Toto - Falling In Between
Album Review written by PuSSyCaT
“Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore”
(The Wizard of Oz)
This veteran band seems to have return from the dark with a surprisingly new sound. Their fusion of style ranging from funk, to rock and one or two ballads may show hints of other bands.
Their decision to move in this new direction is refreshing and proves to be successful as they could easily be mistaken for any of the current pop-rock bands in the scene.
Although their original style rocks in it’s own right, a trace of it remains intact and Toto has managed to adapt with the times and gradually evolve to this modern sounding album.
It seems that Toto are indeed, “no longer in Kansas”, meaning the older sounds of their yesteryears.
Track 1: Falling In Between
Inspired by the recent Tsunami tragedy which struck several countries including India, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia, you can hear the distinct Indian flavour in the chorus. The band was aiming to lean towards the sound of Led Zeppelin or YES for this particular song, but one can also make out hints of Dream Theatre.
Track 2: Dying On My Feet
The intro sounds quite Country and the song includes an impressive display of horns which are arranged by James Pankow of 80’s rock band, Chicago.
Track 3: Bottom Of Your Soul
With an interesting African groove, this song highlights the plight of the victims in Sudan. Strongly reminding me of the vocal and music style of Sting, the lyrics are touching and probably one of the best tracks in the whole album which will eventually get, you if not humming, then singing along.
Track 4: King Of The World
One of the heavier tracks, the vocal harmonies also features another Chicago member, Jason Scheff. Having a few title changes, first from “Den Of Thieves”, then to “Smoke And Mirrors”, the band finally settled with “King Of The World”. The lyrics seem to deal with the corporate rat race and the hectic hustle and bustle of modern city life.
Track 5: Hooked
Almost able to pass off for the catch song of an anti-drug campaign, although the lyrics are about people’s materialistic desires and addictions, the sound is upbeat and somewhat uplifting. Watch out for the crazy keyboards!
Track 6: Simple Life
Upon reading the title, “Simple Life”, one can’t help but be reminded of the two infamous blonde brats and their equally bratty Chihuahuas. But this short ballad is a nice break for listeners to admire Steve Lukather’s piano playing skills.
Track 7: Taint Your World
Another fast track, believe it or not, this song actually contains a vulgarity. Although not aggressive, the vocals however do sound rather haughty and you can’t help but grin at this “naughty” side of Toto.
Track 8: Let It Go
Starting out, it sounds very jazzy and as the song progresses, you hear the funk fusion. With Greg Phillinganes debuting on vocals, this song also showcases his piano/ keyboard skills.
Track 9: Spiritual Man
This slow track talks about prominent figures such as Jesus Christ, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and Buddha. With Monet as an uplifting background vocals, the saxophones help give the overall “hymn” feel.
Track 10: No End In Sight
On the subject of the war in Iraq, this song touches close to my heart. You can hear the anger and frustration in the vocals as the lyrics mention things like: “I can’t justify the cleansing of society” and “You see the world in black and white”. With a tragic and almost epic feel to it at some certain points, it ends the whole album on a poignant note.
Toto’s “Falling In Between” is a must for Rockers to check out, whether or not you are a Toto fan.
Remember the roots and respect the veterans.