Another terrific melodic rock album from one of the best voices in rock…
Released by Frontiers Music on 10 November 2017 and reviewed by Stephen Brophy
One of the genuinely recognisable voices in modern rock, this is the first Jeff Scott Soto solo album since 2012’s Damage Control. As always the man has been extremely busy since then, working with his own band SOTO, Sons Of Apollo, W.E.T., TSO, Joel Hoekstra and many more, sometimes I honestly wonder where Jeff gets the time to sit down and just take a breath. With the release of the excellent Sons Of Apollo album having just happened (and reviewed here), creating this new solo album in parallel must have been a difficult task. This one is co-written with long time JSS collaborator Howie Simon (guitar & bass), no surprise there, and with Edu Cominato (drums).
Having a distinctive voice is certainly not enough in this day and age, but without the talent this man possesses you just don’t work with the high calibre range of artists he has. His CV is far more than just impressive, it’s amazing. People don’t simply become part of the Trans Siberian Orchestra unless you are at the top of your game and have enough versatility in your vocal ability to conquer more than one style.
This new album is excellent. If you are a fan of his work, especially his solo work you are going to love this one. The opening title track is a real powerhouse, but as with a lot of the JSS solo work we find him at his best with the more melodic tracks. Highlights include the opening single and video ‘Feels Like Forever’ which has a very typical JSS sound and a terrific flow to it. Or the exquisite simplicity of the closer ‘Autumn’ which requires nothing more than it already has, perfect.
After a lot of personal loss this year including the loss of his brother Joey and his good friend and bandmate David Zablidowsky (in the Adrenaline Mob road tragedy), it is no surprise to see a track dedicated to one of them on this album. ‘Song For Joey’ is a beautiful and emotional song that provides a really nice tribute.
Retribution is very much a JSS album, you get the impression that the guys had these songs in mind for a while to put together. Nothing here seems rushed. Long may the workaholic methods of Jeff continue to create music that’s both very personal and very accessible alongside the many other great projects that interest him as an artist.
- Inside Outside
- Rage Of The Year
- Reign Again
- Feels Like Forever
- Last Time
- Bullet For My Baby
- Song For Joey
- Dedicate To You