YOSO - review added 6th July 2010
Album Review: Elements (2010)
For fans of: Rock... and Toto/Yes
Yoso - a super-group amalgam of members from huge-mungus bands Toto and Yes - takes it's moniker (minus a couple of letters) from the combined names of the pair. I'd personally have gone for "Toe Toys", but there you go...
The band is Toto's vocalist Bobby Kimball, and Yes members Tony Kaye on keyboards and Billy Sherwood on bass and vocals. Johnny Bruhns joins the guys on guitar and background vocals, and Scott Conner cuts in with drums and background vocals.
"Elements" comes on two discs. The first is filled with original material, the second a live recording of the band performing tracks both new and old.
The sound of the first disc unsurprisingly takes cues from both parent bands, although - because of the origin of the vocalist - the result tends to lean more towards Toto. This is laid back rock that mixes groovy bass lines, intricate keyboard passages and technical if inoffensive guitar work. There are numerous sweet harmonies, and Bobby Kimball puts in a dominating if wavering lead vocal performance.
For me, he's a touch hit and miss on this album. He occasionally teeters on the edge of out-of-tune-ness, and the vocals only fully come together on a few songs. It's a real shame, because there is plenty of talent here, and some good writing going on.
'Path To Your Heart' is a classic-sounding track with plenty of long term appeal. 'Walk Away' is a fine track slightly spoiled by iffy singing, and the same goes for 'The New Revolution'. 'To Seek The Truth' is a nice slow number. The Journey-esque 'Won't End Tonight' works well. On the live album, It's all about 'Rosanna'. I've always loved that song and always will. The version here isn't great...but bad 'Rosanna' is still better than most good songs. 'Hold The Line' and 'Owner Of A Lonely Heart' are decent enough too.
Regardless of the issues, this is a classy if flawed release. I suspect not everyone will love it, but there should be enough here for fans of these guys previous work.
Check out... The original Toto and Yes material instead.