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Toto - XIV Award winner

by Katarzyna Zakolska at 19 March 2015, 12:49 PM

TOTO is a classic rock/AOR/hard rock/pop band from Los Angeles, CA in the United States. The band was formed in 1976, and they have released 12 albums and achieved some big successes. They are mostly known for their singles including: “Africa” “Rosanna” and “Hold the Line”. “XIV” is TOTO’s upcoming 13th studio album which will be released on March 20th 2015 via Frontiers Records.

My favorite track on this album is single “Orphan” where melodic hard rock riffs are so full of  energy combined with excellent choruses and choirs of bands mixed with singing from the band’s brilliant vocalists. The track is very memorable and has a lot of funky echoes. Opening track “Running Out of Time” has nice melodic sounds with a lot of energy and great guitars and there are choirs singing in the background. This track possesses amazing melodic choruses  with the choir with funky sounds a'la CHICKENFOOT sound fabulous with great riffs and great solos. This song has memorable choruses.

Calmer pianos open “Burn”, and then impressive stronger riffs hit the listeners' ears with huge refrain, and this calm piano adds real beauty to this track! Amazing vocals and singing in choruses by choirs with many modern techniques highlight this song. Faster guitars set the beat for “Great Expectations”. This track is amazing with stronger guitars like something in QUEEN’s style. Great connections of calm atmospheres with many melodies are present! Impressive key performances, and also progressive changes in the tempo of this music give fantastic tastes to this song.

Energetic riffs with AOR vibes are in “Holy War” with wonderful choirs singing in refrain. Pianos, stronger riffs, keys in the 80s styles, and beautiful guitar solos give true form to the track. Bluesy fabulous rocking rhythmic section with clear bass parts and nice drums highlight “21st Century Blues”. What a great atmosphere! The saxophones and organs give amazing additions to the track. Also brilliant guitar solos and mega-catchy choruses, singing done together by the whole band bring the song together!

There is a beautiful ballad in “All The Tears That Shine” with gentle pianos, and calmer beautiful singing by choirs and vocalists accompanied by acoustic guitars. Another ballad is “Unknown Soldier (for Jeffrey)” with brilliant acoustic guitars and wonderful singing that make it a perfect work of art. Also worth to mention is the great refrains done together with the choirs. Also “Bend” the bonus track is full of calmer atmospheres and gentle singing.

Worth to listen are also: “Fortune” with nice funky echoes, classic rock guitars, melodic melodies, and gentle pianos. “The Little Things” are where are drums take on more of an African style, nice gentle singing, with similar echoes in DEF LEPPARD are present.

TOTO connects classic rock elements with more hard rock elements as well as commercial pop sounds, funky beats, and AOR styles in their work. In my opinion, it is a very enjoyable album to listen to. The production is done at a very high level. The more I listened to this album, the more I liked it. Melody pouring out from this CD. Elements are excellent, played well, and mixed together. Everything is perfectly worked. 12 killer songs from this album will be surely amazing gift for lovers of classic Rock, fans of hard rock from '80 through to today, and fans of TOTO. More than highly recommend!

5 Star Rating

1. Running Out of Time
2. Burn
3. Holy War
4. 21st Century Blues
5. Orphan
6. Unknown Soldier (for Jeffrey)
7. The Little Things
8. Chinatown
9. All The Tears That Shine
10. Fortune
11. Great Expectations
12. Bend (Bonus Track)
Steve Lukather - Guitar & Vocals
David Paich - Keyboards & Vocals
Steve Porcaro - Keyboards & Vocals
Shannon Forrest - Drums
Joe Williams - Vocals
Record Label: Frontiers Records


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Edited 28 May 2023

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