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Articles Home » 2002 Articles » Soto, Jeff Scott - 2002 Prism
Soto, Jeff Scott - 2002 Prism

ARTIST: Soto, Jeff Scott
ALBUM: Prism
LABEL: Frontiers
YEAR: 2002


LINEUP: Vocals - Jeff Scott Soto * Lead Guitars - Gary Schutt, Howie Simon, Alex Llorens, Brian Young * Rhythm Guitars - Jay Michael, Mikos Scarbacci, George Bernhardt, Steve Acosta * Bass - Michael Scott, Jay Michael, Anthony Papa, Doug McRoy, Jeff Scott Soto * Keyboards - Sam Isanogud, Jeff Scott Soto * Drums - Alex Papa

TRACK LISTING: 01 Eyes Of Love * 02 Heaven Knows * 03 Don't Come Easy * 04 Don't Wanna Say Goodbye * 05 I Want To Take You Higher * 06 Holding On * 07 2 Late 4 Goodbye * 08 Til The End Of Time * 09 How Long * 10 Your Side * 11 Don't Walk Away * 12 Eyes Of Love (video)


It's a fact that they don't make melodic rock albums the way the used to back in the 1980's. A good proportion of today's releases are very standard affairs, with very little to distinguish one from the next. That's not to say most of them are particularly bad, they're just lacking that spark. It's an even sadder fact that, in some cases, those who once stood up as great figures in the melodic rock scene aren't even making the best use of their talents any more. The Hughes/Turner Project could have been so much better and Journey's 'Red 13' EP wins the coveted title of 'musical disappointment of 2002'! However, it's good to know that some people who have previously been great are still capable of releasing a first class album. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you.. Mr Jeff Scott Soto.

The Songs
Right from the beginning of 'Eyes of Love' with its big vocals and Takara-esque guitar riff, it's clear that 'Prism' is a great album. This track makes a solid opener and sets a very high standard for the rest of the album to follow, and 'Heaven Knows' proves this is an album with more going for it than a good opening number. This second track has a slightly more AOR feel and a classy vocal performance from Jeff. 'Don't Come Easy' (now, there's a classic AOR title) is again not too far removed from the lighter moments of Jeff's work with Takara, though it definitely comes with more of a traditional AOR slant with its catchy chorus. As with lots of classic melodic rock albums, track four - 'Don't Say Goodbye'- is a big power-ballad. In the future, this could be thought of as one of Jeff's greatest feats, thanks to another top vocal performance, backed by a great musical arrangement, no doubt due to a fine selection of session guys lending a helping hand. 'I Want To Take You Higher' is a cover of Sly and the Family Stone's legendary funk anthem. As far as this album is concerned, this track is definitely the weak link, but I can imagine, had this appeared on Jeff's last solo outing - the Prince fixated, funked-up 'Love Parade' - I would probably be raving about it by now! What it lacks in classy AOR qualities it makes up for by featuring a guest vocal from rock legend Glenn Hughes. 'Holding On' (which has been released as a single) returns the album back to classy AOR territory. This is a superb track.

'2 Late 4 Goodbyes' is damn near perfect. The first time I heard it, I had to pick my jaw up off the floor. It has all the magic ingredients which made a lot of 80s melodic rock so special and a chorus which should knock any self-respecting fan sideways. Throw in a solid guitar riff and add some keys for colour and a modern day classic is born. I can't think I'll ever get tired of hearing this one. The piano based balladry of 'Till The End Of Time' should also please many people, with JSS (ever the master vocalist) turning out yet another great performance. 'How Long' is rhythmically punchy during the verses, similar to some of the early Talisman material, but the chorus vocals again lean further towards classic AOR. After the previous power-ballads, it's only fair that the album should have a syrupy one too, and it comes in the shape of 'By Your Side', which is an acoustic based number and Jeff's voice really comes through here. He really is (still) one of melodic rock's premier talents. Another slower paced track, 'Don't Walk Away' closes the album and, again, hits the mark. Excellent musically and vocally.

In Summary
If you think I've overdone the praise here, check out the album for yourselves. It really is almost perfect. Many other bands/vocalists should take notes.

Related Articles
Soto, Jeff Scott - 2002 Prism
Soto, Jeff Scott - 2003 Live At The Gods 2002 (CD + DVD)

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#1 | Jez on June 16 2008 01:55:48
Another high quality release with JSS name stamped unmistakebly on it. The opening duo of 'Eyes Of Love & 'Heaven Knows'are both very good indeed and the rest ain't too shabby either. All in all highly recommended Melodic rock and one of 02's better releases.
#2 | george_the_jack on May 18 2011 00:03:42
An overlooked GEM from the past decade.Loved it from the very first time and I still play it in a regural basis.A MUST with capitals for every respected fan of melodic rock/AOR music of our days.
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