Talisman – ‘7’ (2006) – Album Review (The Jeff Scott Soto Series)

Talisman didn’t waste any time between their last studio album, ‘Cats & Dogs’, and this one, ‘7’. It is amazing they had time to even do an album as Jeff Scott Soto’s schedule was quite busy with his solo album & touring, his work with Soul SirkUS and then his stint as lead singer of Journey. It was a hectic and crazy schedule. Somehow they did it. The band was back together with Jeff, Marcel Jacob, Frederik Akesson and Jamie Borger and heck, even Pontus Norgren was there to help mix the album. The family was back for one last hurrah as it would turn out as this is the very last studio album by Talisman. A few years later, there were talks of doing another album, but before they could get to it, Marcel Jacob passed away in 2009. This was the end of Talisman and I still get sad thinking of it as I really do enjoy this band.

The original title of the album was called ‘BAR’ which was an inside joke with the band as it stood for ‘Bitter-Angry-Resentful’ which apparently was their outlook on certain life events…who knows if that is true, but I like it. They settled on ‘7’ which is actually the 7th Studio album of the band and they chose the theme of Lucky 7 with all the gambling pictures and Vegas pictures in the album artwork. The album was released on October 20, 2006 by Frontiers Records and they intended to do a tour with the release, but Jeff’s Journey commitment kept getting in the way. The tour was postponed until later in 2007 and by that time, Jeff was let go from Journey as we discussed in the last post. No need to rehash that story. We might as well talk music.

The album kicks off with the most upbeat, happiest guitars with a killer riff at a tempo that will have you flying down the road at 100mph if you are in your car. “Falling” is a modern sounding song while still holding on to the great melodic rock sound. There are keyboards in there (not credited) that really add a great punch to the song. I don’t know how Jamie Borger keeps up the pace he is going pounding those drums. It might be the fastest song they’ve done. Jeff sounds great and the melodies in the song are wonderful. What an astounding opening track.

“Nowhere Fast” opens with a wicked bass line as only Marcel can do. This track is more straight-up melodic rock as it is full of hooks and a very catchy chorus. The verses are heavily funk influenced as we know Jeff loves his funk and with Marcel’s bass, how can you not funk it up. The chorus will grab hold and you won’t get it out of your head. And the solo by Fredrik is so subtle and plays perfectly for the song. Really nice.

Funk seems to be a common theme as “Rhyme or Reason” brings those elements as well. Marcel continues to out do himself with his playing. Jeff’s vocals are very soulful in the verses, almost R&B like and very different approach than normal. Jeff vocals start to soar and the next thing you know your are in the chorus and now hanging on for the ride. Back on their album, ‘Life’, they did a cover of Seal’s “Crazy” and that bassline feels like the grove that we have here. It is pretty cool.

Damn! Marcel is just attacking the bass and beating the crap out of it to start “End of the Line”. Jeff’s vocals are so aggressive and the song is so heavy that I guess this the Angry part of the original album title ‘BAR’. The most rocking song on the album and listening to the drum work by Jamie, he’s is tearing up the skins and then Fredrik tops it all off with a blistering solo. What a freaking beast of a song.

Things slow down a little with “The 1 I’m Living 4”. Starts off with some fancy guitar picking and then Jeff’s vocals are toned down yet so smooth, almost sounds effortlessly done. They specifically set out to write a couple great ballads and this is definitely one. It is your power ballad but with a little more of today’s sound. A strong effort and a favorite of mine as far as their ballads go.

“On My Way” comes at you like a distant memory. It sounds so familiar and feels like an old friend. The upbeat, happy shuffle feeling of the music will get you moving. The chorus is so contagious and you swear you’ve heard it before as you pick it up and sing along easily by the second chorus. It reminds of the 80’s but drenched in today as well.

Then we get another ballad with “Forevermore” and this one is really cheesy. A little too overly dramatic and cliched for my liking. It sounds contrived and forced and time to hit skip.

The funk is back with “Succumb 2 My Desire” as the bass is very prominent. Jeff attacks with full confidence and even talks the lyrics at times. He builds the intensity and lets out a scream near the end. Nothing like a good scream. I like when they go funk as it sounds like they are having so much fun and this song fits that mark. A funky, rocking track that will get you groovin’ and having a good time.

“Shed a Tear Goodbye” has an electronic, funk opening, but Jeff doesn’t sing it like funk. He is very melodic and then the song goes full on melodic rock. Well, maybe it is more pop rock. There is a radio friendly AOR sound that fits nice on the album as they do give us a variety of sounds and styles. It is more of what we love about the band.

Then the band goes a little reggae with “Troubled Water”. And talk about different, I don’t think they’ve ever done anything like this before. Some keyboards are in here giving a weird sound effect like a mild ‘Electric Avenue’ vibe. When the chorus hits, it is a little too upbeat, electronic sound and comes across as cheesy. I don’t mind a band trying new things, but this one misses the mark for me.

The final track is “Back 2 the Feeling” is another ballad. This one really tries to pull at the heart-strings as Jeff is singing with so much emotion and when the chorus kicks in there is such a seriousness to it, very dramatic with the music (but not overly dramatic – just the right touch). There is something special about it and I can’t put my finger on it. An emotional, heart-wrenching track.

Track Listing:

  1. Falling – Keeper
  2. Nowhere Fast – Keeper
  3. Rhyme or Reason – Keeper
  4. End of the Line – Keeper
  5. The 1 I’m Living 4 – Keeper
  6. On My Way – Keeper
  7. Forevermore – Delete
  8. Succumb 2 My Desire – Keeper
  9. Shed a Tear Goodbye – Keeper
  10. Troubled Water – Delete
  11. Back 2 the Feeling – Keeper

The Track Score is 9out 11 or 82%.  Since this turned out to be their last studio album, what a way to go out.  There was no dialing it in here as the boys really put out a well-focused album that gives Talisman fans a taste of everything we love about the band. I had only discovered them a few years earlier, so for me it was awful that it seemed to end so fast, but I did have all their albums to look back on and I have done that fondly.  Appreciating them more with each listen. The only negatives were too many ballads and they tried to be a little too experimental one song, but otherwise, it is a stellar release and won’t disappoint.  My Overall Score is a 4.0 out of 5.0 Stars.  A nice end to an amazing ride.

Since this was the last Talisman Studio album, let us jump right in and rank all 7 studio albums.

UP NEXT: TALISMAN – THE ALBUMS RANKED WORST TO FIRST

THE JEFF SCOTT SOTO SERIES:

  1. Panther – ‘Panther’ (1986) – recorded in 1984
  2. Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force – ‘Rising Force’ (1984)
  3. Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force – ‘Marching Out’ (1985)
  4. Kuni – ‘Lookin’ For Action’ (1988)
  5. Kryst the Conqueror – ‘Deliver Us From Evil’ (1989) / ‘Soldiers of Light: The Complete Recordings (2019)
  6. Eyes – ‘Eyes’ (1990)
  7. Eyes – “Nobody Said It Was Easy” (1990) – 7″ Single – Bonus Edition
  8. Talisman – ‘Talisman’ (1990)
  9. Talisman – “I’ll Be Waiting” (1990) – 7″ Single – Bonus Edition
  10. Skrapp Mettle – ‘Sensitive’ (1991)
  11. Axel Rudi Pell – ‘Eternal Prisoner’ (1992)
  12. Bakteria – ‘Deficate! Suffocate! Mutilate! Masturbate!’ (1992 / 2009)
  13. Eyes – ‘Windows of the Soul’ (1993)
  14. Talisman – ‘Genesis’ (1993)
  15. Axel Rudi Pell – ‘The Ballads’ (1993)
  16. Biker Mice From Mars – ‘Biker Mice From Mars (Soundtrack)’ (1993)
  17. Takara – ‘Eternal Faith’ (1993)
  18. Talisman – ‘5 Out Of 5 (Live in Japan)’ (1994)
  19. Talisman – ‘Humanimal’ (1994)
  20. Axel Rudi Pell – ‘Between the Walls’ (1994)
  21. Gary Schutt – ‘Sentimetal’ (1994)
  22. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Love Parade’ (1994)
  23. Axel Rudi Pell – ‘Made in Germany (Live)’ (1995)
  24. Takara – ‘Taste of Heaven’ (1995)
  25. Talisman – ‘Life’ (1995)
  26. Axel Rudi Pell – ‘Black Moon Pyramid’ (1996)
  27. Human Clay – ‘Human Clay’ (1996)
  28. Talisman – ‘Best of’ (1996)
  29. Axel Rudi Pell – ‘Magic’ (1997)
  30. Human Clay – ‘U4IA’ (1997)
  31. Boogie Knights – ‘Welcome to the Jungle Boogie’ (1997)
  32. Takara – ‘Blind in Paradise’ (1998)
  33. Talisman – ‘Truth’ (1998)
  34. ‘Rock Star: Music from the Motion Picture (Soundtrack)’ – Various Artists (2001)
  35. Humanimal – ‘Humanimal’ (2002)
  36. Humanimal – Find My Way Home: Limited Edition E.P. (2002)
  37. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Holding On E.P.’ (2002)
  38. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Prism’ (2002)
  39. Talisman – ‘Live at Sweden Rock Festival’ (2002)
  40. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘JSS Live at the Gods 2002’ (2003)
  41. Talisman – ‘Cats & Dogs’ (2003)
  42. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Believe in Me E.P.’ (2004
  43. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Lost in the Translation’ (2004)
  44. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Live at the Queen Convention 2003’ (2004)
  45. Soul SirkUS – ‘World Play’ (2004/2005)
  46. Talisman – ‘Five Men Live’ (2005)
  47. Talisman – ‘World’s Best Kept Secret DVD (2005)
  48. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Essential Ballads’ (2006)
  49. Journey – ‘Live from Atlanta (Bootleg)’ (2006)
  50. Talisman – ‘7’ (2006)
  51. Talisman – The Albums Ranked Worst to First
  52. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘B-Sides’ (2006)
  53. Redlist – ‘Ignorance’ (2007)
  54. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Beautiful Mess’ (2009)
  55. Jeff Scott Soto – “21st Century” / “Gin & Tonic Sky” CD Single (2009) – Bonus Edition
  56. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘One Night in Madrid’ (2009)
  57. Trans-Siberian Orchestra – ‘Night Castle’ (2009)
  58. W.E.T. – ‘W.E.T.’ (2009)
  59. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Live at Firefest 2008’ (2010)
  60. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Damage Control’ (2012)
  61. W.E.T. – ‘Rise’ (2013)
  62. W.E.T. – ‘One Live in Stockholm’ (2014)
  63. Jeff Scott Soto – The Authorized Biography (2014)
  64. SOTO – ‘Inside the Vertigo’ (2015)
  65. Joel Hoekstra’s 13 – Dying to Live (2015)
  66. SOTO – ‘Divak’ (2016)
  67. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Retribution’ (2017)
  68. Sons of Apollo – ‘Psychotic Symphony’ (2017)
  69. W.E.T. – ‘Earthrage’ (2018)
  70. SOTO – ‘Origami’ (2019)
  71. Sons of Apollo – ‘Live With the Plovdiv Psychotic Symphony’ (2019)
  72. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Wide Away (In My Dreamland)’ (2020)
  73. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Live and Loud in Milan 2019’ (2020)
  74. Sons of Apollo – ‘MMXX’ (2020)
  75. SOTO – ‘Revision’ (2020)
  76. W.E.T. – ‘Retransmission’ (2021)
  77. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘The Duets Collection, Vol. 1’ (2021)
  78. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Complicated’ (2022)
  79. Ellefson/Soto – ‘Vacation in the Underground’ (2022)
  80. Jeff Scott Soto / Jason Bieler – Live In Concert (2022) – Bonus Edition

13 thoughts on “Talisman – ‘7’ (2006) – Album Review (The Jeff Scott Soto Series)

    1. I know, a year in to it and only at 2006. I’m currently writing 2009 and I have 5 from that year alone. I will finish in June/July based on what I have left to do. I think I have 25-26 left.

      Like

  1. There’s some good stuff on this one. It has been more than a minute since I’ve heard it, back when it came out I used to get stacks of promo stuff from a friend that worked in radio and Frontiers was always in the stacks. Shame that it’s the last one.

    Liked by 1 person

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