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Toto - Toto XIV



Toto XIV is the band's first album in nine years and is their thirteenth studio album - a slightly confusing fact considering this one is called 14. Toto are a band that have had massive success in the almost four decades since they first formed, having had several singles in the UK charts and also several albums. Toto have sold over 35 million albums and between the Toto albums and those from the other projects involving members of Toto (thats a staggering 5000 albums), they've clocked up half a billion album sales - a staggering number, and have received over 200 Grammy nominations.

The new album is being released on CD, with a Deluxe Edition available featuring a "Making of" Documentary on DVD, expanded booklet that includes an in depth story and interview about the new album alongside exclusive pictures in ecol-book packaging.
The album will also be available as a 2LP vinyl set, and a Super Deluxe limited edition which includes the Deluxe CD/DVD edition, 2LP vinyl, an exclusive poster, t-shirt (large size only), and lithograph.

The band are certainly confident that the new album is a good one - check out these comments...

"This is opposite of going through the motions,” says keyboardist Steve Porcaro. We’re treating this like it is Toto V, our follow-up to TOTO IV. We just want to be the best version of ourselves that we can be. Be true to ourselves and make the best music we can. Entertain people which is what we were put on this earth for."

"When you put us in a room, and everybody brings in their pieces, the next thing you know it all fits together,” says guitarist Steve “Luke” Lukather. “Everybody's performances are top notch. We are really bringing our best out, forcing ourselves to make personal best choices, what's best for the music. I'm really excited to hear what people think."

Comparing the album to Toto IV, their biggest, most successful album by far (which featured the hit singles "Africa" and "Roseanna") is a brave move, but listening to the album it's certainly justified - this is a stunningly good album.

Brief comments on a few tracks...

The album kicks off with "Running out of time" and right from the start there's plenty of power - this is one of the heaviest tracks on the album and shows that they are definitely a rock band at heart. The power of the music contrasts with Joseph Williams's beautiful smooth vocals. It's a superb start to the album and is a song that screams out to be a single.

Next up comes "Burn". It's a piano driven song that starts quite slow and soft but soon the rock side of things kicks in and the drums increase in intensity and the vocals increase in power as the rest of the band join in and you have a really strong chorus. A superb song.

"Chinatown" kicks off with some keyboards before the vocals kick in. The vocals are quite an interesting mix on this song - mainly great smooth singing but at times they're deeper and almost spoken and remind me of 10CC.

The album ends with "Great expectations" - yet another great track and one that has a superb guitar solo as a real highlight.

With songs such as "Holy War" or "Unknown soldier" the band show they aren't afraid to tackle serious subjects in their lyrics, and lyrics are an area where the band are very strong but it is easy to overlook just how good they are at times when you're focussed on just how good the music and vocals are.

There are some albums where you hate to finish writing the review as it means it's time to stop listening to it and to move on to another album, and this is definitely one of those cases. It's going to feel like a long time before the album is released. I've already heard some superb albums due for release this year, and this is definitely up amongst the top ones - this is looking like a superb year for music lovers, and fans of Toto in particular.

This is a great album and I'll certainly be ordering a copy.

Toto XIV will be released in the UK on 23rd March 2014 via Frontiers records, and the band will be on tour from May onwards - see the list of dates below.

Track listing:

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

Toto are:

Joseph Williams – lead vocals
Steve Lukather – guitars, bass, vocals
David Paich – keyboards, vocals
Steve Porcaro – keyboards, vocals
David Hungate – bass
Keith Carlock – drums
Lenny Castro – percussion
Tom Scott – saxes and horn arrangements
Lee Sklar, Tal Wilkenfeld, Tim Lefebvre – bass
Martin Tillman - cello
CJ Vanston – additional synths
Michael McDonald, Amy Keys, Mabvuto Carpenter, Jamie Savko, Amy Wlliams – background vocals.


5/21 Glasgow, UK - Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
5/23 Dublin, Ireland - Vicar Street (SOLD OUT)
5/25 Manchester, UK - 02 Apollo Manchester
5/26 London, UK - Apollo Hammersmith
5/28 Paris, France - Zenith
5/29 Esch Sur Alzette, Luxembourg - Rockhal
5/30 Amsterdam, Netherlands - Ziggo Dome
6/02 Sonderborg, Denmark - Molleparkens Friluftscene
6/03 Copenhagen, Denmark - Falkoner Theatre
6/04 Solvesborg, Sweden - Sweden Rock Festival
6/06 Bergen, Norway - Bergen Calling
6/07 Oslo, Norway - Sentrum Scene (SOLD OUT)
6/10 Bremerhaven, Germany - Stadthalle
6/11 Berlin, Germany - Tempodrome
6/12 Leipzig, Germany - Parkbuhne
6/13 Dresden, Germany - Junge Garde
6/15 Cologne, Germany - Tanzbrunnen
6/16 Offenbach, Germany - Stadthalle
6/17 Stuttgart, Germany - Freilichtbuhne Killesberg
6/18 Abenberg, German - Burg Abenberg
6/20 Hinwil, Switzerland - Rock The Ring Festival
6/21 Klam, Austria - Castle Clam
6/23 Wroclaw, Poland - Orbita Hol
6/24 Warsaw, Poland - Torwar
6/26 Budapest, Hungary - Petofi Hall
6/27 Bucharest, Romania - Sala Palatului
6/28 Sofia, Bulgaria - Arena Armeec
6/30 Belgrade, Serbia - Kalemegdan Fortress
7/03 Milan, Italy - City Sound Milan
7/05 Rome, Italy - Cavea Auditorium
7/08 Munich, Germany - Olympiahalle
7/13 Morzine, France - Morzine Harley Days
7/15 Nimes, France - Festival de Nimes
7/16 Vienne, France - Theatre Antique

Skribent: Anthony May
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