Toto keeps at it with long-awaited new full-length ‘Toto XIV’

Toto‘Toto XIV’
Toto (Frontiers)
3.5 stars out of 5

To me, there are two distinct iterations of veteran band Toto — both commercially successful but neither particularly embraced by critics or music purists.

Toto CDThe first version of the band came with the 1978 release of their self-titled debut album. That record spawned the hit (and still flat-out awesome) single “Hold the Line” and established Toto as a studio rock band with some legitimate chops. The second came four years later with the release of “Toto IV.” That record was the epitome of early ‘80s soft rock and produced hits “Rosanna,” “Africa” and “I Won’t Hold You Back” … and earned them a mind-numbing six Grammys, including both record and album of the year.

That marked the popular peak for the band, but they’ve continued to plug away for almost 40 years, touring and releasing live and studio albums throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. “Toto XIV” is Tot’s first studio effort in a decade and, while not a classic, does nothing to tarnish their memory or legacy.

The 11-track platter clocks in at almost an hour and that’s a lot of Toto to absorb in a single sitting. Fortunately, standout cuts “Running Out of Time,” “Holy War,” “21st Century Blues” and “All the Tears” offset lesser entries “Burn” and “The Little Things.” (Jeffrey Sisk)


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