Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Retribution’


THE BAND:
Jeff Scott Soto – Vocals, Keyboards
Howie Simon – Guitar & Bass (except on “Reign Again” and “Song For Joey”)
Edu Cominato – Drums
August Zadra – Guitar on “Reign Again”
Stephen Sturm – Guitar on “Reign Again”
Carlos Costa – Bass on “Reign Again”
Paul Mendonca – Guitar, Keyboards & Bass on “Song For Joey”

 

 

TRACK FRAGMENTS:
1)” Retribution” – This track opens with the guitar, bass and drums all playing the same rhythm pattern.  The drum line consisted of three drum fills.  The first and third drum fill consisted of just the snare drum where the second consisted of a snare and tom-tom fill.  Over the top of the bass and drum line there was a very heavy rhythm guitar arrangement.  There was a musical rest that consisted of a rhythm guitar arrangement along with a keyboard pattern that connected the musical intro with the musical verse.  Howie used the same rhythm guitar arrangement for the musical verse as the one for the intro except he added a half-note to the end of the riff.  This allows the amazing drum line to be fully heard.  There was a drum fill connecting the musical verse with the musical chorus.  The musical chorus consisted of a rhythm arrangement change.  After the second chorus there was an amazing lead guitar solo.  The last few choruses along with the coda consisted of several lead guitar riffs over the to of the rhythm guitar. The musical along with Jeff’s lyrical arrangements of this song made this an amazing opening track!
2)”Inside/Out" - This intro consisted of a solid groove.  The song’s musical verse consisted of two different rhythm guitar arrangements.  After the fifth lyric line there was a bass line change.  There was a rhythm change for the musical chorus.  There was a tom-tom fill connecting the first chorus with the second chorus.  After the second chorus there was a one measure breakdown that lead to the lead guitar solo.  The lead guitar solo sounded like it was played by two guitarists.  Jeff’s vocals for the next verse had a Kelly Hanson formerly of the eighties hard rock band Hurricane and current singer of Foreigner.  There was a minor lead guitar solo over the top of the musical coda.
5)” Feels Like” –This song was an amazing Soto ballad!  Which I would have expected no less!
6)” Last Time” – This intro opens with a repeated rhythm that fades-in.  Underneath the riff as it progresses a snare/tom-tom drum pattern also fades-in.  After a couple of measures the guitar riff changes to the main intro arrangement.  After a quick listen the main rhythm guitar of the intro section reminded me of some of the guitar rhythms Robert Sarzo (former guitarist of Hurricane) played on Hurricane’s ‘Over The Edge’ released in October of 1988.  The main body of the intro consisted of two different rhythm guitar arrangements.  The drum line consisted of a shuffle pattern.  There was a snare/tom-tom fill connecting the musical intro with the musical verse.  There was a small drum fill leading into the opening lyric line.  There was a rhythm guitar change underneath the lyric lines.  The musical arrangement change along with the vocals gave the chorus a huge hook.  After the second chorus there was a very cool melodic lead guitar solo.  After the lead guitar solo there was a small breakdown section that consisted of a tom-tom pattern.  There was a minor lead guitar solo underneath the lyric lines of the last chorus.  The coda consisted of a repeated rhythm guitar riff.  This ending riff had a very melodic sound to it.
7)” Bullet For My Baby” – This intro opens with the rhythm guitar riff along with the bass line and tom-tom pattern all playing the same rhythm.  This was played twice.  After the second time through they carried the rhythm guitar note out.  There was a drum fill underneath the rhythm guitar. The musical arrangement for the musical intro consisted of a very nice hook.  The way the musical verse was written consisted with the rhythm guitar having several rests.  Because of these rhythm guitar rests, it allows the listener to get a chance to hear just how great of a vocalist Jeff Scott Soto is.  As a former musician I just feel in love with the way this intro was arranged.  The last rhythm guitar notes flow underneath each and throughout each lyric line.  There was a drum fill along with a very cool bass line connecting the musical verse with the musical chorus.  There was a rhythm arrangement change for the musical chorus.  Jeff kept the choruses for this song pretty simple.  You can tell especially on this song that Jeff done his own backing vocals.  The bass line for this track was awesome!!  The lead guitar solo for this song started off very melodic then as it progressed it got more intense and more intense.  The coda of this song blew me away!            
8)” Song For Joey” – Is a song written in tribute to Jeff’s brother who died in early 2017.  That’s really all that is needed to be said about this song.
9)” Breakout” – This intro opens with a snare drum fill.  Edu used a deeper snare drum.  This gave the fill a very thick heavy sound.  After the snare drum fill the rhythm guitar and bass kick-in.  The use of two rhythm guitars playing the same rhythm gave the intro a very heavy sound.  There was an early eighties Eddie Van Halen type lead guitar effect connecting the musical intro with the musical verse.  There was a rhythm arrangement change for the musical verse.  I’m not sure because the bass was turned up on this song however, I believe there are two different rhythm guitar arrangements.  If I counted laced in between the fourth, sixth, eighth and tenth lyric lines is a backing vocal.  There was an arrangement change for the musical chorus.  The Eddie lead guitar effect that connected the intro with the verse also connected the chorus with the second verse.  After the second chorus there was a couple drum fills that lead to the lead guitar solo.  The lead guitar solo for this song was the best solo on the release.  Underneath the Jeff’s vocal lines of the fourth chorus there are little Eddie Van Halen style lead guitar licks.   
10)” Fells Like Forever” (Acoustic) – Same as track five only played with an acoustic guitar along with a shaker percussion instrument.
11.)” Dedicate To You” – This was one hell of a Jeff Scott Soto song!!!!  As far as his solo stuff goes this song this maybe the best song he has ever written!!!
12)” Autumn” – Just another amazing ballad!

 

    Not only does he have this new solo release out however he is also fronting the band Sons of Apollo. Then early next year we are expecting to see a new W.E.T. CD come out and those are just the projects that we know about. When does he find the time to rest? Of the Jeff Scott Soto solo releases, I have to say ‘Retribution’ is by far my favorite. Since Yngwie Malmsteen’s first solo release titled, ‘Rising Force’ released on March 5, 1984. Jeff Scott Soto is one of the most sought-after vocalist in the world of rock and heavy metal. Just to show you how sought after and requested he is ‘Retribution’ just marks his seventh full-length solo release. With that being said, ‘Retribution’ released through Frontiers Records may be the best solo CD Jeff has released. The album consists of twelve well balanced tracks of hard rockers to huge melodic ballads. The songwriting on this album is some of the best I have heard him write. Just take track eight as an example. What is there to say about this other than it is a perfect!!!!