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Let's have one thing clarified right at the start. I'm a fan of Steve Lukather but I'm not at all a fan of Toto. Which is why I've looked forward to a new solo album from Luke. His first one was a product of the 80s and has admittedly not aged well. Candyman was damn good and the third one called Luke is my favourite of the lot. Lots of good poppy songs, moody vibe and cool solos too. This new one comes when Luke finally has ended Toto and wants to give his solo career a serious shot before it's too late.
While on one front, this is like a present day equivalent of Luke. It also has many other sides, some good some bad. The album begins with the title song and its drop-d modern rock riffing with a pop-jazz-rock type sound. Halfway through and it already gets bland, but the solo brings it back to being a decent album starter. The rest of the album has a recurring softer-loungy-chilled-out feel to it, especially with the backing vocals and the nice intricate chords that Luke always brings in. Fans of Steely Dan might be able to enjoy this. Being a Dan fan myself, I miss the bluesy feel that Dan has that's missing here. This can get rather boring and spineless for most fans of rock except the solos which is where Luke can still pull off gems.
Most of Tell Me What You Want From Me is another modern rock stomp but coming from a musician who's outside this style, it sounds rather contrived. Jammin' With Jesus has a sweet groove, a start-stop guitar chug and a cool choir singing making it my pick of the album. Ice Bound's heavy moments and the leads was what I wanted more of from this album, but sadly it's present just to complement the rest of the song which will impress the Toto fans but not so if you aren't. The album closer The Truth has a lot of Jeff Beck influenced guitar goodness.
Luke has tried to come up with an album encompassing various sounds of his, but sadly I'm only impressed by parts of it. With Toto gone, I have a feeling we're going to get more of this from his solo albums. Dayum!
Year of Release: 2008
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