SOTO - 'Inside The Vertigo'
Jeff Scott Soto -vocals, songwriter, producer
Jorge Salán - lead guitar
BJ - keyboards, guitar
David Z - bass
Edu Cominato - drums
Gus G. - guest, guitar, songwriter
Jason Bieler - guest, guitar, songwriter
Mike Orlando - guest, guitar, songwriter
Joel Hoekstra - guest, guitar, songwriter
Casey Grillo - guest, songwriter
Connor Engstrom - guest, songwriter
Tony Dickinson - guest, songwriter
Léo Mancini - guest, songwriter
Hugo Mariutti - guest, songwriter
Gary Schutt - guest, songwriter
1.) "Final Say" - This track opens with a rhythm guitar riff. Underneath the rhythm guitar riff there is a bass drum and hi-hat pattern. To connect this section of the intro with the main intro there was a tom-tom pattern along with a lead guitar effect. There also was a vocal effect. There was a rhythm guitar change for the musical verse. Like always, Jeff's vocals are pure gold! There was a rhythm guitar change for the musical chorus. It sounded as if Jeff double-tracked his own backing vocals for the lyrical choruses. After the second chorus a second rhythm guitar kicks-in. The song was already intense however, this second guitar rhythm just intensified the song. The lead guitar solo starts slow then builds with intensity as it progressed. Underneath the last lyric line there was a lead guitar lick.
2.) "The Fall" - This track opens with a heavy metal blues riff over the top of a bass drum kick. After two measures there was a vocal accent that kicks the song in. After the vocal accent a second rhythm guitar kicks-in playing the same guitar arrangement as the first one. Wih both of these guitar rhythms together the song takes on a John 5 feel. Jeff sings several vocal accents before the musical verse. The musical verse had an industrial sound to it. There was a small snare drum fill connecting the musical verse with the musical chorus. There was an arrangement change for the musical chorus. Jeff's vocals on the chorus had a huge hook attached to them. After the second chorus there was a strange little lead guitar lick that lead to the third chorus. After the third chorus there was a rhythm guitar change that lead to the lead guitar solo section. After the solo there was a breakdown section.
3.) "Wrath" - This intro consisted of a Dimebag Darrell (August 20, 1966 – December 8, 2004)(Pantera) rhythm guitar riff. There was a couple lead guitar licks laced within between the rhythm guitar riffs. Underneath the guitar arrangements there were huge tom-tom pattern. The main intro kicks-in with a Jeff vocal accent. Over the top of the main intro section there was a minor lead guitar solo. For the musical verse both guitarists begin to play the same rhythm arrangement. The choruses for this track was kept very short and simple. The band used the same musical arrangement to connect the chorus with the second verse as the one they used for the intro section. After the second chorus there was a lead guitar solo. After the solo there was an arrangement change. This arrangement change lead to a second lead guitar solo section. After the second solo there was a repeat of the intro arrangement before going into the last chorus.
4.) "Break" - This track opens with a guitar effect. As the effect progresses the main intro section kicks-in. The main musical intro consisted of a very intense musical arrangement. The musical verse had a very abstract feel to it. There was a music arrangement change for the musical chorus. The highlight of the chorus was Jeff's vocal lines. To connect the first chorus with the second verse there was a switch from a standard hi-hat pattern to a tom-tom pattern. After the second chorus there was a twin lead guitar solo.
5.) "Narcissistically Yours" - This track opens with a very simple intro that included the entire band. There was a minor lead guitar solo over the top of the intro section. The minor solo lead to the musical verse. There was a musical arrangement change for the musical verse. The first five lyric lines had an abstract vocal sound to them. After these first five lyrics Jeff sings within his normal style. After the opening lyric line of the chorus there was an echo. After the second chorus there was a musical breakdown that consisted of a lead guitar solo over the top of it.
6.) "End Of Days" -This track opens with a choir piped through a keyboard. The musical intro opens with an amplified acoustic guitar arrangement. This guitar arrangement had a small echo attached to it. The drum and bass line kick-in underneath the opening lyric line. Up to this point on the release this is the closest thing Jeff has recorded that actually sounds like some of the stuff he has recorded on his last releases. After the first verse, there was a timing change where the drummer switches from a quarter-note hi-hat pattern to a sixteenth-note hi-hat pattern. Underneath the chorus, Jeff overdubbed a backing vocal. Over the top of the musical arrangement, connecting the first chorus with the second verse there was a choir arrangement. After the choir arrangement there was a very minor lead guitar solo. After the second chorus there was an intense musical change that consisted of a lead guitar solo. The band kept the intense musical arrangement for the third verse and fourth chorus. There was a tom-tom fill connecting the third verse with the fourth chorus. After the fourth chorus there was a musical change. Over the top of this musical change there was a small choir singing. The coda consisted of a small spoken vocal.
7.) "Inside The Vertigo" - This track opens with a keyboard arrangement followed by a bass line. The guitar arrangement underneath the lead vocal lines sounded like it was being played with a sitar effect. underneath the guitar there was a bass drum kick and tom-tom fill. After the second lyric line the song kicks-in. Though the guys kick-in a standard electric guitar arrangement it sounded as if they kept the underling sitar effect. There was a tom-tom fill connecting the verse with the chorus. The band really didn't change the chorus arrangement much. After the chorus there was a rhythm guitar change. This chorus lead to the lead guitar solo section. I thought the chorus after the solo was amazing! The coda was a repeat after the first opening bass line.
8.) "When I'm Older" - This track was very reminiscent to the Soto we are use to!!!
9.) "Trance" - The rhythm guitars of this intro had a very intense sound to them. The fourth and seventh lyric lines of the verse consisted of an echo. There was a couple huge lead vocal lines leading into the chorus. The lyrical chorus had a huge hook attached to it. There were two different rhythm guitar arrangements connecting the musical chorus with the musical verse. After the second chorus there was a lead guitar solo section. The musical arrangement underneath the solo had a very intense feel to it.
10.) "Jealousy" -This intro opens with a rhythm guitar riff. As the riff progresses the rest of the band kicks-in. There was an arrangement change underneath the first lyric line. Then after the first lyric line the rhythm guitar begins playing the same rhythm as the intro. The vocal lines of the chorus had a huge Soto hook attached to them. After the first chorus there was a lead guitar solo.
11.) "Karma's Kiss" - Before going into the musical verse this track opened with a rhythm guitar arrangement. There was an arrangement change underneath the lead vocal lines. At the end of the lead vocal lines there was a vocal echo. Jeff kept the chorus very simple. There was a minor lead guitar solo connecting the first verse with the first chorus. after the first chorus there was a second minor solo. The major lead guitar solo was after the second chorus. I believe this track just had one verse with the rest of the lyric lines being choruses.
12.) "Fall To Pieces" - This track is pure Jeff Scott Soto!!!!
Since becoming Yngwie Malmsteen's lead vocalist in 1984 on Malmsteen's first solo release titled 'Rising Force' released on March 5, 1984, Jeff has become one of the most respected lead vocalist within the rock 'n' roll nation. His vocal rage covers the gambit from heavy metal to artist such as Trans Siberian Orchestra, even doing a live stint with Journey after Steve Augeri had to leave the band because of an acute throat infection.
Though Jeff has released seven studio CD's 'Inside The Vertigo' is the first CD he has released under the moniker of SOTO. 'Inside The Vertigo' is a drastic musical change from anything Jeff has recorded with a band or solo. This will probably throw many long time fans for a loop. The first time I listened to it through me for a loop and I have been a fan since his Malmsteen days. This may not have been the wisest choice Jeff has made in his longtime career. However, he has deserved the right to try new avenues. For me the problem with this release was not so much the music or Jeff's vocals but rather the production value. I reviewed the CD listening to it with headphones and there were times when the music overshadowed Jeff's vocals. Personally, I do not feel you should have to adjust your equalizer to hear the vocals better. In this day and time with the economy being the way it is there are a lot better CD's to spend your hard earned money on.