Whilst I do enjoy a bit of Melodic Hard Rock from the likes of WHITESNAKE, TESLA, GREAT WHITE and TEN - bands that have defined themselves in a now sadly over looked genre the likes of the Jeff Scott Soto driven TALISMAN are way too much of a step back in time.
Give him his due though Soto has had quite a career most notably in RISING FORCE and has a fine, emotive voice but the music on show is just so 1980's that at times it's just plain boring and uninspiring. "Skin On Skin", "Break It Down", "Sorry" and "Love Will Come Again" are standard Hard Rock songs that have been done many times before and done better. However songs such as the up tempo rocker "Outta My Way" pick up the quality-ometer and deliver a very good riff and vocal line. If the album had more of that then we'd be talking a high score here. But this album lacks impact and memorable songs a harder edge would be very welcome.
I've read that Soto is somewhat of a Hard Rock superstar in his own right but I rarely believe the hype and if you ever bother to listen a copy of the oddly titled "Cats And Dogs" you can make up your own mind. (Online July 8, 2003)