JEFF SCOTT SOTO – The Duets Collection Vol. 1
Jeff Scott Soto is an incredibly talented musician/songwriter and what better than having him team up with such excellent vocalists as Eric Martin, Alirio Netto, Mats Leven, Renan Zonta, Erik Martensson, and Johnny Gioeli among others for an album’s worth of big, vibrant hard rock tunes?
From melodic hard rock to something heavier and more anthemic, these eleven compositions nicely highlight and illustrate just how skilled Soto and his cohorts are, and it does sound as if they are having a good time rocking out together. While it does not contain any future classics, tracks such as "Mysterious" and "Again 2 Be Found" are earworms and boast good riffs and even better vocal melodies. The loose and groovy "Callin’ All Girls" is great fun too as is the fast-paced metal cut titled "Livin’ the Life". "Don’t Let It End" almost sounds like something that W.A.S.P. could have cooked up back in the 80s, which is cool, but the best of the bunch is the aggressive and epic "Warrior" featuring Gioeli on vocals. On the other hand, "Believe in Me" and "Coming Home" are filler material and quickly forgotten, so there are a couple of duds to be found here too.
One very positive aspect of this offering is that it is neither polished nor slick but rather more organic and rougher around the edges than most other releases by Frontiers. I must have listened to it a dozen times now and it puts a smile on my face every time, which is to say that it is an uplifting listening experience not to mention a musically diverse one thanks to all the vocalists involved.