Jeff Scott Soto – Retribution

Retribution (out now, Frontiers Music) is JEFF SCOTT SOTO’S sixth solo album and follow up to 2012’s Damage Control.  Anyone that knows Jeff’s solo work knows that it is powerful Melodic Hard Rock. He is a man of many talents, however, working with multiple bands and musicians in his 30+ years in the music industry. This record encompasses everything Jeff is known for in sound and style. Fans can’t possibly be disappointed.

The album starts off with the title track, “Retribution,” that comes at you full force with a heavy crunching guitar, played by Howie Simon, and thunderous drums by Edu Cominato. I have always enjoyed the tone and style of Jeff’s vocals in anything and everything he has done. He has a melodic and powerful voice that is very entrancing. The sound is full and heavy throughout, climaxing with an impressive guitar solo.  

The energy continues with “Inside/Outside.” The bass rings through strong and hard in this track, not wanting to be overlooked in the slightest. The beat of this song is almost pulsing during the chorus and is bombastic throughout. This is followed by two more high energy tunes, “Rage of the Year” with a driven guitar intro, and “Reign Again” which features additional musicians August Zadra and Stephen Sturm on guitar and Carlos Costa on bass.

“Feels Like Forever,” the first ballad of the album, calms the raging energy of the first four. Jeff takes on a more impassioned tone accompanied by harmonies in the chorus. Between the anguish in his voice and the passionate guitar solo by Simon it is sure to pull at the soul. The power returns with “Last Time” and “Bullet For My Baby.” The former seems to be a response of indignation to the previous track. The guitar solo follows this tone, sounding equally as fiery and impassioned.

“Song For Joey,” is another ballad and is probably the most subdued. This track was written for Jeff’s brother, Joey. Originally this was not intended to be released and only meant for his family and close friends to hear. However the song was very well received and he was encouraged to include it on the album. He now wants to extend this song to anyone who has lost someone they were close to. The pain and sadness is evident and well-read in his voice. The keyboard tone in this song is very angelic, and it will easily tug on the heartstrings.

Bringing the energy of the album up for the final time is “Breakout,” probably the heaviest, crunchiest track, and “Dedicate to You.” The disc then closes with “Autumn,” an acoustic love ballad that is a beautiful way to finish it off. This record has everything one could hope for from JEFF SCOTT SOTO: tracks that are energetic, powerful, and driven along with a few ballads that showcase his soulful, melodic voice. As stated earlier, Jeff is a man with many talents, and this album is no exception.

STANDOUT TRACKS: “Retribution”, “Feels Like Forever”, “Song For Joey”, “Dedicate to You”

RATING: 9/10


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