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[REVIEW]: Falling In Between (2006) by Toto


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TOTO

Falling In Between (2006)

Frontiers Records

 

For the Genre: ****- (4/5)

Compared to the Era: ***** (5/5)

Recorded in my backyard of Sherman Oaks, California throughout 2005, “Falling In Between” is what happens when you take six legendary musical performers and composers with combined experience exceeding one-hundred twenty years. Rich percussion, textured guitar work, nuanced bass lines with excellent keyboards blending piano, organ, synthesizer pads and more executing brilliant fusion jazz rock son structures and melody, and supporting gorgeous vocal stacks. Some songs are a little more accessible than others but the listener’s patience is well rewarded. The exquisite art on the part of Jim Evans and the shimmering mastering by Steve MacMillan were a thick layer of icing on the cake.

 

There is no mistaking the signature vocals of Steve Lukather and Bobby Kimball on this record, but we are treated to the lead singing talent of keyboardist Greg Phillinganes on the two best tracks on the CD: King of the World and Let It Go. However, nobody’s going to out-do Bobby, who lights it up on Falling in Between, a dark and intense rock song with a progressive tendencies and classic Toto rhythm. This song earned multiple plays daily during my first week of owning the record. As did, “Hooked,” a track with so much funk and attitude, it was hard to believe.

 

This CD was so refreshing because it came together the way many of the great fusion rock and jazz records of the 1970s was recorded, by real musicians during numerous sessions in the studio, featuring mature song construction. Dying On My Feet, which gets off to a slow start, really delivers the goods. Chicago’s James Pankow contributes an outstanding horn section for the end of this song, one of the many awesome contributions made by members of Chicago.

 

Not every track is a winner, but this CD has so many buried treasures through most of the tracks that someone is bound to find something they’ll love somewhere on this release. Make no mistake, “Falling In Between” is not re-hash, or sounds like a weak attempt at recapturing the stellar work off of their fame-maker record “Toto IV.” This record stands on its own as an incredibly strong product, and much better than the vast majority of chart topping releases that debuted in 2006.

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