Jeff Scott Soto - Lost In The Translation
Frontiers Records
Melodic Hard Rock
11 songs (49:22)
Release year: 2004
Frontiers Records
Reviewed by Mike

Some things are just predictable; death, taxes, and… quality hard rock releases from Jeff Scott Soto. Melodic hard rock fans that have followed this man have come to realize that this man just refuses to release a weak album. Whether it's from his time with Yngwie, Axel Rudi Pell, Talisman, Humanimal, the Rock Star soundtrack, or his solo albums, Jeff never fails to deliver quality material. Well, I'm happy to say that Lost In The Translation is yet another quality disc to add Jeff's impressive catalogue.

After spinning this disc numerous times, I can't help but notice how much this team of musicians sounds like a band, despite this being a solo album. I've heard numerous solos albums that sound like a big mish mash of random thoughts Gene Simmons - Asshole , but Lost In The Translation has a smooth, cohesive flow that makes 50 minutes fly right by. Believe In Me opens things up, featuring none other than Journey's Neal Schon on guitar. This anthem has a soaring chorus line, much like an up tempo Journey track. This track is a bit more upbeat and more of a lighthearted melodic rock styled song than the rest of the album. Howie Simon's guitar playing on the rest of the album has a much crunchier, harder edge to it as evidenced by the second track, Soul Divine. Don't worry though, by "heavier," I don't mean that they have simply dowtuned the guitars in order to sound heavy and up to date. However, I would say that Lost In The Translation arguably contains the most aggressive guitar work of any of Jeff's previous releases (Talisman, Humanimal, etc..). After the somewhat light sounding Prism, Jeff has obviously tailored this album to fans who clamored for a heavier album this time around.

Lost In The Translation contains all the classic trademarks of an album involving Jeff Scott Soto. Jeff provides his usual emotional, energetic vocal delivery. Although the man has performed on countless albums, he still sounds very enthusiastic about his music. You'll also hear thick harmony vocal lines and soaring, catchy chorus lines galore throughout the album. If you're looking for an album to get "addicted" to and keep in your stereo for the foreseeable future, this album will do the trick. Musically speaking, the guitars are a bit heavier this time around as I mentioned. The riffs are a bit more aggressive, sometimes blurring the line between melodic hard rock and melodic metal. The guitar solos are played in such a way that compliment Soto's emotional delivery, almost singing along with Jeff. I found this particularly true with the power ballad, If This Is the End. I'm usually not into ballads that much, but this one is a winner. Again, I really think the guys performing on this album have a great band, making the end result sound more like a band than a solo project.

While the majority of this album can be best categorized as being exactly what melodic hard rock should sound like, I must open my critical ear and make note of some very minor blemishes I found on this album. As I said earlier, Is This the End is a great ballad, but Beginning 2 End later on in the album pales by comparison. Not a bad song, but it falls flat after its magnificent predecessor. Doin' Time is a slower, darker track, something that just doesn't sound like Jeff's strongest suit. Again, there are some fine guitar parts to be heard around the 2 and a half minute mark, and again toward the end, but the song has a lethargic, tedious feel to it. On My Own is once again a song that deviates in style slightly from what we are used to hearing from Jeff. The guitars leans toward a choppy, modern rock feel with start-stop riffs. Again, I don't think this is really Jeff's style. Jeff's vocals pack some serious attitude, but this particular guitar work sounds a bit akward accompanying Jeff's melodic, soaring vocals. A catchy chorus line and Jeff's balls out delivery during the verses saves the day, but this song would have been better suited without the modern styled guitar parts.

Once again, Jeff Scott Soto has delivered an album that can be bought blindly by his fans and fans of melodic hard rock in general. As per my tally, we have eight stand out tracks, and three so-so tracks, and no throwaways. That will cause me quote the album just short of masterpiece status, but make no mistake, this album rocks hard!! You can feel free to disagree with me on the specifics, but I'm this album as a whole will receive positive acclaim across the board from fans and reviewers alike. Listening to any Soto album always makes my pull some past albums of his out fro the shelf and into my stereo. This album is no different. Many thanks again to Jeff for another very worthwhile album!

Killing Songs :
Believe In Me, Soul Divine, Find Our Way
Mike quoted 83 / 100
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