Amid the recent turmoil of a Toto-related lawsuit and major lineup changes, “Luke” still managed to record his eighth solo album. Its eight songs cover his trademark territory – well-crafted tunes with shimmering melodies and edgy, explosive soloing. Toto bandmates Joseph Williams and David Paich contribute vocals and keys, and the songs were cut live. Lukather recorded his lead vocals later the same day and doubled a few guitar parts.
“Along for the Ride” has a repeating, sparkling fill and a rich, liquid solo. The slow funk of “Serpent Soul” lyrically addresses the Toto lawsuit. The excellent, jazzy instrumental “Journey Through” finds Lukather’s guitar more aggressive in attack and tone than his early studio work. The title track glides on an uplifting guitar melody and a warm, relaxed solo. The sunny, pop-flavored “Run to Me” features Luke’s sometime-boss Ringo Starr on drums.
Traffic’s “The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys” sounds like a super-talented garage band with Lukather taking a two-minute solo. Joe Walsh’s “Welcome to the Club” is rife with licks and solos. Robin Trower’s “Bridge of Sighs” re-creates the psychedelic feel, and torrents of shredding ultimately unspool. But three covers? Perhaps more originals are being held for the next Toto album.
This article originally appeared in VG April 2021 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.