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JEFF SCOTT SOTO Essential Ballads
Frontiers (2006)

It still amazes me (and many others) how Jeff Scott Soto is not a bigger household name as he can sing in many styles and has a superb stage presence.

If Queen don't tour again with Paul Rodgers they should get JSS in smartish. Anyway, onto this collection of eighteen ballads, which includes three new songs of which the acoustic refrains of 'Through It All' is a real gem of a song.

Eighteen ballads in one sitting can seem a daunting prospect especially when you know JSS can rock/funk out with the best of them but with songs this good you can't go wrong.

Personal picks would be the Journey cover 'Send Her My Love', the slow builder 'Holding On' and the heartfelt 'If This Is The End'. Only '4U' is one to skip for me.

Musician wise you have some top draw talent including Howie Simon, Gary Schutt, Talisman's Jamie Borger and Ricky Phillips (Bad English/The Babys).

If you have yet to sample the delights of JSS I would suggest you try one of his excellent solo albums and/or Talisman's 'Truth' and 'Cats & Dogs' first, just so you get the full range of his musical talents.

For JSS fans this collection is worth getting for the three new songs alone plus the rather splendid Journey cover.


Review by Jason Ritchie

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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