Steve Lukather – Transition
“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.” With these words guitarist extraordinaire, Steve Lukather, explains his latest effort.
While most known for his lickity split gunslinger approach on his solo albums, this time out Luke decided to concentrate on the tunes instead. “These days I like it simple and direct,” he says. “I plugged my new Music Man L-3 signature model guitar straight into a Bogner amp and miked it with an SM-57. Any effects were added at the mixing desk. I used a Kemper Profiling Amp for some of the weird sounds, and that was it. Live these days it’s just my guitar and amp and a couple stomp boxes — and I just go for it.” “I’ve been working really hard on my vocals,” Lukather attests. “For me, these days it’s all about the song and the performance. I’m not interested in being the fastest gun in the West. I want to make beautiful music that means something.” “I equate recordings to paintings,” he explains, “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. “I’d like to say this is the best album I’ve ever made, but that’s a cliché. But I do think I’ve realized my goal of moving forward, so let me say that Transition is possibly the best reflection of who I am in 2012.”
Lukather wastes no time backing up his words with the music, as the album opener “Judgment Day” is a well crafted melodic piece of music. “Creep Motel” drips of anger, lyrically, while musically it fits in-between his solo past and his Toto fame. “Once Again” may be the best solo song he has ever recorded. This one has it all, great music and deep lyrics. “Rest of the World” and “Last Man Standing” also reflect the new style of music Luke is into.
While he refrains from smacking you in-between the eyes with his guitar prowess, the pleasant surprise on Transition is Luke’s songwriting and vocal abilities. He has really come into his own and opened up on this album, creating a wonderful listening experience.
By Jeb Wright