This isn’t Lukather’s first solo record, but it’s the first one he’s recorded since he turned the lights off on the band he co-founded, Toto. Sure, the band since reunited for a European tour, but we’ve probably seen the last of any new Toto music. That makes Luke’s records the closest thing to a continuation of that group’s discography.
All’s Well That Ends Well seems to accept that mantle. Yes, it rocks a little bit harder in spots (“Can’t Look Back,” “Flash In The Pan”), but the slick mix of rock, prog, R&B and fusion shoots for the same over-40 demographic, ignoring any developments in popular music since Toto’s 1980s heyday and instead refining and updating the old formula. Taken in that context, it’s a pretty good rendering of that formula; Lukather still writes catchy songs even if they are derivative of someone else; “On My Way Home” for instance pays tribute to Steely Dan in a convincing fashion. Interspersed with love songs and self reflections are observations on the current state of affairs (“Watching The World” “Brody’s”) and his voice is still in fine form and in case you wondering, so are his guitar chops. He saves one instrumental, “Tumescent,” for the end, but it comes off as a generic guitar-fusion tune.
It’s real easy to make a call on this record: If you liked Toto, you’ll like All’s Well That Ends Well. If you didn’t, move on.