Frontiers Records (2012)
One of the best hard rock/metal singers in the business finally releases his latest solo album “Damage Control”. Jeff Scott Soto probably needs little introduction due to his fine resume- the vocalist who’s performed with great guitar heroes like Yngwie Malmsteen and Axel Rudi Pell during the 80’s and 90’s, on through to replacing Steve Auguri in Journey for touring purposes in 2006-07. “Damage Control” revives a lot of Jeff’s melodic rock capacity, proving he still has the potent pipes that deliver long lasting verses and choruses while surrounding himself with high quality musicians and songs.
There are a couple of tracks where the metal side cracks through with some of the down-tuned passages and solo antics- “Krazy World” gives Jeff a chance to blister the audience with his 70’s influences and run up and down the Paul Rodgers/ Robert Plant scale, while “AfterWorld” is a mid-tempo, street level metal number crossing the lines of Pink Cream 69 and Leatherwolf. The front half of the album loads itself with the more instantaneous songs, as “Give A Little More” and “Look Inside Your Heart” easily could have been contenders on any classic Foreigner or Journey record. The ballad “BonaFide” is a piano-driven tear jerker, one of those power build up arrangements that would set thousands of lighters up for an arena rock spotlight.
Contributions from guitarists Dave Meniketti (Y&T), Joel Hoekstra (Night Ranger), and drummer Casey Grillo (Kamelot) make “Damage Control” essential for all Jeff Scott Soto followers. If his last album disappointed some for its more funk/pop leanings, the harder edge is back and I’m sure this will prove that he hasn’t lost any range, power, or conviction for being in the industry so many years. Play to the strengths and you’ll hit a home run.
Rating: 4.5 / 6
Composed by Matt Coe