JEFF SCOTT SOTO – Lost In The Translation

JEFF SCOTT SOTO - Lost In The Translation


Frontiers Records
Release date: September 20, 2004

User Review
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Ever since Yngwie’s Rising Force and Marching Out albums, I have held Jeff Scott Soto as one of my favorite singers. His voice is powerful and yet still pleasant to listen to – as well suited to piano ballads as it is to kick-ass Metal. This time around, he’s offering something in-between those two extremes; being released on Italy’s Frontiers Records, and with Neal Schon being one of the featured guitarists, there’s no big surprise that there’s AOR/Melodic Hard Rock that’s on the menu. I have mixed feelings about this style of music – although it’s very entertaining when executed properly, there’s nothing as lame as a lame AOR record; we’re talking cheesiness far beyond Danish Blue at worst.

Luckily Jeff and companions (Glen Sobel on drums as guitarists Neal Schon, Howie Simon and Gary Schutt) have come up with quite a good album here. We get the obligatory mix of up-tempo rockers, groovy blues-based tracks and two ballads, namely “If This Is The End” and “Beginning 2 End”. To take the latter first, I’m sorry to say they both suck quite badly — this is way too much cheese to consume in one serving unless you’re religiously following a Dr. Atkins style diet plan (and to be honest – have there ever been a good song with a number replacing a word in the title?).

Having said that, though, most of the faster tracks are very good. The best are “Drowning”, and especially the downright jolly “High Time”, a temper-trigger deluxe, but also “Soul Divine” (dig that groove and those harmonized vocals), “On My Own” (featuring particularly cool singing) and “Find Your Way” (showcasing the best of the many Van Halen inspired rhythm guitar ideas and a good chorus) are great songs. The band’s take on Extreme’s “Hole Hearted”, via the ending track “Sacred Eyes” works very well. Jeff sounds polite, fresh, and honest, and his voice fits just as well with this acoustic track.

Concerning the opener “Believe in Me”, which is also the first single off the album, I haven’t agreed with myself yet. It’s not a bad song with its very USA rock sound — soulful vocals and very Van Halen-ish guitars (both rhythm and lead), but honestly I’m not sure about its potential as a single. The chorus is far from your typical ear-catcher, and although it may get some air play (or at least some elevator or supermarket-play) I’m still not convinced.

“Doin Time” and the title track are, in my opinion, the most anonymous tracks offered, but they too have good elements in them, adding to the overall impression that this is a solid album from an artist on the rise. The ballads are lame, but almost the entire rest of the album is of quite a high standard. The musicianship and production is just as good as one would expect, and I’m very tempted to conclude that Jeff Smokes Solo!


  • Torgeir P. Krokfjord

    Torgeir was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. After hearing Malmsteen's "Vengeance" on a guitar mag CD at the age of 12 or 13, he began doing hopeless interpretations of Yngwie licks and it just took off from there. After shorter stints at other zines he was snatched to Metal Express Radio in 2003. Alongside Yngwie, Savatage, WASP, Symphony X, Blind Guardian, Emperor, Arch Enemy, In Flames, Opeth, Motörhead, Manowar, and Queensrÿche are a quick list of musical faves. Torgeir is also guitarist in the Heavy/Prog/Thrash outfit Sarpedon.

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