VERTIGO (Frontier Records FRCD167) (2003)
The highly anticipated release that features ex-Toto vocalist Joseph
Williams along with Fabrizio V. Zee Grossi (Ice T/Cypress Hill/Steve Vai et
al) producer/bass/guitar/keys and Dokken guitarist Alex De Rosso amongst
others. Joseph Williams solo output has been mainly Westcoast AOR inn style
but on here he rocks out! Not quite metal but heavy melodic rock and plenty
of tuneful ballads as well.
Jim Peterik (World Stage/Survivor) and Kane Roberts (Alice Cooper) are
amongst the songwriters, indeed some are quite old tunes dusted down here,
including the excellent mid-tempo rocker 'Love Is Blind' (which appeared
on Uriah Heep's 1983 'Head First' album). 'Not Enough Hours In The
Night' roars out with a clean guitar riff, swirling keys and Williams
showing his rockier side vocal wise (the European edition features an
acoustic version of this song as its bonus track). In fact the guitar
features high in the mix on most songs, especially 'Never Let You Go'
with its hook filled chorus. But for those of mellower persuasion you're
well served by ballads including the Toto sounding 'When It Doesn't
Matter' complete with funky bass line. There is more of the Williams'
era Toto sound on 'Sarah'.
Well-crafted melodic rock/AOR, think the rock end of Toto meets Survivor
and state of the art production (aside from Williams vocals, Grossi is the
other star on here). Best summed up perhaps as the album Toto would have
made after 'The Seventh One' had Williams remained in the band.
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