This is Toto front man Steve Lukathers fourth or fifth solo album (depending on what you count as solo albums), and the first studio solo album for more than ten years. I guess most of our readers know S.L., even though they might not like the pop/rock style of Toto, because he’s a very capable guitar player of all styles of music, and has appeared on hundreds of albums as a studio musician.
Solo projects/albums from some guitar players can get a bit tiring to listen to, because they just have to show everything they can all the time, and therefore it can get so stuffed with licks, solos and so on, that it loses direction or forgetting the good song or melody. With S.L. this is not the case. Sure, he shows that he’s capable of many styles and brilliant soloing, but not to an extent where it takes over the main part of the good song. The variety in styles goes from the hard rock/grungy kinda things (on the guitar) over very Toto-like pop rock, to a bit of jazz-fusion or even gospel…
Of course the guitar is very much in front, but there’s still room for the other (very able) participants, among others his son, Trevor, who also co-wrote a couple of the songs, Abe Laborial jr. on drums, Leland Sklar and Phil Soussan on bass and Lenny Castro doing the percussion – the musicianship can’t be questioned.
My main impression of this album is that it’s very much in line of Toto, with a slightly harder edge on the guitar on some tracks - nice melodic pop rock songs your mother could listen to without being provoked…and that become the main problem for me. For my taste it’s a bit too nice and smooth, it’s very seldom I lift an eyebrow listening to this album. Good for relaxing, but not for challenging the borders of my musical taste and perception. But if you like Toto or other melodic rock acts like them, and want an album that's well played, well produced, well… by all means get this one.
Something that can really irritate me with this album, is the dreadful Italian-English speaking guy that has to talk over everything except two tracks – to keep the album from being copied and put on the internet, according to the information on the sleeve…in some way understandable, but I wonder if it won’t happen anyway, and for me it spoils some of the listening pleasure - DAMN I hate voice-overs!!!