Released: 2001, Independent
It didn’t take long during my first listen to The Return of Buddy Love to discern that Mark Schuster is a very talented guitar player and musician. This became even more evident when, after I listened a few more times, I learned that Mark not only wrote all the music on the album, but played all the instruments as well. There is no doubt based on those points alone that Schuster deserves accolades.
The music here straddles the line between hard rock and metal, with the lean being more toward hard rock for the majority of the album. The music is solid, but not overly spectacular. And now that the CD has been in my hands for a couple weeks I find myself feeling the same way I do with most instrumental albums ... not too shabby the first few goes, but in the long run it just doesn’t stick. Not to take away from Schuster’s ability, but if a broader audience is the goal, then catching on with a band is the best bet. Often this is the best way for a talented player to make a name for himself, much like Steve Vai did when he joined David Lee Roth’s band. That experience introduced Vai to a vast audience, which opened the door for him to do his own thing. Ironically, after I had already written most of this review, I received an e-mail from Mark in which he mentioned that he will be recording with a band called Allen Crane in October. The band features musicians who have worked with artists like Peter Frampton and Cinderella.
In the end, this isn’t a bad effort, but the CD will probably only interest fans who are musicians themselves or who just enjoy instrumental music in general. You can download a few songs and pick the CD at mp3.com at the link which follows.
Official website: http://www.mp3.com/markschuster