Reviewed: March 2008
Released: 2008, Frontiers Records/Zink Music
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
Mr. Lukather doesn’t need any introduction after the many decades he has been in the music industry. Besides his time in Toto, he’s also released several solo albums. EVER CHANGING TIMES is his third solo album containing vocals (the others have been strictly instrumental). It’s been 10 years since his last vocal-inclusive album, so this may be long-awaited by some fans. Lukather says “I thought it was time to rock again and sing.”
Lukather delivers melodic rock on the lighter and more melodic side, but there are a few tracks that are a little heavier and contain a little more ruff guitar playing along with Lukather’s trademark: fusion rock and a row with ballads. Lukather himself thinks that the album rocks harder than Toto but there’s enough melodic stuff on it to please any Toto fan. I think the sound of the album is pretty much like Toto in most ways. The main difference between this solo album and a Toto album is that Lukather doesn’t sing in Toto.
Lukather wrote a few of the songs with Randy Goodrum and two others with his son, Trevor. Lukather certainly knows what he’s doing when it comes to the instrumental parts; most of the music is slick, well-produced easy listening melodic rock from the lighter school. Most of the songs are in the same tempo and to be honest I was really bored the first time I listened to the disc. This is music for middle-aged bald bureaucratic men that want to go crazy on the weekend and put on Lukather.
It’s hard to pick out any favorite songs amongst these weak options; however, I find “Ever Changing Times”, “New World” and “Ice Bound” to be the strongest competitors for the killer track trophy. Those are a little harder and edgier and the lead vocals deserve to be acknowledged. The most dreadful song on the disc is “Jamming with Jesus” which is totally out of control. It’s a weird combination of funk, melodic rock and gospel choirs and it must be the strangest song I’ve heard so far this year. It falls totally out of the album’s scope and brings it down.
The strongest feature on this album is that the production is flawless. The rest of the album is sometimes a big question mark to me, but if you’re a fan of either Toto or Lukather’s previous solo albums I’ll bet you’ll dig this as well. But for me, it’s not an album I’d put on when I want my party to start.
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