Toto frontman returns with his first solo project in 13 years
The first solo record in 13 years from Joseph Williams has a whole array of guest musicians such as Mike Landau and includes Toto members past and present. It could easily make 'Denizen Tenant' sound like a Toto side project. Of course, there is a heavy influence of his day job, but further experimentation with sounds and synths makes this a more progressive album in the vein of early Genesis and Peter Gabriel. Tracks like 'Black Dahlia' bring out the album's jazzy Steely Dan X Toto vibe, which makes for a perfect tonal partnership.
The album features dusted off songs that have been reworked from old demos and long time WIP. Album opener, 'Never Saw You Coming' sets the tone. It's playful, meticulously constructed and orchestrated. This isn't rough or raw, and why would you expect it to be.
Williams also shows his versatility of emotion and vocal range throughout the album, unafraid of stepping outside conventions or expectations.
There are also a few 'bucket list songs' that he wanted to get out of his system. 'Don't Give Up' (featuring Williams' daughter Hannah and another nod to Gabriel) and The Beatles 'If I Fell' show that in a world of disposable music, harmony, melody and songwriting are always paramount.