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Jeff Scott Soto
Lost In The Translation
Frontiers Records
FRCD205
· Produced By: Jeff Scott Soto

· Running Time: 49.22

· Release Date: September 20

· Released: EU JP

· Musical Style: Melodic Hard Rock

· Links: Frontiers Records JSS
97%
Songs: 98%
Sound: 96%
Let's be straight – everyone knows I am a huge Jeff Scott Soto fan and am also behind his Australian tour due to start next week. So I'm being upfront in my appreciation for Jeff's music, but I have never held back from an honest review in the past and that remains the case here.
But you will see from the points awarded that there is really nothing but good news to report on here. And once fans hear the album in it's entirely, I believe that almost everyone will agree in principle with my positive review.
I also doubt you will find a single negative review about this album anywhere.
How good it rates with individual fans will vary, but I believe the consensus will be that this is Jeff's best solo album to date and possibly his best ever album to date.
I stated within my review of the EP that Jeff has a hands on approach with his fans and listens to their comments. And Jeff just keeps getting better.
The feeling was that fans wanted a more rocking album this time around and Jeff delivers big time. This is one of his hardest rocking releases, with some top of the line songwriting backing up the tougher band feel of the album.
The band need a special mention, as Howie Simon and Gary Schutt have formed a strong musical bond with Jeff and months on the road together have strengthened their sound and their understanding of each other.
That why this "solo" album sounds like such a great band record. The guys really work together well and the tracks have been perfectly mixed, giving all instruments and importantly, Jeff's voice, room to breathe. Drummer on Lost In The Translation is Beautiful Creatures' Glen Sobel. He's a class act in any situation.
The tougher path taken here, with only a couple of ballads to add balance is something I hope we will hear more of. Track By Track:
The album opens with Believe In Me – previewed already as a single and familiar to most I'm sure. The track features Neal Schon on guitar, who co-wrote the track with Jeff. After being considered for Soul Sirkus, it was decided to use the track for Jeff's solo album. This is a great Journey styled melodic rocker with a huge chorus hook. However, being that the track features a different guitarist and was from another recording session, sonically it doesn't quite match the heavier sound of the rest of the album. This is a lighter melodic rock moment, which I think would have been better placed elsewhere within the album rather than the opening track.
Soul Divine is where the album should have started from. This track gives a true induction of what Lost In The Translation is all about and rocks accordingly. Howie Simon's crunchy guitar chords are noticeably heavier than we've heard before and the overall sound is tougher and darker than on Prism. Drummer Glen Sobel's hard hitting style is the perfect base for the track. Like many of Jeff's songs, this and other tracks on the album take several listens to get to know, with melodies becoming ever more prevalent each and every listen.
Drowning steps things up another notch. Howie's guitar playing is even more intense and direct and really drives this uptempo rocker. This is a trademark JSS track, with a snappy verse that bursts into a guitar fuelled chorus with harmony vocals adding melody and texture. Jeff's vocals are somewhat more aggressive than we might usually expect and sound perfect. Fans will love this one.
If This Is The End is the first of a couple of ballads on the album. Once again this could be described as a typical JSS track. Acoustic driven and featuring a soaring and sentiment laced vocal, the track builds intensity to a rousing guitar driven climax. The monster chorus and some truly soulful vocals make it one of Jeff's best ever ballads.
Lost In The Translation sees a return to the hard hitting guitar sound of Soul Divine and Drowning. Another track that doesn't immediately seem catchy, this track - with an certain attitude - does feature a strong chorus that gets better with each listen.
Doin' Time is a slower and darker number, featuring an aggressive edge and using several different layers to fully paint a picture. Howie shines again with some fine guitar parts.
High Time picks the tempo back up, with a free flowing melodic rock anthem which is a little lighter than some of the other more intense moments on the album. This is a great driving track that comes closest to the sound of Believe In Me and that of the previous album Prism. Gary Schutt handles guitar duties in this instance.
Beginning 2 End is the album's second ballad. This features a very cool piano into and another strong, soulful vocal. The chorus sees the full band come in and complete another classy ballad.
Time to rock again and On My Own features that dirty, aggressive, somewhat modern rock guitar tone of earlier tracks and a typical attitude filled vocal from Jeff. The chorus is short and snappy, with layers of harmony vocals adding depth to the sound.
Both Jeff and Frontiers Records had their views on the track listing, but I'm still not sure how Find Our Way found its way back here. Possibly the best track on the album, I would have liked to have seen this featured in the first 3 or 4 tracks. However, its strength cannot be denied in any position and positioned at track 10 it does add power to the tail end of the album. Simply put, Find Our Way is a hard rocking monster! It starts with a burst of guitars, gets straight to business with a smoldering riff, then explodes come chorus time. This is a fabulous harmony driven rock n roll anthem that's best played at maximum volume.
Sacred Eyes is a great way to close out the album. This is another slice of textbook JSS – an acoustic based feel good pop song, with a monster vocal and self-supplied harmony vocals.
But wait, there's a bonus track on offer and what a great addition to the album. Dulce Lady is a groovy hard rocker written by Jeff with Howie and featuring the same hard hitting sound as Drowning and Doin' Time. This is a mid-tempo hard rocker with another catchy chorus and some fine guitar work.
The Bottom Line
Each review I do for Jeff seems to be more enthusiastic than the last. There's a good reason for that – the material and the delivery just keep getting better.
This is a tougher, more cohesive album than Prism, which also features an impressive line up of classic styled JSS songs. When listening back to this one gets the feeling that everything just came naturally and what results is a classic slice of melodic hard rock that will not only blow established fans away, but also draw in a new range of converts.
Discography / Previously Reviewed
· Love Parade
· Holding On EP
· Prism
· Live At The Gods
· Believe In Me EP
· Lost In The Translation

Line Up
· Jeff Scott Soto: Vocals, Bass, Keyboards
· Howie Simon, Neal Schon, Gary Schutt: Guitars
· Glen Sobel: Drums

Essential for fans of:
· Jeff, Howie & Gary
· Talisman
· Journey
Track Listing
· Believe In Me
· Soul Divine*
· Drowning*
· If This Is the End
· Lost In The Translation*
· Doin' Time
· High Time
· Beginning To End
· On My Own*
· Find Our Way*
· Sacred Eyes*
--*Best Tracks


28/04/07: Ray Gayo - raygayo@hotmail.com
Rating: 100
WOW. This cd kicks serious ass. The title track is amazing but my very favorite is DULCE LADY which has a very evident WHITESNAKE kicks. HOWIE SIMON does an amazing job in the shred dept. My least favorite song which was the single is BELIEVE IN ME, which is a JOURNEY RIP off and it even has NEAL SCHON on guitar. Despite BELIEVE IN ME, the rest of the album is amazing.
www.myspace.com/rayguitarshred

29/05/06: Steve P - spowis@btopenworld.com
Rating: 65
Prism was a superb melodic and mellow rock album - superb ballads and some really good rockers. An AOR masterclass

This has been a disappointment in comparison. I kept playing it but it didn't grow on me either.

Believe in Me is very good - and with Mr Schon on guitar it should be. As above "If this is the end" is the only ballad to compare with Prism. I don't think this does JSS justice !

03/08/05: Don Manzo - guit6@aol.com
Rating: 95
This is as good as it gets for me. Love the vocals, love the guitar, love the songs, and Dulce Lady is awesome. Has that John Sykes/Whitesnake feel to it which is what Steelhouse Lane did also on Give it all to me. Perfect mix of uptempo/ midtempo
rockers that really kick. I hope Jeff stays in this vein for the next disc because he hit it perfect on this one!!

25/05/05: bas - -
Rating: 95
Ok, have been listening to this almost weekly since it came out. (The first few weeks I played it daily.) I can easily say, this is one of the best melodic rock CD's ever. It really grows and grows and grows... It's a shame that it this kind of music isn't that big anymore; this CD should be monster-huge. Great melodies, superb guitarwork, smooth production and a versatile/big/rockin' voice. JSS really knows how to do his thing! But don't believe me on my word. Just buy the %$#%-ing album already!

22/02/05: Todd - kisschild@hotmail.com
Rating: 85
This release just typifies what a great singer and artist Jeff Scott Soto is.The songs are very melodic and uptempo, a step up from his previous solo effort.Jeff has pulled all the big guns out for this cd.Soul Divine and Find Our Way simply rock the house.A great release from a great singer and really good guy.Well done Jeff.Hope to see you in Oz again.

18/02/05: Kenneth M - kennethm@sympatico.ca
Rating: 97
JSS has not put out a disc of this calibre (until the equally awesome Soul SirkUS - World Play)since his days with Talisman and/or Eyes. Man this baby rocks...I will agree that even though the song "Believe In Me" is excellent it may not have been the best choice to kick off the album..."Drowning" or "Soul Divine" would have served better. This album is loaded with top notch songs like "Find Our Way", "High Time" and "Sacred Eyes" as well as those previouly mentioned tunes. My only regret is that I don't have a copy with "Dulce Lady" on it as I'm hearing it is one of the best tracks on the album.
Many of the above mentioned songs will be assured a prominent place in my "Best Of 2004" List. Jeff please keep with the uptempo rock tunage you have floored me with here, I love the ballads as well but Rock is where it's at.

14/02/05: John Elway - megjimp@cableone.net
Rating: 85
I like this record. It doesn't have near as many boring ballads as I expected considering his last solo release. The songs are pretty hard, catchy, and the guitar playing is superb. I guess the only thing that stops me from rating this higher is that I think a lot of these songs sound similar to one another. Other than that, a great effort.

12/02/05: Tom - tom.timmermans@flexsys.com
Rating: 90
Very, very, very good album.

Loved Prism, but as a common comment: too many ballads, albeit good ballads. Heck, even my Mrs. loves Prism.

Lost in the Translation is a real rocker of an album. I tell ya, it has to grow on you though. Some of the songs don't get stuck in your head till after a couple of spins.

To me "THE" absolute monster AOR track here is the opener "Believe in me". I could listen to that over and over again. "If this is the end" is my favourite ballad on the album.

04/11/04: Robert Jason - robert_jason@hotmail.com
Rating: 90
I like this CD, I prefer the hard rock of Talisman so Prism did not impress me he reminds me of Glenn Hughes so many fans and can`t please everybody, just go get it!!

04/11/04: Mats - matsbruer@hotmail.com
Rating: 98
THUMBS UP !!!!! OVERALL a GREAT ALBUM !!!!

03/11/04: JamesMuir - JMuir@SunergosSoftware.com
Rating: 98
This is the best JSS album. It's got the whole package - good guitar, good solos, interesting and clever song construction, a good mix of tunes and, of couse Jeff. The guys who are down on this album clearly have a preference for softer music. So if you are looking at these reviews to get a feel of the songs just know that these are a lot tougher than most songs on JSS other albums. I happen to like that a lot.

Just so you can compare I think that prior to this album the best JSS albums are: Eyes, Talisman - Genesis & Talisman self titled. You will immediately recognize elements of these three albums on this one. Vocals and backup vocals from Eyes and elaborate guitar riffs from Talisman. To me it was a near perfect fusion of what I like about these albums. To me it's like Eyes on steriods. (e.g. heaver) And that's heaven.

Jeff, for me this record hits the spot. I bought all my friends a copy from AOR Heaven to send the message - please make more of this.

Regards,

James

24/10/04: David - daveandmel@kooee.com.au
Rating: 90
After listening to this album for a few weeks now I must be honest in saying that I'm enjoying it more & more with every listen.The first song that hit me was track 3 "drowning" which I thought could have easily come from Night rangers album man in motion, so similar in style and sound.The whole album is great & a definate highlite was the bonus track "dulce lady" a real rocker.Even the running order for the songs are spot on in my opinion,I get to the end and find I want to listen to it all over again.Great job Jeff.

20/10/04: stuart - liverpool710199@msn.com
Rating: 45
Well.
As a long time fan of Jeff i have to say im stunned at this release.
Its horrible.
I have never heard him release such a batch of tuneless tracks like this.
Believe me i tried to like this cd.
But like His first solo cd LOVE PARADE it just doesnt have any good songs.
PRISM in my opinion is one of the finest melodic rock albums i have ever heard.
How can anyone on this board honestly say that this cd is anything as good as PRISM.
Jeff also sounds like his voice isnt as strong as it was on PRISM EITHER.
SAD SAD SAD
I will look forward to his next release.
CMON JEFF GET BACK TO RECORDING POP ROCK

06/10/04: Craig Bishop - bisho72@optushome.com.au
Rating: 87
A great slice of Melodic Rock. Best tracks are: Soul Divine, Drowning, Lost In Translation and Find Our Way. Whilst Believe In Me doesn't quite fit the tone of the album, it sure is a kick ass song! I can't wait to hear the SOUL SIRKUS album!

28/09/04: Stefan Grimbs - grimbsel@aol.com
Rating: 95
A MUST in this year melodicrock cd's. If you like real good music then you have to listen to Lost in the Translation. JSS is really a great singer with strong songs. You have to listen to the record more then one time. It's a jewel.

26/09/04: Chrizz - ChrisInNaples@hotmail.com
Rating: 98
The problem with most of the negative reviews on here is that I find they are trying to compare this album to the past. For a review to be valid, you have to listen to an album as if it's the first release by the artist.

Jeff's coals are strong and not overbearing like I find with some melodic rock releases. There is only one time where I feel that Jeff's voice struggles and it's during the song "If This Is the End". He sounds as if vocals are somewhat exhausted during the chorus.

The more I listen to this album, the more it grows on me and the more I find I like about it. It has great hooks, good melodies, and the writing is great overall. A few weak areas but nothing that should detract from the album in its entirity.

I would recommend this album and vote it one of the Top 5 releases this year.

Have a great day!

25/09/04: WardyS3 - micktward@ozemail.com.au
Rating: 70
Okay... I've re-read my review here and must admit I may have been a little harsh and oozed more negadtivity than I'd have like to. For the record I stand by my 70% rating cause put simply I think there's more worthy stuff in this genre out there, however I confess to playing this album to death so I MUST like it aye? Indeed I do.

Not aware of any Jap bonus tracks Michael but I have learnt since posting my original review here that there were heavier tracks on offer when Jeff first booted the album, where they went I do not know!?

My comparison to Forever Young? Okay, point taken Michael, my comparing Soul Divine to that track was for two reasons alone, the first being the riff in my non professional opinion, regardless of its key and speed, is similar. The second reason being the vibe of the song. Just rang the same bells as FY. Which is what I will stand by also, the album does sound so familiar to a lot of other stuff I've heard before, yes, as does most music these days but this album in particular rings those bells.

A very good album if lacking the creativity I believe Jeff is capable of.

Anyhow this is the reviews area not forums so Andrew, you might wanna move our comments to the forums somewhere!? Cheers!

24/09/04: Dimitri - ddd@libello.com
Rating: 70
In my humble oppinion the first 'weak' album from JSS; it lacks inspiration and strenth. It seems most riffs are old and boring. Mind you I'm a big fan of Eyes, Talisman, Malmsteen...! Overworked???

24/09/04: Michael Doran - MDoran821@Hotmail.com
Rating: 92
For the review below mine....Soul Divine compared to Forever Young? That is WAY off base. Being a musician myself, I can tell you that the 2 songs are in different keys, have different tempos, and have completely different melodies. I dont know if this is a classic but is any cd reviewed on this site in this genre (AOR) REALLY going to be considered classic? As far as the rest of the cd, this is a really strong effort with awesome production and great performances by each musician and Jeff. I love the harder rocking songs since I didnt quite get enough of them on his last disc PRISM. So far favorites are - Drowning, Soul Divine, and oh man does Dulce Lady ever kick some ass! Does anyone know if there are Japanese bonus tracks?

19/09/04: WardyS3 - micktward@ozemail.com.au
Rating: 70
Okay, I was never a 'fan' of JSS, not because of anything other than ignorance. So I purchased this album on the strength of Jeff live (awesome!) and respect for projects he has been involved in such as Talisman and Malmsteen.

This to me is far from classic, I find a lot of the songs are old tired riffs that I've heard many times before, and there is absoloutely no new ground gained here. Soul Divine is a great song, but am I alone in my comparisons to Tyketto's 'Forever Young'? Drowning is another good rocker but SO done before, the bridge and chorus getting kinda lazy. SURELY JEFF WROTE SOME MORE STORMING SONGS FOR THIS ALBUM????? I'm sensing record company interference here!?

HOWEVER, from recent interviews with Jeff, this album was never supposed to be anything other than an 'AOR' album, and in Jeff's own words would possibly dissapoint some of his long term fans. So there you have it, a good album but nothing amazing.

And to finish, this is one of the most apalling track orders I've ever come accross. 'Believe in me' (boring, almost gave up after that song!)is not worthy to open the album and I get the feeling the only reason it is the opening track on the album is because of it being co-written by Neal Schon. The running order in its entirity is poor and if improved could have made for a better listen.

Favourites are 'Soul Divine' 'Drowning' and 'Sacred Eyes' - (great melody chord structures and harmonies). Don't get me wrong, any fan of Jeff will enjoy this album, the guy has an incredible voice and that makes up for most of my grizzles! Not normally what I would buy, but hey, I'm glad I did.

17/09/04: Glenn Odin - themightylord@lycos.com
Rating: 95
I'd have to agree with all the comments above and say that this is a top notch rock/AOR release. JSS once again proving to be the vocal god we've known him to be over the last 20 years. This album is indeed a more up-tempo effort than his 2 previous solo outings and will go down along with TNT, Tesla and Doken as one of the greats of the year from a "vetran" of the scene. Nice Work!!

15/09/04: Jonny B - froloth@hotmail.com
Rating: 98
The Talisman comeback album must've tripped JSS's desires to write rock music again. While as JSS's "Prism" was mostly a ballad-affair, "Lost in the Translation" practically takes over from where Talisman left off. Amazing guitars, hooks, and hard-rocking tracks from one of the hardest-working singers in the history of melodic rock. I can't recommend a track, because they're all good! Definitely will be a 2004 Top 5 pick on my list.

31/08/04: John Ferguson - jonferg@nortelnetworks.com
Rating: 92
Following the highly successful “Prism” and last year’s Talisman comeback “Cats and Dogs,” the mighty Jeff Scott Soto returns with his third solo album for Frontiers, entitled “Lost In The Translation.” Leading off with the Neal Schon collaboration “Believe In Me” – a hard rocking melodic anthem which serves as a perfect taster for the Soto/Schon project Soul Sirkus, this twelve track CD will delight all fans of the man’s previous output. High energy melodic anthems make up the bulk of the material, from the cool swagger of “Soul Divine” to the powerful title track not to mention a couple of soulful ballads, the best of which is the beautiful “If This Is The End,” the video for which is included as a bonus feature. The album finishes on a real high with the pumping acoustic number “Sacred Eyes,” which conjures memories of Jeff’s stunning acoustic set during his triumphant show at the Gods in 2002. Another great release from “the vocalist every wants to have.” Highly recommended.

30/08/04: Todd S - FuzeTodd@cox.net
Rating: 94
This is a great musical statement from Jeff Scott Soto. Whereas on his first two solo albums more readily wore his influences on his sleeve, "Lost In The Translation" weaves those influences more deeply into the songs - except for obvious exception Believe In Me - and the result is an album that integrates both the raw power of, say, the Talisman "Life" album and the more melodic moments off "Prism". Quite simply, "Lost in the Translation" has got more hooks than a tackle box. There are some wonderful moments in "Soul Divine", "Find Our Way" and "Sacred Eyes", to name just a couple of highlights in what is really an album FULL of highlights. For those who loved "Prism", "Lost in the Translation" takes the best of that album and builds on it. How JSS continues to exceed expectations is baffling. And a real treat.

27/08/04: Figge - anderssonfigge@hotmail.com
Rating: 90
A very good album indeed...it grows, and grows on you with every listen. I wasn't that impressed the first coulpe of spins, but it surely is a monster release.
I've been a big fan of JSS for many years now and I simply love the Talisman/Humanimal albums. I thought "Prism" was very well done but a little too many ballads and not rocking enough. No problem there on "Lost in the Translation". BUY!!!

Best songs in my opinion: Drowning, High Time, Find Our Way.


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