My Sunday Song – “Humanimal” by Talisman

For My Sunday Song #290, we are talking through the song “Humanimal” off the Talisman album ‘Humanimal’. The song is one of those songs that grabbed hold of me instantly and I was totally in love with this song and that feeling has never changed. I found the song because of Jeff Scott Soto and my quest to get everything he sang on and the song, along with album, are one of my favorites. The song was written by the late Marcel Jacob of the band. It is one of the few times it is just him and not both he and Jeff.

The song seems to be about the fact that no matter what we try and do, our inner instincts are to be predator and an outright animal. Underneath are facade is a little savagery, a little cruelty, a little greed. No matter how good we might be on the outside, this animal instinct is always lying underneath the surface, ready to strike, ready to emerge and be set free. And you know, he isn’t wrong as humans can be the cruelest animal to walk the face of the Earth.

Musically, the song sounds just as savage as the lyrics suggest. It is hard and heavy with pounding of the drums by Jamie Borger, the incredible bass work by Marcel Jacobs and the blistering guitar riffs and shredding by Fredrik Akesson. The attack the song with such brutal force that you are overwhelmed by the aggressive nature of the sounds, but you are engrossed by them as well. They grab hold and drive through every inch of your soul. Jeff Scott Soto’s vocals are equally aggressive, but so smooth and melodic that you find it familiar and satisfying. It is catchy and you can’t but join in and singalong. It drives that animal in you out in to the open.

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My Sunday Song – “Memories of You” by Kuni

For My Sunday Song #289, we are going deep with a cut called “Memories of You” from a band Jeff Scott Soto was in back in 1988 called Kuni. Soto was able to land a gig with the Japanese guitar virtuoso, Kuni, after his stint with Yngwie Malmsteen. The rest of the band included Mike Terrana on Drums, who played with Yngwie and Beau Nasty, as well as Douglas Taylor Baker on Bass, who also wound up playing with Beau Nasty. The album was called “Lookin’ For Action’ and that album had plenty of action on it.

The song is sad as our singer sits with a picture in his hand of a love gone wrong. They loved so deeply and he doesn’t understand what went wrong and why their love died. But it did and all he is stuck with is his memories. He is wondering if she feels the same way. Is she feeling the pain he is feeling. Is she missing him as much as he misses her. We don’t ever get the answer, just a beautiful song.

This is one of my favorite songs on the record (and there are a lot on this album), “Memories of You”, was written by Cary Sharef. It also might be Jeff’s best performance on the album. It is a power ballad or as close as you can get with Kuni, maybe a little heavier than what you’d expect for one, but works like one as the chorus is hooky and layered with tons of backing vocals. Soto shows off his range here and hits notes that will shatter glass. And don’t worry, every power ballad has a killer guitar solo and this one is no different. It starts off slow and then Kuni rips you a new one. He is a brilliant player and could shred with the best of them. This is also a big part of why I like this song.

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My Sunday Song – “Watch the Fire” by W.E.T.

For My Sunday Song #288, we are going to tackle another song from the band W.E.T. This time around we are going to discuss “Watch the Fire” which is the opening track off their 2018 album ‘Earthrage’. If you remember from the earlier post, W.E.T. is comprised of Robert Sall of the band Work of Art, Erik Martensson of the band Eclispse and Jeff Scott Soto from the band Talisman. Take the first initial of each band and you have W.E.T. It also has 2 other members Magnus Henriksson and Robban Back. All are on the label Frontiers Records who brought the super group together. 

The song was written by Johan Becker, Miqael Persson and Erik Martensson. It is a dark song in that the person the song is about has been burned bad by either a girlfriend or it could be anyone as it doesn’t really delve into the who or what actually happened. All we know is the person has been deceived, lied to and hurt this person badly. The person is angry and telling those that hurt him that their day will come. Karma will catch up and when it does, he will be there to watch the fire and watch them burn. Doesn’t sound like he will throw any water on them to help them out, just gladly watch them burn. I would say he is pissed.

Musically, it is a hard, melodic rock song and what I love about it is that the vocals are shared with Erik and Jeff whose voices compliment each other so well. It is a catchy chorus and and when you hear Soto you instantly connect and find yourself singing along instantly. The guitars are crunchy, the keyboards give it an even more melodic feel and the drums pound throughout. It is a modern rock song that is drenched in the old 80’s sound and I feel this could’ve been huge back in the day. Soto’s vocals are always on point with W.E.T. and I love the range he shows and how smooth his vocals can be. They are enticing and downright amazing in my book. One of my favorite groups he has been in as they are all so talented and the music is melodic which is what I love.

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My Sunday Song – “Coming Home” by Sons of Apollo

For My Sunday Song #287, we are going to discover the first single from one of the most talented bands Jeff Scott Soto has been in. The song is “Coming Home” and it is off the album ‘Psychotic Symphony’ from the band Sons of Apollo. Why do I say most talented, let’s look at the players. Obviously you have Jeff Scott Soto on vocals or this post wouldn’t be happening, but you also have Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal on guitar, Billy Sheehan on bass, Derek Sherinian on keyboards and Mike Portnoy on drums. It don’t get much better than this. This song was the world’s introduction to the band and what a statement they made with it.

Normally, I go in to the song meanings before I get in to the music, but I can’t wait to talk about the music. That opening keyboard riff by Derek Sherinian is classic and brutal. If you expected the album to be all prog rock, you’d be wrong. This song is pure Hard Rock reminiscent of Van Halen but maybe even heavier. Bumblefoot’s effortless riffs dance throughout the song, Sheehan’s bass gives us a new sound from what you’d expect from Billy and it adds so much groove to the song. And you can’t forget Portnoy’s drums which are as immense and immersive as you’ve ever gotten from him. It is pure power! Speaking of power, Jeff Scott Soto attacks the vocals and they are filled with such anger and intensity that you feel it throughout your body and those screams are piercing and yet so beautifully done. This was so unexpected and totally amazing and you have to hear it to believe it.

And what does the song mean, who cares. Just put it on repeat and let the abundance of sound fill every void of your body and rock the hell out of you. Each time you hear it, there is something you hadn’t heard before as there is so much going on musically you can’t help but be blown away.

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My Sunday Song – “One Love” by W.E.T.

For My Sunday Song #286 is the song “One Love” by the Jeff Scott Soto band called W.E.T. What is W.E.T.? Well, it is comprised of Robert Sall of the band Work of Art, Erik Martensson of the band Eclispse and Jeff Scott Soto from the band Talisman. Take the first initial of each band and you have W.E.T. It also has 2 other members Magnus Henriksson and Robban Back. All are on the label Frontiers Records who brought the super group together. The song is off the debut album from 2009 album simply called ‘W.E.T.’. What many were afraid would be a one album deal has turned in to four album and a live album album. A legit band.

The song “One Love” was written by Erik Martensson and Vivien Searcy and is simply about that one true love. Despite all the temptations out on the road, he knows he will never find someone like her and that she is his rock. Here love is what sustains him and she is that miracle sent form heaven. It is really sweet.

The song itself is a power ballad and a pretty great modern version of one. It opens with keyboards from Erik who also handles all rhythm guitar duties. The lead guitar and solo are from Magnus and it fits the song so well. The drums are from Robban and for some reason Mr. Sail is not on the lead for this one. Musically, it is pure melodic rock gold. However, the highlight are those smooth vocals from Jeff. He really delivers and emotional, heartfelt song that matches the lyrics. You can hear from these high notes the man has some pipes and can sing about anything. If this was released in the 80’s, this ballad would’ve been top of the charts. It is infectious, catchy and simply beautiful. Man, if Jeff would’ve stayed in Journey and they released an album, this is what it would sound like.

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My Sunday Song – “Outta My Way” by Talisman

For My Sunday Song #285, we are talking about the song “Outta My Way” by Talisman and another great Jeff Scott Soto song. The song was written by Marcel Jacob and Jeff Scott Soto and was off their stellar 2003 album ‘Cats & Dogs’. This was my gateway in to the band and might be the first one I bought. From there, it went nuts when it came to Talisman.

The song is an angry track and just seems to be about a guy that is ready to snap. He just needs that one push to send him over the edge and if he does, you better watch out as he will explode. It is as simple as that.

Musically, the song is explosive. It has a quick one two banging opening straight in to a Marcel Jacob bass solo then Jamie Borger goes ballistic on the drums with Fredrik Akesson throws down some stellar riffs. Soto attacks the vocals with so much angst and anger and you can feel the tension like he is going to explode. The song is a fireball of energy and its frantic pace is non-stop throughout. There is a great instrumental piece in the middle where Marcel and Fredrik trade bass and guitar licks back and forth and I love it. This song is a shining example why they were so great.

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My Sunday Song – “The Fall” by SOTO

For My Sunday Song #284, we are going to discuss the song from Jeff Scott Soto’s metal band called Soto. The song is called “The Fall” and was written by Jeff along with fellow TSO member Tony Dickinson. The album is ‘Inside the Vertigo’ and the song were released in 2015 and was originally intended to be a solo album, but since the album had a band vibe and the sound was so much heavier than anything he had done recently, he went with SOTO as a band.

“The Fall” is an angry song. Someone has hurt him badly and stabbed him in the back and he isn’t having it. He is fighting back and letting them know he has it out for them and he can’t wait for them to fall from the graces and fall flat on their face. It sounds like it was someone famous as the line “Fame and Fortune/Big Star Everywhere/One more big talk millionaire” leads me to believe that. I don’t know who it is and can’t find where he has said but I wonder if it is Neal Schon who dropped him from Journey and I don’t know if they talk anymore. But I am purely speculating and have no real clue. Purely a guess. It could be anyone.

Musically, the song is just as angry. It is some of the heaviest work Jeff has done. There is a very modern metal vibe with hints of Marilyn Manson in the guitar which is handled by Chris Feener and Tony Dickinson. Jeff’s vocals are as aggressive as the music. You can hear the anger and his screams are intense and powerful. If you need an album to wake you up, this one would do it. It is balls-to-the-wall aggression and when you are done you are ready to punch someone in the face!!

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My Sunday Song – “New Position” by Soul Sirkus

For My Sunday Song #283, we are going to dissect the song “New Position” by Soul Sirkus which was a Jeff Scott Soto side project with Neal Schon (Journey), Marco Mendoza (The Dead Daisies) and Virgil Donati on drums. They had only one album called ‘World Play’ back in 2005. If you get the European edition of the release, there is a DVD with the video for the song as well. The song was technically a single, but I don’t know if it charting.

The song was written by Neal Schon and Jeff Scott Soto. It is seems to be about a woman and is full of sexual innuendos with the title alone. The singer has aching for this woman and so wants her and believes he can show her things that she may have forgotten about…hmmm…I wonder what that could be!! This isn’t rocket science lyrics, no sir. It is rock & roll baby!! Keep it simple, sexual and jamming…and they do just that.

Musically, the song opens with a machine gun barrage drum fills from Virgil showing he means business. Marco’s bass is slamming helping give us a fiery, groovetastic, good time song that will rock your ass off. Neal Schon’s guitar mastery is on full display as he lays down some killer riffs and don’t get me started on the solo. Man, he is killing it. Jeff Scott Soto is full of swagger and confidence as he delivers a stellar vocal full of harmonies and so much power. This album is a showcase of his talents and why Neal tapped him to lead Journey on tour, sadly, no album was ever done before Jeff was dismissed.

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My Sunday Song – “Nowhere Fast” by Talisman

For My Sunday Song #282, we are going to discuss the song “Nowhere Fast” by the Jeff Scott Soto fronted band, Talisman. The song was off their album “7” (of course, their seventh album) and was released in 2006. The album is the last studio album by Talisman as bassist and founding member Marcel Jacobs passed away a few years later before they could do another album.

The song “Nowhere Fast” was written by Marcel Jacob and Jeff Scott Soto. The song is lyrically simple. It actually starts out with the chorus and does a 3 line verse back to the chorus. It repeats this process several times and does it effectively. It makes the song catchy and memorable. Lyrically, the song is about a woman he wants to be with but she doesn’t necessarily want to be with him. His friends warn him that the relationship would go nowhere, but he is bound and determined to make it happen. First, he has to change her mind to wanting him. We don’t know now if he ever does, but it sounds like it was a valiant effot.

Musically, it is a juggernaut of infectious hooks and catchy choruses all encompassed in that Marcel Jacob bass sound. That funky bass sound opens the song and then Jeff Scott Soto’s vocals come in so smooth and melodic. Is it funk? Is it melodic rock? Well, it is both and so full of life. If I had to pick a song on what I loved about Talisman, this is one of them. It is full of pleasure and a sound that is music to my ears…literally!! And you know what else I like, guitar solos! And Fredrik Akesson lays down one that fits the song so perfectly. This song is total perfection.

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My Sunday Song – “Soul Divine” by Jeff Scott Soto

For My Sunday Song #281, we are kicking off a 10 song set of Jeff Scott Soto. They won’t all be his solo work as they will cover his career and many bands. I figured since this past week we kicked off the Jeff Scott Soto Series here at 2 Loud 2 Old Music, why not continue that in to the My Sunday Song Series. First up is the song “Soul Divine” off his 2004 album ‘Lost in Translation’. The song was written by Jeff Scott Soto and Howie Simon who also played guitar and bass o the song. Glen Sobel played the drums.

“Soul Divine” is about regret. He treated his woman horribly and lost her. He now looks back and in his soul he knows he screwed it up. She was his light and yet he brought her so much pain and he didn’t realize what he did until she was gone and then he realized he had something really great. He has finally gotten to a point in his life where he realizes he was a little shit and feels really bad for it.

Musically, the song is a scorcher. It is heavy on the guitars from Mr. Simon who takes on bass duties as well which is also very prominent on the song. Glen Sobel’s drumming is rich and full force with a great driving beat and cool ass fills. It is a modern, melodic song that might be some of the best stuff Jeff has ever done. Howie’s opening riff is striking and almost singable and he also lays down a tasteful guitar solo that isn’t too boastful and fits the mood of the song. Jeff’s vocals are so masterful on this one. They soar, they are emotional, they are energetic and they are memorable. The chorus is catchy and his tones grab hold and pull you in and will have you singing along by the end. This one is a shining example of the soulful and smoothness of his voice as well. I figured, let’s kick it off with one of his best!!

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