Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Steve Lukather - All's Well That Ends Well album review
Steve Lukather – 'All’s Well That Ends Well' album review
Released on: Mascot Records. Release date: Available everywhere now!
Steve Lukather or simply Luke to most people that know the guy and his work, is a musician that I have nothing but the utmost respect for and time. When I interviewed him a couple of years back, he was a true gent and helpful with my questions, to a fault!
I’ve met the guy a couple of other times too and he’s a smashing guy, can be very funny too.
His previous solo albums have varied here and there, but for the most part are great pieces of work and his last, 'Ever Changing Times,' I simply could not stop playing it!
Sadly for Luke, he’s just had a really rough, tough year on a personal level leading up to the release of this album 'All's Well That Ends Well' and what has gone on he’s managed to capture a lot of, on this album too.
The release dates on this album, I must say have been a little strange with the European release of this back in September / October time, then in North America it was made available as a download around late November and finally, it’s now available in stores!
OK, I have to admit that when I first got this I could not get into it and possibly for me, that was maybe a) my own frame of mind at the time or b) that I had been listening to a lot of really catchy hook laden material and Luke’s solo work, does not always follow that path and sometimes can take a little getting into, but there is never any doubt about the mans playing ability.
With this album, as with 'Ever Changing Times,' Luke has written the bulk of the material along with CJ Vanston and the few other songs with old friends Fee Waybill (The Tubes), band mate Steve Weingart and Randy Goodrum.
Starting with ‘Darkness In My World’ that perhaps is so apt for summing up the previous year and it starts very atmospherically, before getting into it’s groove and it captures both the best of Luke’s ability as reflected in his solo work and with Toto, with such fine musicianship. Sweet solo too, just class!
'On My Way Home,' as on 'Ever Changing Times,' allows Luke to pay his respects to a degree to the smoothness of Steely Dan. He makes no secrets of his admiration of both Donald Fagen and Walter Becker during the verses, before picking up some in the choruses. Very slick Luke.
A soulful start for ‘Can’t Look Back’ in the opening verse before kicking in with the pre-chorus and the chorus rocks out in a big way, big hooks, catchy indeed! The solo is one of his best and Eddie Van Halen could easily wish he’d done it! Some great playing indeed!
‘Don’t Say It’s Over’ wouldn’t be out of place on a Toto record, but as Luke said to me in that interview at a point where I said something in his solo work sounded very Toto like, his response, ‘Well it should, ‘cos that’s me right there too!’ So true Luke.
Power ballad territory for sure.
To ‘Flash in the Pan’ next and it’s a fun and funky tune, still with good hooks and co-written with Tubes man Fee Waybill, on just how short your career could be these days in the entertainment world . You just have to listen to the lyrics, great lines guys, funny!
The laid back groove of the excellent ‘Watching the World’ has almost a nod to the Beatles perhaps, but for me it’s so much more than that. It’s just a really nice multi-layered track that once more is beautifully smooth.
It’s an almost jazzy funky edge to ‘You’ll Remember’ through the verses before the chorus comes in big and then for the solo Luke just takes it somewhere else altogether and that’s his ability altogether. Some wonderfully deft keyboard touches from Steve Weingart here too.
Throughout this album the level of musicianship is exactly what you’d expect, just simply excellent.
Great vocal harmonies all over it as well from some great guest musical colleagues, just helps to emphasize things yet more.
The last vocal track on here is ‘Brody’s,’ which the lyric is obviously based around an interesting bar that Luke has discovered at some point in time and there’s interesting (And amusing!) lines here. There is of course excellent playing here with some great guitar interplay.
Final track is instrumental ‘Tumescent,’ which is a co-write across his band mates and really gives us some variety where once more Steve Weingart shines alongside Luke.
You can’t take anything away though from the other players here, CJ Vanston who aside from co-writing so much here, provides other keyboards and ‘atmospherics’ that I probably could have mentioned more of on here, as there’s plenty present!
The rhythm section is the fine guys that people would’ve caught on the Ever Changing Times tour, in Carlitos Del Puerta on bass and the fantastic Eric Valentine on drums. Luke also had Lenny Castro throw in some percussive help and then on backing vocals, how about this: Joseph Williams (Ex-Toto, Vertigo), Phil Collen (Def Leppard), daughter Tina Lukather and old mate Fee Waybill too.
His son Trevor Lukather, who was also on his last album, is back once more again here on guitar, so impressive stuff indeed!
Luke has done well again, yes, the album did grow on me and yes, I like it a lot! Nice one Luke!
Rating: 4 out of 5
Official website: http://www.stevelukather.net/