Toto
40 Trips Around the Sun


4.5
superb

Review

by CaliggyJack USER (80 Reviews)
July 12th, 2018 | 15 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: 40 Years of Toto

One of the hardest things about writing a review of something; whether it be a book, music or anything, is trying to keep from getting too personal in your review. The main reason is that it can cloud your judgement with bias, leaving the credibility of your review in question (see my half-assed review of Sodom's Decision Day for a proper example) When it comes to Toto, I find it very hard to not get personal with this band as they are one of my favorite Progressive Rock bands ever.

Fact is, as much as I try to hide it, I am irritated. Recently, Toto's seminal opus Africa has gotten a wave of attention, becoming a large internet meme and being covered by numerous bands and artists. To add to that popularity, even Weezer released a cover of Africa to substantial views and success. Yet, none of this attention has trickled back onto Toto. Unlike Jim Croce's recent resurgence, where his appearance in Stranger Things contributed to renewed interest in the artist and his music; Africa's recent attention has resulted in almost nothing beneficial to the band. In fact pretty much any sales Toto has had of their new material recently has been entirely of their own making through many live shows and quality music.

It does irritate me, because this excellent band deserves so much more than they are being given. Weezer's cover of Africa reaches over 5 million views on youtube, but Toto's official release of a brand new song barely scratches 600K. Hell, I even had a discussion with a person who loved Weezer's cover of the song, but was completely shocked when he found out the original song was by Toto, as he thought the song had been by Foreigner all these years. 36 years after Toto IV and this band still has to claw tooth and nail to get any sort of recognition; it's baffling. Despite all of this, Toto continues to trek a revival of their music. The first was Toto XIV, an incredible new album featuring the return of Joe Williams with the band at their most creatively intense since the late 90's. The second, released in February, is the brilliant compilation 40 Trips Around the Sun, an album that shows just what this new revival of Toto is capable of.

As it is a compilation album, the album picks some the best tracks of their 40 years as Toto; these include Toto stalwarts like I'll Supply the Love, Hold the Line, Africa, Rosanna, Pamela; but it also has some lesser appreciated hits like 99, Georgy Peorgy, Lea, and Jake to the Bone. One minor criticism of the compilation I have is that it mostly contains tracks from their debut and 80's records, leaving excellent songs they made in 1990's absent entirely. Even with such a minor criticism, this is still an excellent compilation. Yet the re-released songs aren't the driving force behind this new album, it is the three unreleased songs never heard of before.

The first one is a brand new track titled Alone, a track with sonic guitar riffs, an arena-like effect with excellent vocals by Joe Williams who continues to prove he has not lost a single step in the vocals department. The big standout of this new track is the keyboards by David Paitch, who takes center stage with numerous effects and keys providing a colorful background to the guitars. The second track is a previously unreleased track called Struck by Lightning. Unlike Alone, Struck by Lightning is a much heavier track with heavy focus on the guitar work by Steve Lukather and drums by Vinnie Colaiuta. Speaking of which, Vinnie's drum work on these new tracks is nothing short of excellent, with him hitting the rhythm on point in each track. Vinnie's more heavy, tribal-like drum pounding really adds to the power of these new songs.

The real standout of the three tracks is Spanish Sea, a song that was originally recorded during the Isolation sessions, but didn't make it to the final product for reasons I will never comprehend. Featuring thumping drums, erratic and extravagant keyboards, lean synth sounds, Glam-Rock guitar riffs, and soaring vocals; Spanish Sea is a time capsule of the 1980's brought to life with modern vision.

Make no mistake, this new era of Toto is only just beginning. Regardless of whether or not an internet meme will translate to newfound popularity; Toto is here to stay and I don't see another hiatus on the horizon any time soon. With the band planning a large tour in support of this compilation and a possible 15th album in the works, I think it's safe to say we are experiencing a new revolution around the Earth from Toto. 40 Trips Around the Sun isn't an acknowledgment of a bygone era that can never return, it is a proclamation; a proclamation that this album is just a halfway point, and Toto isn't done with us yet.



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user ratings (1)
4.5
superb


Comments:Add a Comment 
CaliggyJack
July 12th 2018


2051 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rerilfJQvfk



Give Spanish Sea a listen, it's really good

SitarHero
July 12th 2018


6717 Comments


Spanish Sea is catchy as hell! Good review too!

CaliggyJack
July 12th 2018


2051 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks mate! The other 2 new tracks are just as good and all officially released on their channel!

teamster
July 12th 2018


2830 Comments


I found out just recently the lead singer is the son of composer John Williams.

Digging: The Ever Living - HEREPHEMINE

Sabrutin
July 12th 2018


5478 Comments


Boy is this a Toto review ┬┴┬┴┤( ͡° ͜ʖ├┬┴┬┴

My most listened band ever, almost every musician that passed through it became an idol of mine. Incredible live act too, go see them live asap if you haven't. So yeah this is a long post!

"one of my favorite Progressive Rock bands ever"
I don't consider them a progressive band. However, they do have progressive material. I personally like to define them as "eclectic AOR" as they dabble in every genre that crosses their minds in the moment of writing music. Oh I'm not bashing you for using that tag, in fact it actually gives me the hope that you know them outside of Toto IV.

"their most creatively intense since the late 90's"
I'd say Falling in Between was more creatively intense but this is nitpicking. "Great Expectations" is definitely one of their best songs and I imagine that you agree.

"The big standout of this new track is the keyboards by David Paitch, who takes center stage with numerous effects and keys providing a colorful background to the guitars."
I'd say that both Paich and Steve Porcaro deserve recognition here, because the song is full of many layers of keys and it's credited to both keyboardists.

"Vinnie's drum work on these new tracks is nothing short of excellent"
I love what he does in Alone around 2:50 onwards, it reminds me of Copeland.

"The real standout of the three tracks is Spanish Sea, a song that was originally recorded during the Isolation sessions, but didn't make it to the final product for reasons I will never comprehend."
It's because the song sounded too much like Africa. It even resembles the Desert Theme off the Dune OST too. I think it's a nice song, I especially dig the crunchy guitar riff in the chorus in its simplicity, but I understand why it only surfaced today. Other artists would have probably published it to try to cash in.

Overall I think it's pretty clear that this is just another inoffensive compilation, as it only contains very poppy songs outside of the frenzied Jake to the Bone. I'm more interested in the upcoming Old Is New album with the rest of the new songs (7 more plus the 3 here). Gotta say I'm not terribly impressed by the three new songs, I find them too much "on rails" for a band like Toto. That elegant keyboard-driven bridge in Alone is a beauty though.

pos btw

Kalopsia
July 12th 2018


2806 Comments


cool, might have to pick this up - always enjoyed this band growing up listening to my dad's records

Digging: Toto - 40 Trips Around the Sun

Davil667
July 12th 2018


3281 Comments


What the... A new Toto release? That´s sweet, have to check it out.

Davil667
July 12th 2018


3281 Comments


Lol just noticed this is a compilation, should have read the review first, which is ace btw... Will check it out nevertheless.

Sabrutin
July 12th 2018


5478 Comments


@Davil there is new stuff coming soon. On December they will release a limited box-set that contains an album called Old Is New (seems obvious that it won't be limited to the box-set). The album has 10 tracks, 3 of which are the new ones released with this compilation. "Old is new" because it contains both new stuff and old ideas fleshed out today, for example you can hear Jeff Porcaro playing in Spanish Sea (RIP)

CaliggyJack
July 12th 2018


2051 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"Oh I'm not bashing you for using that tag, in fact it actually gives me the hope that you know them outside of Toto IV."



https://www.sputnikmusic.com/list.php?memberid=1068232&listid=181566 Oh my sweet, sweet summer child...



"I'd say Falling in Between was more creatively intense but this is nitpicking. "Great Expectations" is definitely one of their best songs and I imagine that you agree."



It is definitely one of their best songs, but I was never a fan of the album as a whole compared to Mindfields, which was amazing. Though the failure of Falling in Between isn't that the songs themselves are bad, but that Bobby Kimball just didn't care any more and put little effort into his vocals.



"I'd say that both Paich and Steve Porcaro deserve recognition here, because the song is full of many layers of keys and it's credited to both keyboardists."



Yeah but you can usually tell who is who as Porcaro is much more loop heavy with his sounds, usually having a continuous sound with small effects added, Paich is basically ADHD on keyboards, constantly ditching a sound for a new one every five seconds.



"I love what he does in Alone around 2:50 onwards, it reminds me of Copeland."



HA! Now that you mention it you're right, I never noticed that!



"I'm more interested in the upcoming Old Is New album with the rest of the new songs (7 more plus the 3 here)."



The hype is so God-damned real.



"Old is new" because it contains both new stuff and old ideas fleshed out today, for example you can hear Jeff Porcaro playing in Spanish Sea (RIP)"



RIP that lovable maniac. No one can match his genius.

Sabrutin
July 13th 2018


5478 Comments


"https://www.sputnikmusic.com/list.php?memberid=1068232&listid=181566 Oh my sweet, sweet summer child..."

Wow lol we disagree in so many things, we only agree that the cover album is the weakest. I mean your top 3 is almost my worst 3 haha. You put some of their explorative stuff in the lower half so I guess we just search for different things. Still props for having an actual opinion on the discography (though I admit I got triggered when you said that Williams joined them on Isolation lel). Btw you ever heard the Toto XX compilation? It's actually made of new material and it has some of my favorite Toto songs like the mighty Tale of a Man or the suddenly doomy(?) Mrs Johnson.

"It is definitely one of their best songs, but I was never a fan of the album as a whole compared to Mindfields, which was amazing. Though the failure of Falling in Between isn't that the songs themselves are bad, but that Bobby Kimball just didn't care any more and put little effort into his vocals."

I never had problems with Kimball on FiB (but I do with his modern live performances), I thought he actually ruled in the t/t. Then again my attention is captured more by the instruments in that album. I think I can see what you mean though. Yeah Mindfields is full of gems (I bet Steven Wilson dreams of the intro of Better World at night), it's their white album basically. I should bump my rating.

Anyway it's not really a new Toto song but check this out if you haven't: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boYs0DhLVBI

CaliggyJack
July 13th 2018


2051 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"(though I admit I got triggered when you said that Williams joined them on Isolation lel)"



WHAT!? FUCK I NEED TO CORRECT THAT RIGHT NOW. Seriously how did I miss such an obvious mistake, thanks for pointing it out to me.



"it's their white album basically. I should bump my rating."



"it's their white album basically."



"white album"



You. I like you.



"Anyway it's not really a new Toto song but check this out if you haven't: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boYs0DhLVBI"



Brilliant collab! So interesting how What So Not works so well with Toto.

CaliggyJack
July 13th 2018


2051 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Also, the fact that "I Will Remember" isn't on this album sorta irks me.

Sabrutin
July 14th 2018


5478 Comments


I mean white album quite literally, not only for the mix of styles but also for the Beatles comparisons. The first song already ends with that psych finale

CaliggyJack
July 14th 2018


2051 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I know I was saying I agree with you.



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