Steve Lukather: Transition

Seventh solo album by Toto’s workaholic guitar guru.

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Fresh from touring in Ringo Starr’s band, Steve Lukather has made an album on which he’s stripped down his guitar sound and built up the song textures with the help of CJ Vanston (keys, co-writer and co-producer), plus guests including Phil Collen, Gregg Bisonette and Chad Smith.

Pulsating opener Judgement Day and the superb Creep Motel (swaggering through its ‘Save your bullshit…’ chorus) set the tone for an upbeat and mature rock selection that only really fails, disappointingly, on the title-track – an instrumental in the middle of the nine songs. Either side of it, Right The Wrong (a sparse arrangement inflating to a spine-tingling chorus) and Last Man Standing are far superior: both AOR corkers with sublime melodies. If you ain’t singing along, check for a pulse.

For a change of pace, try Once Again (evoking a sadder, more reflective mood) or the sweet Jeff Beck-like cover of Charlie Chaplin’s ‘theme’ Smile that ends the album. A slick and impressive record.

Neil Jeffries

Freelance contributor to Classic Rock and several of its offshoots since 2006. In the 1980s he began a 15-year spell working for Kerrang! intially as a cub reviewer and later as Geoff Barton’s deputy and then pouring precious metal into test tubes as editor of its Special Projects division. Has spent quality time with Robert Plant, Keith Richards, Ritchie Blackmore, Rory Gallagher and Gary Moore – and also spent time in a maximum security prison alongside Love/Hate. Loves Rush, Aerosmith and beer. Will work for food.