TOTO – Falling In Between


Frontiers Records
Release Date: February 14, 2006

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What? A Toto review at Metal Express Radio? Well, the truth is — as the term Classic Rock gets bigger and bigger, and since Toto appears to be much more like a non-radio friendly progressive and creative unit again — well, there you go.

Falling In Between is Toto’s loudest release since 1992’s Kingdom Of Desire and most progressive release since 1979’s Hydra. But, most important of all — it is their finest hour since who knows when …

Toto has bid farewell to the major labels, after spending 25 years in the Sony family, and released their 2004 covers album, Through The Looking Glass, on EMI. Now, the masterminds of Toto are on Frontiers, the same label that released Journey’s Generations last year.

Their new album starts with the title track, and boy does it set the standard. A down-tuned, angry guitar riff, with a Bobby Kimball in top shape and snarling out the vocals on top. Before getting to a more mystic chorus, sung by newcomer Greg Phillinganes, their new keyboardist besides David Paich. The latter will not be joining Toto on tour anymore, by the way, due to family reasons.

“Dying On My Feet” is another highlight. Yet again vocals by Kimball, and the horn section at the end, is magnificent. This is Toto firing on all creative cylinders, leaving the money-hungry major labels behind.

Next up is, however, the most radio-friendly song on Falling In Between, with the first single “Bottom Of Your Soul.” A beautiful arrangement and the return of the Fahrenheit and The Seventh One singer Joseph Williams, who sings duet with Steve Lukather on the chorus. The part with the acoustic guitar solo will cause chills to run down your spine as they build up for one of the strongest AOR-choruses 2006 will ever produce.

“King Of The World” and “Hooked” bring more Rock to the surface from the experienced legends … and talking about legends, if you feel heavy Jethro Tull-vibes at the end of “Hooked,” it is because Tull-mainman Ian Anderson brings his magic flute to this superb Toto return.

The heaviest piece on Falling In Between is “Taint Your World,” with a guitar riff somewhat inspired by UFO’s “Rock Bottom” and a 80’s sounding chorus which hits the roof. In this particular song, Toto dares to take their history back to their 2006 sound, with arrangements like on 1984’s Isolation, which later blends in to an updated midsection in the song. And, of course, axeman Lukather knows how to deliver his solos still, just in case if someone was wondering.

Toto’s latest effort contains very few fillers. It offers plenty of diversity from great ballads to long, progressive elements, tight Rock songs, and superb production and musical deliverance. Kingdom Of Desire came out a bit too grungy, then Tambu was a bit slick. On Mindfields, they overcooked the whole thing, but this time Toto has completely hit the spot, maybe for the first time since 1987’s The Seventh One.


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