"World Play" (Soul Sirkus; 2004)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Soul Sirkus is a supergroup featuring Neal Schon, Jeff Scott Soto, Marco Mendoza and Deen Castronovo. A review seems almost unnecessary after listing the legendary bandmembers, but I'll go on for posterity's sake.

"World Play" is a collection of melodic hard rock tunes that run the gamut from solid hard rockers ("Highest Ground," "New Position," "Praise") to radio-friendly but still hearty power ballads ("Soul Goes On," "Periled Divide," "Coming Home"). "My Sanctuary" is particularly gritty and driving. As one might imagine, the musicianship here is far above average, as is the songwriting, leading to a nearly perfect overall package. Of course, the fretwork of Neal Schon is a highlight throughout, but so are Jeff Scott Soto's always stunning vocals. Schon delivers chunky, precise rhythms and soaring leads while Soto takes any song style and makes it his own. Is there any type of music this guy can't sing? I don't think so. Of course, Mendoza and Castronovo are an integral part of the CD's success as well, both delivering flawlessly.

There's a lot of so-so melodic hard rock bands out there these days. Soul Sirkus's "World Play" reminds us what the best of it is supposed to sound like.

Soul Sirkus: Neal Schon - guitars, synths; Jeff Scott Soto - vocals; Marco Mendoza - bass; Deen Castronovo - drums.

For more information, check out

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

Back to CD Reviews home

Back to home

Copyright 2005 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Sep 2022 13:46:20 -0400.