Mascot [Release date 26.02.21]
We are being spoilt. Neal Schon’s album slipped out before Christmas and is one of his best. The earliest indication of Luke’s forthcoming album was a Lockdown video ‘Run To Me’. It was entertaining if not exactly startling. And maybe the all-star cast (including Ringo Starr) detracted somewhat.
The opener ‘Along For The Ride’ bounces along with those Toto-esque flourishes we have come to know and love, whilst ‘Serpent Soul’ displays a bluesier edge. The instrumental ‘Journey Through’ is a very fine slice of jazz fusion and the title track is another of those presumably autobiographical paeans to his loved one. Overall the album is jazzier and more laid back than previous outings.
There are a few covers in the form of the 10 minute ‘The Low Heeled Spark Of High Heeled Boys’, Joe Walsh’s ‘Welcome To The Club’ and Robin Trower’s ‘Bridge Of Sighs’. But that means there’s only five originals out of eight (25 minutes in terms of playing time) and I assume real fans would expect more. Compare this to Schon’s 15 track offering.
On the latest, Luke has emphasised the highly organic nature of the proceedings, with tracks completed in two takes maximum, minimal overdubs, and the aim for a more natural, almost old-fashioned approach. Keith Freeman produces and there is stellar assistance from the likes of Greg Bissonette and Toto bandmates David Paich and Joseph Williams. I have to say it’s nice to hear that organic keyboard sound.
Back in 2010 Lukather’s album ‘All’s Well That Ends Well’ was a real gem with some really killer tracks. Reviewing ‘Transition’ (2012) I wrote “It’s a quality album for sure, but it only emphasises just how good (and varied) was its predecessor”.
‘I Found The Sun Again’ is another well played, even effortless, album. We expect great playing but not really the economy in terms of original material. But maybe less is more. ***1/2
Review by David Randall
The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk Sunday 21 February, 16:00 EST, 21:00 GMT
More about Josh: http://getreadytorock.me.uk/blog/?s=%22Josh+Taerk%22
David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 7 February 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week.
UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 26 January 2021.
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Featured Albums w/c 22 February 2021 (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 RADAR Lost In The Atlantic (Escape Music)
12:00-13:00 DURBIN The Beast Awakens (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 ANNEKE VAN GIERSBERGEN – The Darkest Days Are The Brightest (InsideOut Music)
Power Plays w/c 22 February 2021 (Mon-Fri)
DEAD REYNOLDS Bright Lights
ALLY VENABLE Road To Nowhere
JASON SWEENEY She’s A Fighter
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