Released by: Frontiers Records
Release Date: May 6th, 2022
Genre: Hard Rock
Lead & backing vox – Jeff Scott Soto
Lead guitars – Fabrizio Sgattoni
Bass, keys and backing vocals – Alessandro Del Vecchio
Drums – Edu Cominato
Last To Know
Love Is The Revolution
Until I See You Again
Don’t Look Back
Back To The Begining
I promise, someday I will write a bad review about something Jeff Scott Soto records, whether it’s a solo album or another project of his. But not today. There’s bound to be some point in his long and illustrious career where he will have a misstep (Redlist was damn close, but it wasn’t too bad either, or not his project necessarily either.) I’ve followed his career from his days with Yngwie all the way to his last release of duets, and all ports in between and have been a loyal fan all the way. I’ve seen him perform live and met him a couple of times and he hasn’t disappointed. Of course, when I heard he was releasing a new album, I felt it was time to dust off my writing chops and see if this was the time to lay into him about a bad album.
It’s called Complicated, which is what JSS has made my life making it very tough to say anything bad about it. Is it his best album ever? No, I still think Retribution from 2017 is still my favorite of his solo releases so far. Soto is a rare breed of singer in that it seems like the older he gets the better his voice gets. Whatever regimen he has, whether it is a natural gift, staying healthy, or perhaps a pact with the Devil, he has managed to avoid one of the pitfalls of many of his compatriots from the ’80s in that he can still sing pretty much anything from his back catalog without much, if any, loss. It is also amazing that after so many albums (somewhere in the neighborhood of 60) he is still capable of creating so many brilliant songs. As he did on the last album Wide Awake (In My Dreamland) he teamed up with Frontiers powerhouse songwriter/musician Alessandro Del Vecchio to pen the latest tunes. What has been captured here is more of a return to a Talisman meets W.E.T. sound whereas the last couple has been more about Jeff exploring a more mature sound. With tracks like “Home Again,” “Until I See You Again,” and “Don’t Look Back” you’re instantly drawn into this fantastic melodic album of amazing songs and stunning performances.
I guess I’m just going to have to face facts: I may never get the chance to write a negative review about Jeff. It’s no wonder that he is as loved and admired in the world of AOR/melodic hard rock, but it is still a shame his name isn’t known in every household in the world. His talent is too great not to be.
Written by: Chris Martin