Admittedly I got onboard the JEFF SCOTT SOTO train late in life. Not that I didn’t respect him for his huge body of work and as a singer, I just never looked any further. Well that all changed with the birth of A&GS. Between his solo stuff, SOTO, and SONS OF APOLLO believe me when I tell you I quickly went all in, especially after seeing him perform live in 2018. So here we are with yet another record in the form of Wide Awake (In My Dreamland), out now on Frontiers Music, his seventh solo effort. Does this man ever stop? The answer to that, some 85 albums into his career would be a “Hard no!” And ya know what? I am here for it, gimme it all!
Collaborating with Frontiers jack-of-all-trades Alessandro Del Vecchio, Soto opts to incorporate many of his influences along with shades of his past work to deliver an album that leans slightly more into the Melodic Hard Rock lane this time around, and the songs are catchy. Case in point is “Love’s Blind,” easily my favorite on the whole thing. The build-up from verse to chorus is great, and the guitar solo flows like a fine wine. Opener “Someone to Love” is pretty much an exercise in How to Start a Rock Record Right 101, so you already know you’re in for a good time.
Title track “Wide Awake (In My Dreamland)” has a sidewinder riff and whiskey-tinged groove that I guarantee the fans will eat like candy; I sure did. “Love Will Find a Way” instantly reminded me of being a teenager back in 1989 and jamming stuff that sounded like this on my classic Walkman while in my room, so call that one a winner. Oh, and let’s talk “Paper Wings.” A bonafide rockin’ tune, this is another one I instantly loved. Meanwhile “Between the Lines” is gorgeous. And if all of this isn’t enough, we also get a bonus live album recorded at Frontiers Rock Festival in 2019, an 11-track blistering set you simply must hear!
With Wide Awake (In My Dreamland), JEFF SCOTT SOTO has done it once again. And that should surprise exactly no one. A true pro at what he does (sing his fucking ass off), he has given us another collection of killer songs to rock out to. Plus a live disc with killers like “Drowning”, “Soul Divine”, and Holy Mother of Satan, “Stand Up”?!? Oh Hell yeah!! Go get your copy today, plug in, and enjoy!
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Paper Wings”, “Love Will Find a Way”, “Love’s Blind”, “Someone to Love”, “Wide Awake (In My Dreamland)”, “Between the Lines”