CD Review: “Toto XIV”

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Toto XIVWest coast rockers Toto are back with “Toto XIV” their first studio album in 9 years and it was absolutely worth the wait.

Original members Steve Lukather, David Paich and Steve Porcaro along with long time vocalist Joseph Williams have released what just might be their best album to date.

Toto XIV” kicks off with “Running Out Of Time” and from the opening riff into the driving drum track it is clear that Toto is here to rock.  Next up is “Burn” with Williams belting out a chorus that soars above David Paich’s beautiful backing keyboards.

The proceedings continue with Williams trading lead vocals with Steve Lukather on “Holy War” another bombastic progressive rocker. Other standout tracks include “Orphan” which starts as a mid tempo ballad and then kicks into high gear to become another hard driving rocker. David Paich takes center stage as lead vocalist on “All The Tears That Shine” and reminds us what we loved so much about the band’s Grammy Award winning “IV” album.

Toto XIV” closes with “Great Expectations” a three-way lead vocal extravaganza by Williams, Lukather and Paich that includes a  scorching guitar/drum dual by Lukather and new drummer Keith Carlock.

With 40 years of recorded history under their belts “Toto XIV” proves that this band of studio wizards has no intention of slowing down and that is something music fans can definitely be happy about.

Drumroll please… 10 out of 10 drumsticks!!!

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Pat Francis currently hosts the popular comedy/music podcast “Rock Solid,” called 1 of the 8 great music podcasts to put in your ears by USA Today and featuring artists such as Melissa Etheridge, Sammy Hagar and Susanna Hoffs. His frequent appearances on Jimmy Pardo’s top rated podcast “Never Not Funny” are fan favorites. Pat began his entertainment career as a stand-up comic in Chicago, IL. After touring the country and performing in 42 states at comedy clubs and colleges, he relocated to Los Angeles, CA. There he appeared as a comedian on Comedy Central, AMC, the UCB and is a yearly regular at the San Francisco Sketchfest. For the past 5 years he has also served as Co-Host of the yearly event Pardcast-A-Thon which to date has raised over 700,000 for Smile Train. When not entertaining people in person he also makes his living as a Story Producer for reality television programs. It is also important to know that Pat is a monkey in a human mask.

Pat FrancisCD Review: “Toto XIV”