When I saw that Frontier Records was putting together an album with Bobby Kimball (Toto) and Jimi Jamison (Survivor) I was thrilled. The song “Rosanna” was the soundtrack for my Jr. High School days. Kimball’s moustache was in style back then too.
Bobby Kimball played in Toto from the beginning in 1977 until 1984 and then came back in 1997. He played with many different bands in-between his engagements with Toto. Toto broke up in 2008.
Survivor was also formed in 1977. Jimi Jamison joined Survivor in 1983 when singer Dave Bickler suffered voice problems that caused him to leave. Jamison stayed with the band until 1993. He also played with many different bands in-between his breaks from Survivor. On November 15, 2011, Jimi Jamison announced he is returning to Survivor.
On this CD you have two extremely experienced singers and a band of top-notch musicians: Alex Beyrodt (Guitars & Lead Guitar), Mat Sinner (Bass), Jimmy Kresic (Keyboards), Martin Schmidt (Drums & Percussion). The production is very clean which makes it very enjoyable to listen to.
The very first song, “Worth Fighting For” on Kimball Jamison is exactly what I was hoping to hear on this CD. It reminds me a lot of the early Toto sound off their first couple of albums. The melody is very catchy with Kimball singing the highs and Jamison singing the lows. Their voices complement each other very well. It reminds me a little of the Toto song “English Eyes”.
My favorite song on Kimball Jamison is “Get Back in the Game”. It starts out with a capella vocals and then a wall of guitars, bass, drums and keyboards kick in. After a little guitar solo everything drops out and you hear a guitar playing something that sounds very similar to the riff in David Lee Roth’s “Going Crazy”. This song has some great opportunities for Kimball and Jamison to show off their vocal ranges. They both rise to the challenge. The lyrics, “Time to get up and get back in the game, little by little ‘til you’re out of the rain, oh get back in the game,” could very well apply to the careers that each of them have had.
Looking for something that sounds more like Survivor? “I did Everything Wrong” will satisfy that craving. This song is a nice power ballad. The melody is very catchy and the guitars are hypnotic. It feels like you are being teleported to the 80’s when you hear the lyric, “How I wish that I could turn back time, so that I could make it right”.
Kimball and Jamison seem to have tried to put some songs on Kimball Jamison that don’t sound like Toto or Survivor. They still sound like Toto and Survivor anyway, but who cares? Why start from scratch trying to get a new following? People will buy this album because they love Toto and Survivor. If they are lucky they may get some new fans that aren’t familiar with their work. I applaud Kimball for keeping his moustache too. John Oates looks so weird without his. It’s your look, own it! Most people who buy this album will be happy that it contains songs that sound like their former bands.
For me this is the album that should have been Toto VI. If you liked Toto or Survivor you will love Kimball Jamison.
Key Tracks: Worth Waiting For, Get Back in the Game, I Did Everything Wrong
Kirk Bullough – Muzikreviews.com Contributor
December 13, 2011