Sunday, June 23, 2024

Steve Lukathe contuines to build Bridges

Steve Lukather is a guitar man with the US rock band Toto (If you don’t know where the name comes from then go to the back of the class please!), though they were always about more than rock. Their music included elements of pop, funk, soul and anything else they could squeeze into their songs, and this helped turn them into a recording phenomenon, selling around 40 million albums worldwide.  Steve is also a valued session guitar slinger and has played on many other albums, including Thriller, and his efforts have earned him a “Lifetime Achievement Award” from Guitar Player magazine in 2015.

At the time of writing, the exact status of Toto is still up in the air, they’ve not officially split but haven’t played ‘live’ for years and the band stated in 2021 they’re unlikely ever to record another album again. During this time, Steve Lukather continues to work as a session man and also as a solo artist, with Bridges being his ninth album outside of Toto. The title is deliberate, as Lukather himself says this album is a bridge between his music and Toto’s. ‘I wanted to make an album in the style of Toto as we will never record another studio album again, this is as close as we’ll get.’  

This may not be a bona fide Toto album but it’s a definite band collaboration, with Toto men Simon Phillips on drums and Joseph Williams (vocals/keys) and David Paich (keys), with the latter two contributing to six and four songs respectively. This gives the album the familiar feel of a Toto album when it’s all mixed, with ‘All Forever’s Must End‘ being as near to Toto as you’ll get this side of the real thing.

Overall, Bridges is a collection of songs rather than a coherent album, not a bad thing. The playing is good, the album is a solid piece of work, the tracks are varied in style and Lukather occasionally gives full rein to his guitar skills on several songs and, unlike his last solo album, there’re no cover versions, with all eight songs being written by Lukather and his friends.

‘Far From Over’, written with son Trevor, and ‘When I See You Again‘ are the standard Album Orientated Rock fare of US classic rock radio, whereas ‘Not My Kind Of People‘ is more riff-based and rocky, with Lukather intoning “Get out of here, it’s so fucking clear, you’re not my kind of people”.

‘Take My Love’ is a more blues-rooted track and sounds like a song Joe Bonamassa might have recorded, and ‘Burning Bridges’ has some soul and funk added to it. If Steely Dan rocked out, this is what might come out of it, but the two stand-out tracks are ‘Someone’ and ‘I’ll Never Know’, with the latter having real power in the guitar bursts.

Lukather’s fanbase will doubtlessly enjoy Bridges as it contains everything you’d expect to hear from him, and US AOR stations will certainly give it airplay, but for those who don’t know him or his work, so long as you don’t expect too much, this is a fairly good album.

Bridges releases 16 June 2023 via The Players Club

Laurence Todd
Laurence Todd
Took early retirement after many years as a teacher in order to write books as well as about music. A long-time music obsessive, has wide and eclectic tastes but particularly likes prog rock and rock in general. Enjoys going to gigs and discovering new acts.

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Steve Lukather is a guitar man with the US rock band Toto (If you don’t know where the name comes from then go to the back of the class please!), though they were always about more than rock. Their music included elements of pop,...Steve Lukathe contuines to build Bridges