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.