. It’s got a cool chorus like most of the songs, and is just cool overall.

Friends 2 Lovers-This is cool, but it’s not great. The keyboards aren’t too bad, but it would have been better if their parts were done on guitar. This is a feel-good song, and won’t be skipped very much, but it’s not as good as most of the songs here.

Coming Home-Is a nice, mellow, acoustic ballad in which the vocals reek of Steve Perry, just not as raspy. This is a nice song, with a great acoustic solo, but again, not the best song here.

Close the Door-I love this song. It’s a mid-tempo rocker to close the record, and it’s a great way to finish up.

14/01/05: Madmeeavy - meavy@web.de
Rating: 63
Ordered the Album this week @Aor Heaven. After reading several reviews in the last weeks, I thought this album is a must-have. But now after listen to the CD twice I have to say, I'm not impressed of this recording.
It's a nice recording with great musicians and less impressing songs. My personal fave is the Schon/Hagar-written tune "Peephole".
Maybe I don't like it well, because of my problem with JSS. In the 80's I was some kind of fan of his voice, I liked the stuff with Yngwie, but than nearly every month came a new Album with him on vocals, after a while I got the problem that I thought "Oh no not him again". I nearly began to hate his voice.
Today I can listen to him, but his voice is not touching me anymore. I would have been happier with a Planet US-CD. But this is my personal meaning!

06/01/05: Chris ( Hardline Webmaster ) - HardlineRocks@gmx.de
Rating: 30
Well, this is definitely not that Kinda killer Album everyone says it is. The song are just ok, no good ideas behind the sóngs, just some guys that know how to use their instuments and play a song, but almost all Soul Sirkus Songs have no real feeling in them. Sorry for these words but I expected a lot more of this record :(

01/01/05: J Rastanson - bumstunnertoy@aol.com
Rating: 59
Let me start by saying that Soto is an amazing vocalist and If Neal Schon played 30 seconds of Banjo on the next Jay Z release, I would be standing in line on the day of release. My problem with the Soul Sirkus album is the material. The material is simply not worthy of this band. The lyrics feel very contrived and cliched. The first bright spot for me was the track Peephole. Soto sounds unbelievably like Sammy Hagar on this track. It is a well written, well performed track with a modern edge and I love it. I must say that I am tremendously dissapointed that Planet Us did not get off the ground. Peephole breaks free of the "generic 80's rock" sound that plagues the majority of this album. Coming Home was another bright spot but even this track meanders into lame lyrics toward the end. This is of course the most Journey like track on the album and while Soto's vocals are good, I couldn't stop imagining what Steve Perry or Steve Augeri could do with this track. Overall, I would have to rate this album as below average primarily due to the lyrics. I wish the band the best of luck, and will always be looking for the next release from Neal Schon.

31/12/04: Steve15 - cherrytreeblues@yahoo.com
Rating: 74
THIS CD IS ISN'T BAD , BUT IT'S NOT GONNA GET THEM SIGNED TO A MAJOR LABEL EITHER! JSS IS A GREAT SINGER BUT HIS LYRICS & MELODIES ON THIS CD ARE FORGETABLE! SOME OF HIS LYRICS ARE PREACHY! NEAL SCHON SHREDS BUT WHAT IS HE SAYING?
I'VE LISTENED TO THIS CD AT LEAST 6 TIMES & KEEP THINKING IT'S GONNA GET BETTER BUT IT HASN'T. THE SONGS DON'T STAND OUT!
ONE IDEA TO NEAL WHY NOT HAVE DEAN CASTRONOVA SING SOME LEAD?
HE BLOWS JSS AWAY.... WELL I'LL WAIT 4 THE NEXT JOURNEY CD.....

30/12/04: Almir Fuschini - almirfus@terra.com.br
Rating: 80
It is indeed a god CD, but one cannot compare with the TMG release for example. Or the TNT latest.
TMG. Now that it's an updated hard rock sound. Better songs, better production and...better results.
I'm huge fan of JSS, I've seen him live in Sao Paulo, last october. The guy has an amazing voice, but this album it's not that consistent. There's many albuns in 2004 that deserved a better rate than this one like, Pink Cream, Jaded Heart, Danny Danzy.
But it is a good album. The ballads I didn't like thou.
A few good rockers. But that's all.

28/12/04: ken ahl - kahl1212@hotmail.com
Rating: 95
excellent cd! jss sings his ass off. neal schon plays his ass off, and dean and marco rock! better than i was expecting.

28/12/04: Carl1 - rochford@noonan80.freeserve.co.uk
Rating: 95
This is the best hard rock album I've heard in the last few years. Amazing guitar work from Mr Schon, Great groove laden and solid drumming with just the right amount of flash from Dean. Marco Mendoza really shows what he can do on this and proves he is one of the best rock bassists on the planet and JSS proves why hs is rated so highly by so many rock fans by putting in a truly superb performance. This is a brilliant album with a great variety of songs and seems to get to the end so fast even though it's around the hour mark in length. Stand out tracks for me are the kick ass "New Position", "Praise", "My Sanctuary". These 3 tracks rock hard and fast and really sound stunning when the old hifi is cranked up to the max. "Close the Door" amd "Friends To Lovers" are up close behind these but the whole album is great with not a weak track to be heard. I am still playing this a couple of times a day since I got it and can't say I am any where near done with it yet. I buy a lot of cd's and nothing has warranted this much playing time for me since "Arrival" came out. This has some very obvious Journey influences on it but it is certainly not a clone band and anyone who is expecting that must have had their head buried in the sand over the last few months as there have been enough comments on the net from many sources to indicate it wasn't going to be Journey with JSS singing. I can't understand why some people are saying there are no songs and hooks on it though. What the feck do these people class as a good song ? If World Play has no good songs and hooks then Ozzy Osbourne doesn't say F+*K. The great thing about this cd is that the songs grow with every listen and just seem to get better and better the more you hear it. There are no syrupy pop songs that you get the whole tune in your head after 1 listen and then after a few spins you never want to hear again. This is an album of depth and style which for me is cd of the year easily.

27/12/04: MelodicMan - arbarbieri@bol.com.br
Rating: 95
Spot on Joey`s Dad, I totally agree with your attachment. I just think that Jeff Scott Soto factor overwrites Neal Schon factor a little, but it`s not a bad thing at all. Actually, I think that Soul SirkUS can only disappoint people expecting something like Jeff Scott Soto goes AOR or a new Hardline album. Otherway, it is a great album, Highest Ground is a serious contender for song of the year, New Position kicks some serious ass, in Coming Home Jeff does his best Steve Perry, and I also love Friends 2 Lovers. Production could be better, of course, but can`t shit the score, 95/100.

25/12/04: Joey\'s Dad - joeysdad@comcast.net
Rating: 97
Your 97 was right on. While the majority of the album rocks, there are a few week points that keep it from being a classic. For me, I got exactly what I expected: a raw, let-it-all-out mix of what each one has been known for individually. You can hear each one's signature on every song. It seems like some people were expecting this to be the another Hardline, which is only possible if Gioeli is singing. Soto sounds great here, especially on Coming Home (Steve Perry...totally.) Highest Ground is hands down the best of the entire album. I agree that the structure of some of the songs is what keeps this from a 98 - 100 rated album. Neal Schon is and will always be the king. I'd love to hear a project with Schon and Joe Lynn Turner - a fabulous songwriter. But for now, World Play is a great album for what it is: a metal album with a raw groove played by some of the best music dinosaurs of my generation. It is not a AOR Hardline-ish arena rock album, nor is it meant to be.

25/12/04: Chris - opcwh@prodigy.net
Rating: 95
Great songs, great performances. Neal is the perfect combination of shred with amazing soulfulness. This is my first exposure to Soto, but he also combines great pipes with a lot of class and feel. Can't wait to see them live.

25/12/04: Axe Machine - info@hugomusic.net
Rating: 88
I think that a 97% review is being a little kind, no offence andrew, but there are some monster tracks on this album make no mistake. The songs Highest Ground, New Position and Soul Goes On are the main standouts, with the single 'fall' track being Peephole IMO. A slicker production would've certainly pushed the rating higher, the drums are a bit too much in the fore in places, but that doesnt take too much from the songs...i look forward to the second album by them. PS - JSS ROCKS!

25/12/04: Andy Casale - ajcasale@pacbell.net
Rating: 70
I'll buy anything Neal Schon puts out. I was really looking forward to Soul Sirkus. Now that I have it and have played it several times through, I have to say I'm disappointed. Instrumentally, I think it's a great CD. Neal, Marco, and Dean are awesome musicians. It's just Jeff Soto's vocals and lyrics I can't get into. I have read so many reviews about what a great vocalist he is. I just don't hear anything special.

24/12/04: M Maloy - maloy@se.rr.com
Rating: 95
In two words, IT ROCKS!! A couple of subdued tracks, albeit damn good ones, the guys have hit a bulls eye. Melodic rock is alive and well thank you very much. Neal,JSS,Deen,Marco, thanks guys. Sad thing is the only airplay that it will get is from satellite radio. Two more words, BUY IT! Happy Holidays to ALL!

24/12/04: Gabi - dawnsimphony@hotmail.com
Rating: 75
Excellent musicians, excellent production, excellent marketing, but Soul Sirkus seems to forget something: to write good songs. This is only another hard rock disc. Not memorable. You can do much better.

24/12/04: poggy long - poggylong@rogers.com
Rating: 75
I was really looking forward to this album but was very disappointed. I am a huge fan of JSS, but was looking for more from this album. Jeff's Lost In Translation is a much better album. This is a good rock album, but I guess I was expecting a little more melodic sound.

24/12/04: IAN - ian_752@msn.com
Rating: 50
Really don't like this at all not what i was expecting somewhat of a letdown , the last three songs are the only saving grace for me . SORRY

24/12/04: J Butler - jschmrdrmr1@wmconnect.com
Rating: 95
What and incredible cd. HIghest ground is one of the best songs I have heard in a long time. With such a great opening tune it is hard to follow suit. The rest of the cd is solid with a few weaker numbers, but overall I am thoroughly impressed with the majority of the songs. Let me say that the harmonies on this cd are out of this world. I hope Coming Home, I agree one of the best unreleased Journey song, gets some airplay. I only wis they would have given Deen a little vocal time. After hearing him sing lead on one song. After hearing him sing lead on sevreal Journey songs, Mother Father was unbelievable, I was impressed. Don't get me wrong JSS is outstanding and has quite the range.

J Butler


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