How Does It Feel To Be Toto?
Andre S. Grindle | Brewer Maine | 03/22/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Following up the huge Toto IV must not have been an easy task. And I suppose that this album really shouldn't be my cup to tea. But honestly I don't hate this. This has been referred to as the album where Toto completely back off of their R&B and jazz-pop elements after the elimination of Bobby Kimball. Well his presense is very much missed here but fact of the matter is this alum is not devoid of an R&B feeling or an extremely hard rocking album. At least....not in the sense one might think it would be. Between their previous release and this pop music,even of the LA variety had changed. Synth rock and electronic new wave styles were now what was common on the radio and as far the the rocky songs on this album go that was the direction pursued here. Actually the newer variety of rock allowed Steve Luckather's guitar sound and the bands precision musicianship actually worked very well because the glossiness of the time allowed songs like "Carmen","How Does It Feel",the title song,"Mr'Friendly"....actually almost all the songs on the album to really function well as what they are. "Stranger In Town" is particularly notable is it has the heaviest new wave flavor to it. The fact is that "Lion" is a very potent example of new wave style funk. Now it's not the mellower variety of R&B tune Toto had done before with Bobby Kimball but it's a great change of pace for them. "Endless" has the same flavor but in a faster and more uptempo sort of way. "Angel's Don't Cry" is actually a really nice ballad and trust me,there were a lot of really formuliac songs of this sort at this time it totally works. Sadly enough this album often enough joins Turn Back in the list of neglected (and often inferior) Toto albums. But this one actually contains some very strong music and songwriting and showed that Toto could definately change musically and not fall flat on their face."