Steve Lukather kept Toto’s legacy alive with All’s Well That Ends Well

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All’s Well That Ends Well wasn’t Steve Lukather’s first solo record, but it was the first one he’d recorded since briefly turning the lights off on the band he co-founded, Toto. The band later reunited for a series of tours, then eventually rebounded to complete a long-awaited studio effort in 2015’s Toto XIV.

When this album arrived on Oct. 11, 2010, however, it felt like the closest thing possible to a continuation of Toto’s discography. Those are big shoes, but Lukather’s All’s Well That Ends Well seemed to accept that mantle.

Yes, it rocked 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 shot for a similar 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, All’s Well That Ends Well is a pretty good rendering of that formula. Steve 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 were sharp observations on the current state of affairs (“Watching The World,” “Brody’s”) and Lukather’s voice was still in fine form. The same can be said, in case you wondering, for Steve Lukather’s guitar chops – though his one instrumental, the album-closing “Tumescent,” comes off as a generic guitar-fusion tune.

In the end, it’s easy to make a call on this record. If you liked Toto, you’ll like Steve Lukather’s All’s Well That Ends Well. If you didn’t, move on.

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is an SQL demon for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on jazz.com, AllAboutJazz.com, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. E-mail him at svaaron@somethingelsereviews .com or follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SVictorAaron
S. Victor Aaron
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