El Dorado Hotel finds veteran Californian vocalist Lana Lane returning to the fray after an uncharacteristically lengthy four-year layoff. Batteries duly recharged, this is a typical Lane album, produced by her husband, Rocket Scientists keyboardist Erik Norlander.
While Lane’s vocals are rightly at the core of the album, as usual Norlander has assembled a cast of musicians from the cream of the American prog scene, including fellow Rocket Scientists multi-instrumentalist Mark McCrite and stick/bass player Don Schiff. However, since Lane’s last solo album Norlander has been co-opted into the version of Asia fronted by John Payne, and as a result Payne and other players with Asia connections also appear.
Musically El Dorado Hotel is generally top notch, in particular opening track A Dream Full Of Fire, which includes wonderfully jazzy solos from Norlander and guitarist Bruce Bouillet.
There are some inconsistencies – that same track is undercut by a workmanlike chorus and hackneyed lyrics - but Lane herself is on fine form, and while it doesn’t reinvent the prog wheel, El Dorado Hotel certainly merits more than a cursory visit.