"Lost in the Translation" (Frontiers; 2004)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

Jeff Scott Soto was, by proxy, the next lead singer for Journey before they ever needed to find a replacement. Jeff worked with Neal Schon while in Soul SirkUS and Schon helped to pen the first song on this release, entitled “Believe In Me,” which aptly sounds like a Journey song. When Steve Augeri left Journey, Jeff Scott Soto replaced him, probably not a stretch for Neal and the boys to pick a familiar singer as opposing the dreaded want ad asking “singer needed for a major rock band” that would bring out the devoted fans for a chance at fronting Journey. Besides that happenstance, this album was released on the record label Frontiers. A coincidence? Yeah, probably.

I like Jeff’s voice. He appeals to the metal singer in all us (and, as an interesting aside, I don’t think I've reviewed a lead singer yet). Plus, he’s got the pipes and more gruff than the average 80s metal singer has. He has sung for Yngwie Malmsteen, so he knows how to keep up with a blistering guitar and, although Journey’s guitar is considered a slow burn style, Scott's voice fits in rather well. He was also the lead singer for Talisman.

If you thumb through any reviews of this CD they all bash him for holding onto the metal of yesteryear; well, after you have read the other opinions, go and get this CD, plug it in and watch those words dissolve into the word “talented.” Soto is a true balladeer on the slow tracks and a vocal master on the upbeat offerings. Plus he started in the 80s domain and holds it true to his style. Maybe those other reviewers just forgot what a good singer sounds like.

Since Soto is deep in metal roots it would only be fitting that he has a vicious metal guitar player screaming solos at you. Howie Simon does just that. The drums smash and with an element of metal injected into each song, even the ballads, this is must have for anyone who wants to hear a great singer do his thang.

The best tracks are the Soto flavored ones, just listen and mark your own favorites.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2008 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Sep 2022 13:46:22 -0400.