Soto, Jeff Scott: Damage Control
To be perfectly honest, I've always found JSS to be a little bit too much like the Glenn Hughes of melodic rock. I much prefer him when he isn't pressing the button marked, "funk," hence my favourite recording of his is that last Talisman CD 7 which features the ballad "Forevermore" which I utterly love. I'm pleased to report that 7 has now been usurped by Damage Control which is a top quality piece of muscular melodic rock from beginning to end.
With guests such as Dave Meniketti (Y&T), Jamie Borger (Talisman/Treat), Casey Grillo (Kamelot) and Joel Hoekstra (Night Ranger) this is sure to be one of the best AOR albums of 2012 with ultra-catchy tunes like "Look Inside Your Heart" and with "Die a Little" giving the impression that the 1980's are still with us and it is difficult to imagine a more fan pleasing effort than this. There are top-tunes-a-plenty all over Damage Control. Don't believe me? Give "Tears That I Cry" a listen and feel better about the world.
Other than the horrible, horrible cover this is a class album from a class vocalist.
- Give a Little More
- Damage Control
- Look Inside Your Heart
- Die a Little,
- Take U Down*
- If I Never Let Her Go
- Tears That I Cry
- World, How to Love Again
- Neverending War
- Afraid To Die*
* Bonus tracks only available on the Deluxe Edition.
DVD: Look Inside Your Heart (videoclip); NeverEnding War (videoclip); Damage Control (videoclip); EPK interview.
Added: March 24th 2012
Reviewer: Simon Bray
Related Link: Artist Website
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|Soto, Jeff Scott: Damage Control
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2012-03-24 07:07:56
Normally there's not really much meaning behind an artist's album titles. However in the case of current WET and Trans Siberian Orchestra vocalist - and one time Talisman, Yngwie Malmsteen, Axel Rudi Pell and Journey frontman - Jeff Scott Soto, nothing could be further from the truth. 2009's Beautiful Mess was exactly that. An album full of beautiful, if contemporary Rock Music that saw Soto manage superbly to update his sound in the hope of broadening his appeal. Unfortunately the great music on the album became overshadowed by the beautiful mess caused to his solo career by the about turn of stylistic approach. His label, Frontiers Records didn't really know what to do with the sudden change that headed into Funky, Country, R&B balladeer territory, on an album that almost resolutely refused to ROCK! While his blinkered Melodic Rock faithful almost disowned him - they certainly didn't buy the album anyway... The ultra Melodic Hard Rock of minor supergroup WET atoned for Soto's sins both with his label and his fans, and the singer has taken that one step further by being man enough to swallow his pride and record the aptly titled Damage Control.
This is Melodic Rock, with a capital MELODIC ROCK and while it possibly isn't the album Jeff expected to be making right now, nor the album in truth that I personally was hoping for, there's no denying that it is a mighty return to the music that made his name. Bold riffs, stinging guitar solos, twinkling, yet driving keyboards and bombastic drum and bass work punch out of each and every song on Damage Control. However it is the voice of Soto that still rises phoenix like from the flames of his own Beautiful Mess to rightly reclaim his place in the affections of his core fanbase. Not quite cutting all his links with his recent past, the JSS band still features the talents of Jorge Salan (guitar), BJ (keys and guitar), Fernando Mainer (bass) and Edu Cominato (drums) from his most recent live shows and DVD. However guest performances and co-writes from the likes of Jamie Borger and Nalley Påhlsson of Treat, Joel Hoekstra of Night Ranger and legendary Y&T founding member Dave Meniketti alongside current Y&T sticksman Mike Vanderhule, leave little doubt of what direction DamCon takes.
To be fair to JSS, there are few vocalists with the charisma, or voice to carry this sort of energetic, good time Rock off in the convincing manner that Damage Control does, with the likes of "Tears That I Cry", "Damage Control" or "Krazy World" being a cornucopia of delightfully strong riffs, hooks and choruses. Soto himself seems to have wisely settled into a lower register of vocals, illustrating the power and pitch he possesses to maximum effect. That's not to say that here aren't still a few vocal tricks, howls and yelps thrown in for good measure. The results being an album that finds a singer working to his strengths - a lesson that many bigger names could do well to learn from...
In some ways Damage Control is a backwards step for Jeff Scott Soto, however in terms of the actual music contained on this album there really can be very few complaints. More importantly his fans will LOVE it!
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