Track Listing
Could You Be Loved (2)
While My Guitar Gently Weeps (3)
Can't Get Next To You
Livin' For The City
Maiden Voyage/Butterfly
Burn Down The Mission (1)
Sunshine Of Your Love
Watching The Detectives
House Of The Rising Sun
It Takes A Lot To Laugh, And A Train To Cry

(*) Best Tracks

Discography & (Rank)
Turn Back
IV (5)
Isolation (1)
Fahrenheit (4)
Seventh One (2)
Kingdom Of Desire (3)
Tambu (7)
XX (8)
Mindfields (6)
Through The Looking Glass (9)

Buy it if you liked:
Toto - Mindfields

Line Up
Bobby Kimball, Steve Lukather, David Paich: Vocals
Steve Lukather: Guitar
David Paich: Keyboards
Simon Phillips: Drums
Michael Porcaro: Bass

Through The Looking Glass
Produced By: Toto & Elliot Scheiner
Running Time: 56.54 Genre: Classic Rock
Release Date: October 14 Released: EU
WebLink: Toto LabelLink: EMI

Any long time readers of this site should be familiar with my love of all things Toto. But in recent times, I have found a few things I haven't liked as much. Both Tambu and Mindfields had some classic moments, but needed a couple of extra great tracks to make them classic.
Before anyone comments - I think there are some Toto fans unwilling to hear criticism of their favorite band from anyone, especially 'reviewers' like myself.
I expect a wide variety of comments about this album, hence why the interactive platform has been made available.
Consider this before you cast any judgment on this review. I would rate Isolation and Seventh One as perfect 100's. I rate Kingdom Of Desire not far behind that. I love these guys are all their solo projects. Lukather's solo debut is another perfect 100. But I am not into the concept of this release. I know other long time fans that hold similar views.
In the past year a lot of excitement grew in anticipation of a new studio Toto record, with the guy's seemingly on track for something special. Then the announcement of this album. I think the guys made a mistake not declaring this was a covers album until after it was finished.
Anticipation was high for new material and the announcement dampened that. Dare I say, I'll still be highly anticipating the next all original studio album. I still believe the guys will make an all time classic when the time comes.
But more on this album...first the positives. There are several. First of all, this is immaculately produced. The sound is nothing short of sensational, with every note flawlessly executed by the guys.
The performances on here are nothing short of fantastic, but we already know the guys are as good as they are. It's no surprise to hear them play as good as they do here.
The band's version of some of the song sis also quite unique - well worthy of a mention and some praise for musical intelligence.
So let's cover these songs. This is the part I am having trouble with. I just don't see the average Toto fan having much interest in any of these songs. Yes, they are all classics - no one doubts that. But I think the only thing going on as far as Toto fan curiosity, is how their favorite band has put their own spin on these songs.
As I have said, that performance is perfect for sure, but that out of the way, what interest in the songs remains?
For example, I personally don't hold any passion for songs by Bob Marley, Elvis Costello, Bob Dylan or Herbie Hanock etc... No matter who's playing them, the songs are what they are.
Let's take a look Track by Track:
Bodhisattva is an old Steely Dan track. I know there are many fans of Steely out there, but I am not one of them. This track lends itself perfectly to be covered by Toto, as it runs close to the band's early more Westcoast & Jazz influences. Maybe one for the oldest of the old Toto fans.
Could You Be Loved is a unique version of the Bob Marley classic. Well, classic for Marley fans at least...I hate reggae with a passion, but you know what? I dig this track. This is what doing covers is all about - making a crap song good. Paired with a Jamaican rapper, Bobby Kimball sounds like he has grown dreadlocks and Steve sounds like he would be right at home in Antigua. Given the track listing, a good choice as a single and quite catchy.
While My Guitar Gently Weeps is a more rock friendly track and given that George Harrison has only recently passed away, is a fitting tribute to the man. This version keeps the feel of the original, but sees Lukather add his distinctive tone - both vocally and musically. The feel of the track and musical additions is excellent and I must say - and I'm sure others will agree - the soloing by Lukather on this track is sensational.
Can't Get Next To You is an old Al Green track and should again appeal to older old fans of the band. This harks back to a blues/jazz feel, with a powerful horn section and guitar sound. Some solid vocals from Bobby, but not a track I'll listen to a lot.
Livin' For The City is a former Stevie Wonder track. Once again, I wouldn't listen to the original to often, but do enjoy this cover. The guys let loose a bit and it's generally a good fun song to hear.
Maiden Voyage/Butterfly is an 8 minute soft Westcoast Jazz instrumental and although perfectly executed holds little interest for me and I will presume many of Toto's 'rock' fans.
Bobby Kimball does an absolute killer job on the old Elton John track Burn Down The Mission. This is probably my favorite track of the album. The guys capture the essence of the original and the 70's feel perfectly and add their own Toto spin to the style. Clocking over 6 minutes, it could have gone 10. I love the last couple of minutes especially, it features a full orchestral arrangement as done on the original and should be the next single for sure.
A prime reason my feelings for this CD being mixed is explained with this next track. Sunshine Of Your Love is a song that should be outlawed from existence. I hate the original and hate every version of it I have ever heard (all 412 versions), this included. It's just a song that has been so over done and done again and with respect to the guys, am not sure why it was done this time.
Time for a little light relief after the heavy dose of Sunshine. Steve Lukather is again at the mike, this time totally taking the piss out of Elvis Costello. Watching The Detectives was recorded because Elvis apparently hates Toto. For this reason alone I approve of this track! It's very well done and Lukather does a great 'Elvis' impersonation, but I won't be listening to this much.
House Of The Rising Sun is another track I am not a big fan of, but credit to Toto - this version is fantastic. It rates as one of the album's best tracks, with Bobby singing his ass off here. The guys have added lots of interesting musical twists to this track, not least a huge Hammond organ sound. Add some great guitar parts and an excellent track is made.
It Takes A Lot To Laugh, And A Train To Cry features Dave on vocals. Recorded live in concert, this take on the old Bob Dylan track is ok, but I will presume to say you need some appreciation of Dylan to dig this bluesy version. Another track I will skip.

The Bottom Line
Despite being only 10 tracks, this is a very diverse record. For that reason, to accept every track on here will require a Toto fan with wide ranging tastes. That isn't me I'm afraid. I can really appreciate a few tracks, but not each and every one.
If every track was of the caliber of While My Guitar Gently Weeps and Burn Down The Mission, it would be an easier review to write.
The quality of performance and production is consistently high throughout, but the variety of songs places limitations on the overall enjoyment.
Sundries: Running time and artwork both good value - track running order ok also - providing you like the tracks.

Additional Ratings
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