Steve Lukather ‘Transition’ (Mascot) 3/5

Ex-Toto lead singer Steve Lukather has always led a more open-minded musical approach as a solo artist and has found himself recording with the likes of Aretha Franklin, George Benson and even Miles Davis. His interest in blues and soul is a long-term one and he toured with white soul singer Boz Scaggs on his ‘Silk Degrees’ album tour way back in the mid-1970s. Lukather’s first solo album dates back to 1988 and his influences take in Jimi Hendrix and the Beatles psychadelic period among others. By far the most melodic piece on the new recording is ‘Right the wrong’ which sounds like a potential single with ‘Last man standing’ not far behind. There is a soulful ballad in ‘Once again’, while fans of Toto will hear some of his old band in ‘Creep motel’ (Toto are in fact undergoing a thirty-fifth anniversary tour this year). Hendrix would certainly have approved of the instrumental cut, a soulful guitar reworking of Charlie Chaplin’s ‘Smile’. It has to be said that while some of the material falls outside the remit of this review, notably the prog-rock feel of the title track, the blues-inflected sound on ‘Rest of the world’ is ideally suited and maybe this is an aspect of his repertoire that Steve Lukather would like to explore in more depth in future.

Tim Stenhouse