Joseph Williams
Denizen Tenant

Label: The Players Club/Mascot Label Group
Three similar bands: Toto/Williams Friestedt/Champlin Williams Friestedt

Rating: HHHHHHH (3/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
1. Never Saw You Coming
2. Liberty Man
3. Denizen Tenant
4. Wilma Fingadoux
5. Black Dahlia (feat. David Paich)
6. Don't Give Up (feat. Hannah Ruick)
7. The Dream
8. Remember Her (feat. Steve Lukather)
9. No Lessons
10. Mistress Winter's Jump
11. If I Fell (feat. Steve Lukather)
12. World Broken

Joseph Williams

Joseph Williams (1982)
I Am Alive (1996)
3 (1997)
Early Years (1999)
Vertigo (2003)
Two of Us (2006)
Vertigo 2 (2006)
Smiles and Tears (2007)
This Fall (2008)

Jeff Babko
Oscar Bugarin
Lenny Castro
Nathan East
Jay Gruska
Barbara Gruska
Mike Landau
Steve Lukather
Steve Overton
David Paich
Simon Phillips
Dylan Ronan
Hannah Ruick
Leland Sklar
Steve Tavaglione
Weston Wilson
Ray Williams
Mark T. Williams

Produced and mixed in Digbyroad studios in Sherman Oaks, California
Produced by Joseph Williams, except for Black Dahlia and No Lessons arranged and produced by Jay Gruska and mixed by Dave Way

Released 2021-02-26
Reviewed 2021-03-05


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Joseph Williams has done quite a mark on the world of music, not because he is the son of legendary movie composer John Williams. He is a composer himself having been Emmy nominate for a score, and he has done some vocals in film music as well, like Simba in the Lion King. Then he has been the vocalist of Toto and done several solo albums and numerous appearances on albums by many artists. We have recently reviewed his collaborations with Peter Friestedt and Bill Champlin, so what about this new one?

It doesn’t have a great cover, I usually don’t like albums with a big face straight over, they don’t look good in the record collection. But you can overlook the cover if the album is good, and this one has a singer that can be outstanding in his best moments. There aren’t many such moments on this album, and if you are expecting something in like with Toto or more hard rocking stuff you will be a bit disappointed as this is not something like that. It is a soft rock or westcoast kind of album, perhaps some jazzy style as well, like something for that smoky basement club. What also strikes me is that the songs are quite slow, and it feels like the album is quite static and not very diverse despite numerous guests, covers, and things like that.

A long album that I grow tired with quickly, it is one of those albums I have to force myself through as it doesn’t excite or shine in any regard. The songs are pretty dull overall, and I find this to be a really dull album to listen to as it feels just tired and boring. It would have needed some more up-tempo hit songs and more enjoyable songs overall – I do not think Joseph Williams makes an album that is positive for his legacy as a musician with this one. I guess it is fortunate that I didn’t have expectations, because if I was expecting something AOR-like in the veins of Toto at their best, then it would be a really disappointing album.

I am not quite seeing the positives of this album, some will probably think it is good as there are always exceptions, it feels like a waste to endure it in its entirety. Sure, it isn’t awful, and Williams still sings pretty well, but it is difficult to see that anyone can really like an album like this. I certainly would not waste any of my money buying this one.