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Jeff Scott Soto - 'Retribution' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/b1/11/d0/jeff-scott-soto-retribution-35-1512854322.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     December 09, 2017    
 
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Jeff Scott Soto has delivered yet again.

Can there be any reader of Fireworks or Rocktopia who isn't aware of Jeff Scott Soto or indeed who doesn't own a large number of albums on which he's appeared? In my book he has to be one of the best vocalists ever in the Hard and Melodic Rock genres.

That said, I'm not overly keen on his heavier SOTO output, but with his solo Jeff Scott Soto persona, it's certainly a case of normal service being resumed and back to what, in my opinion, he does best.

The title track opens the album and it's not entirely representative of the rest of the songs because it's the heaviest number and suggests we're in for a full-on Metal experience, but by the time second number 'Inside, Outside' arrives, we've moved along into more of a Talisman/W.E.T. sounding territory with Howie Simon replicating the distinctive Marcel Jacob bass sound superbly. 'Rage Of The Year' is a massive anthem that one can imagine ringing round arenas in years to come due to its "...we are victorious..." chorus. It sounds as if Jeff Scott Soto shares vocals here, I assume with Simon.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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'Reign Again' has a wonderful swaggering and infectious beat, while 'Feels Like Forever' takes the tempo down for a power ballad of the quality we've come to expect from him. 'Last Time' is another song with that Talisman feel, particularly on the chorus; Simon's fingers are on fire during the guitar solo. He's a terrific guitarist and his playing across the album is superb, and it's also my understanding he co-wrote the material.

'Bullet For My Baby' is the obligatory innuendo track, it fair races along with a full-on attack so placing the second ballad 'Song For Joey' immediately after it is a good move. Delicate piano-based verses are supplemented by powerful choruses with Soto's vocals dripping with emotion. 'Breakout' has a great riff and yet more massive hooks as does 'Dedicate To You' which I defy anyone not to nod or foot-tap along to; it's that infectious.

I know I'm not alone in having "a thing" about albums closing with a ballad, but I'll forgive Soto on this occasion as 'Autumn' is wonderful with its simple acoustic guitar refrain and masterful vocal arrangement. Back in the day this would have been a "lighters in the air" job at a gig, now it will be mobile phones. With this album, Jeff Scott Soto has delivered yet again.

Gary Marshall

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