ARTIST:

TOTO

(UNITED STATES)
TITLE:

MINDFIELDS

(1999)
LABEL:

COLUMBIA

GENRE:

A.O.R.

TAGS:
Easy-Listening
""Mindfields" can claim to be one of the best albums of Toto who is definitely a great and powerful AOR band and an uncontested master of the genre!"
MR.BLUE (25.01.2010)  
4/5
(0) opinions from our readers (0) comment(s)

Released in 1999, "Mindfields" signs for Toto the return of a rich and coloured rock and of a "Larger Than Life" band. there are no longer the more direct ambiances of a quartet with a reduced musical spectrum, Bobby Kimball, the original singer who was so difficult to replace after the pillar "IV" in 1982, reintegrates the ranks.

It is Lenny Castro who opens the ball with the sound of a darbouka, on a track rich in percussion that has a very "Lukather solo" spirit (Phil Sousan has something to do with it). Despite the return of Kimball, it is Steve who starts on vocals. "After You've Gone" is a muffled pop-rock with a pleasant chorus and velvet guitar. Toto gives off a quiet strength with his groove and his technique at the service of musicality. At the end of the track, Steve whistles his guitar and brings some electric zither touches. We are already satisfied. Bobby then arrives on the second track and we feel the desire to fight. "Mysterious Ways" has an "opener" feel to it, although it is very (too) short. Luke makes back and forth as a gimmick, the horns heat up, the choirs burst out, it's straight and punchy.

The follow-up will remain globally in the same register apart from some weaker tracks. "Mindfields" impresses with its reggae atmosphere that is adorned with electronic sounds and ethnic trends. "High Price Of Hate" is a 10-minute slow blues structured like a late night jam in a smoky bar. Bobby gives it his all, proving that he's still in great shape and by far the best singer of the band's career. With the groovy "Selfish" and its squeaky keyboard sounds, we realize that since the beginning of the album, Toto is having fun. He changes his costume, dares and takes the listener in this surprising waltz with multiple faces, just like the artwork. The bass hums, the voice and the choirs hit the spot and the guitar, uncontrolled, sneaks everywhere. And once again, the musicians manage to gently convey very complex rhythms.  

The album ends up with "Better World", perhaps the jewel of this record, a progressive track of great class containing in its central part a beautiful ballad in which Steve Lukather proves to be poignant. The intro, very convoluted and a bit psychedelic, is breathtaking and the final flight is of the most beautiful effect. The bonus track is the superb "Spanish Steps Of Rome". It would have deserved to appear on the album instead of a title in "Love". We find there with delight the rare and muffled voice of Paich (which definitely marries well with the percussions), the "spanish" guitar of Luke and sublime ethereal feminine choirs. A real beauty!

Second album with Simon Phillips and second to last with Steve Lukather, "Mindfields" has a powerful sound and a high level production, which even after ten years does not have to falter in front of the current productions. The musicians have nothing left to prove and the band has renewed its repertoire, and made it more dynamic. The brass and percussions of all kinds make their comeback and rub shoulders with bright and inspired atmospheres. Of course, the album, underestimated, has its detractors, some of whom reproach it with too much diversity, a cluttered side. If there is diversity, it never betrays a lack of unity with the undeniable touch and class of a great band. In short, "Mindfields" can claim to be one of the best albums of Toto who is definitely a great and powerful AOR band and an undisputed master of the genre!


More informations on http://www.toto99.com





TRACK LISTING:
01. After You've Gone – 06:39
02. Mysterious Ways – 03:40
03. Mindfields – 06:02
04. High Price Of Hate – 09:49
05. Selfish – 05:30
06. No Love – 04:35
07. Caught In The Balance – 06:21
08. Last Love – 04:58
09. Mad About You – 04:24
10. One Road – 03:45
11. Melanie – 05:19
12. Cruel – 05:57
13. Better World – 07:41
14. Spanish Steps (bonus Track) - 04:26

LINEUP:
Bobby Kimball: Chant
Chris Thompson: Backing vocals
David Paich: Chant / Claviers
Lenny Castro: Percussions
Mike Porcaro: Basse
Simon Phillips: Batterie
Steve Lukather: Chant / Guitares
   
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