Jeff Scott Soto is one the great rock vocalists of a generation. Between his lead vocal with the likes of Malmsteem, Talisman, and Journey, many collaborations, and solo projects, has logged time on better than 60 albums. And Soto is still going strong. Damage Control is his fifth solo album.
From the start, with Give a Little More, Damage Control, and Look Inside Your Heart, you may conclude that Soto is simply going to bust out and rock out. These songs are edgier melodic rock. Then the next several songs, If I Never Let Her Go through Bonafide, have their heavier moments but mostly follow the current of melodic AOR. Bonafide is a pure Soto ballad, as is Die A Little on the anthem side (with a tiny nod to Hall & Oates at the end; listen for it.) The album rounds out with a mixture of the harder and softer, but dogs on the closing NeverEnding War.
My digital promo was the basic edition; the deluxe edition contains three more tunes in the order, with a DVD of video clips. I can't comment on any of these things.
Fundamentally, with a JSS album you're listening for that strong voice, equally strong vocal arrangements, and big catchy songs with a strong rock groove. Damage Control delivers on all three counts. What's missing is that sometimes funk groove that Soto can also bring to a song; maybe the extra edginess was the trade off. Recommended.