Album Reviews

Jeff Scott Soto – Damage Control Review

Released by: Frontiers Records

Release Date: March 23rd, 2012

Genre: Melodic Hard Rock

Links: http://jeffscottsoto.com/news/

 

Tracklist:

01. Give a Little More

02. Damage Control

03. Look Inside Your Heart

04. Die a Little

05. Take U Down

06. If I Never Let Her Go

07. Tears Tthat I Cry

08. BonaFide

09. Elena

10. Krazy World

10. How to Love Again

12. AfterWorld

13. NeverEnding War

14. Afraid to Die

 

Jeff Scott Soto aka JSS as he is known in the Rock community is sort of a modern day renaissance man when it comes to Rock music. For some that have followed his career since the early days with Yngwie Malmsteen and Rising Force to his countless contributions as background vocalist for various bands like Lita Ford, Steelheart, Fergie Frederiksen, Glass Tiger, House Of Lords, Stryper etc. Most notably was his stint in Talisman which planted that band as a Melodic Hard Rock staple, to his short lived career replacing Steve Augeri in Journey. JSS has done it all and seen it all in the music business. But the interesting facet for me is that he has not strictly remained stagnant and leaned towards one genre with his music, as evidence of this was his last solo record when his songs leaned more towards pop/funk which he has clearly stated as early influences.

On that point it leaves me to talk about his last record, some of his die hard fans probably we’re a little let down when the harder edge was gone from that release as it leaned more towards his influences as we mentioned earlier. It was a good record with some solid songwriting but was missing that punch that previous albums like “Lost in Translation” and “Prism” provided the listener.

But fear not my humble listeners as JSS is back hot on the heels of his smash success with the super group W.E.T, here he returns to shape with a more hard rock laden record aptly titled “Damage Control”. He also brings some special surprises to the mix with guests such as Dave Meniketti (Y&T), Jamie Borge(Talisman/Treat), Casey Grillo (Kamelot) and Joel Hoekstra (Night Ranger) all contributing to the album in some way.

One patented staple you can always expect from Soto is the high soaring vox which he usually taps down perfectly, this new one has plenty of hooks and melodies for every fan to rejoice.  Starting things off right is the jolted chorus in the opening tune “Give a Little More”. This one opens the path to another heavy reliance on JSS’s vocals in the title track, this particular tune brings similarities from the W.E.T project with some crunchy harder guitars leading the way.  The more I listen to his first single and video for “Look Into Your Heart” the more I get completely enchanted by it’s super catchy melody, I can’t get tired of listening to the AOR groove in this one.

You can always expect variety when it comes to Soto and his music, and the softer ballad “Bonafide” balances the album well enough and is placed halfway through the record to smooth things out, ohh and he once more does a genuine job carrying a note; his solid range in the vocal department makes this tune stand out.

I don’t want any surprises when it comes to JSS, I know what I like to hear from him and what I heard on his new record doesn’t surprise one bit, and guess what? I don’t have a freaking problem with it. Damage Control is totally expected, full of tasty guitar licks and with Jeff’s unambiguous style. The writing is at the par level, but if you’re a fan of Melodic Hard Rock then you shouldn’t discharged this album as he usually doesn’t let down with his performance which essentially carries most of the substance on the album. Staying loyal to the game JSS delivers yet again with a little of everything from his previous records, but relaying heavily on harder riffs and crunchier guitars. Yes I like it can’t you tell?

 

Written by Denys

Ratings    Denys    8/10

 

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