Steve Lukather is one of the hardest working guitarists on the planet, since his last solo album “All’s Well That Ends Well” was released he has been touring with Ringo Starr’s All Starr touring band, touring as part of the G3 Tour with Joe Satriani and Steve Vai (check out my photos of this concert here) as well as organising tours for his reunited band Toto and a planned European tour to promote his latest solo album ‘Transition‘.
Over the past decade Steve Lukather has faced a series of trials that have had a big impact on his love of music, ‘Transition‘ is an album about how he has come through the other side stronger and better than ever.
“I equate recordings to paintings and I wanted to make Transition a big, beautiful album with lots of fine details and shadings and colors. That’s what I do and what my favorite albums — Sgt. Pepper’s, Dark Side of the Moon, Electric Ladyland, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road — are all about. So if it’s a sin to make massive sounding records with huge production values, then I’m going to Hell.” – Steve Lukather
Luke’s voice sounds really strong on this record especially in his grungy blues song ‘Creep Motel’ which also features a fantastic guitar solo which has his signature whammy tricks and blistering speed runs. If you want to learn how to make your blues solos sound less predictable study Luke’s style! ‘Transition’ is as Lukather says a massive sounding record, the track ‘Right The Wrong’ for instance builds from a subdued ballad to a huge memorable chorus with lots of layers filling the audio spectrum. One of my favourite tracks is the title track ‘Transition‘ with it’s jazzy odd time signature stabs and syncopated guitar riffs, this mainly instrumental track is smack bang in the middle of the album and has quite a dark sound.
“‘Transition’ is a turning point for the album and a turning point for me. As we were writing the songs, I was thinking about everything I’ve seen — all the people I’ve lost in my life, the great and the difficult experiences I’ve had, and how ultimately it was time to get it together and embrace things for what they are, because we’ve only got one life to live and we’ve got to make the most of it.”
Another favourite track for me is ‘Rest Of The World‘ which has a kind of old style R&B feel to it with beautifully phrased guitar fills. Luke uses a number of different guitar sounds and techniques throughout to create different textures, for instance at around 2:12 Luke layers a number of guitars a la Brian May to create a kind of Gospel Choir sound.
The album closes with an instrumental version of the classic song ‘Smile’ which reminded me of Jeff Beck, only a handful of guitarists can make the instrument sing in a way that can imitate the human voice and Steve Lukather is one of those people. It takes a lot of control, technique and musicality to play something with this kind of feel.
Pre-orders of Transition are available at http://stevelukather.mlgmerch.com