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TOTO / MINDFIELDS
LABEL: SONY MUSIC WORLDWIDE
OVERALL: 71%
Produced by: Toto
  1. After You've Gone
  2. Mysterious Ways
  3. Mind Fields
  4. High Price Of Hate
  5. Selfish
  6. No Love
  7. Caught In The Balance
  8. Last Love
  9. Mad About You
  10. One Road
  11. Melanie
  12. Cruel
  13. Better World
I was really looking forward to this album, especially after the disappointing Tambu record and the 'fans only' Toto XX release.
The guys were being backing by Sony, they have original singer Bobby Kimball back in the fold - they were ready to rock!!
Except, they don't. And that is why I am once again left disappointed after several listens to the new studio album Mindfields.
There are certainly enough good points here to talk about and I will get to them, but this album is too laid back. There are a couple of all out rockers, great tracks, but the majority is quite restrained. The other slight problem is the length of the tracks. 13 tracks shouldn't seem to much, but with several tracks over 6 minutes, it does run too long.
I am not sure of the final running order or even if all tracks here have made the final cut of the album. So I will just run through the 13 tracks I have and describe what I hear.
After You've Gone is a big moody Lukather ballad, very representative of any track from his last solo album Luke. 6:37 in length. Nice ballad and good vocals.
A little experimental at the end with some interesting drum rhythms and some Indian influenced guitar picking. However I hope that this is not the way they will chose to open the album. Better off doing that with the next track.
Mysterious Ways is that track and sees the come back of Mr Kimball. And in fine voice he leads this jazzy hard rocker that will please any Toto fan. Funky, hard and jazzy all in one. Everything a Toto song would be. Possible single. Great guitar solo. I love it!
Mind Fields is an 'old' style Toto track. Sounds like it could have been lifted from any of the early albums. Plenty of keyboards and laid back rhythms and guitar riffs. Mid tempo. Traditional fans should like this return to the roots. At 6:00 it's too long.
High Price Of Hate is a different style again. Clocking in at 9:49, this is way too long! But it is musically more interesting than the title track.
Bobby Kimball puts in a tough vocal, screaming and stretching his voice at times over this slow, hard and bluesy number.
Lukather gets to play his Stevie Ray Vaughn best with a blues solo that is backed by some cool organ. Big, long, bluesy.
Selfish is another good uptempo funky hard rocker in the vein of Mysterious Ways. Good vocals from Kimball and some hard riffing from Lukather.
No big chorus or usual harmonies, just a raw fast paced and live rocker.
No Love sounds a little more recent style Toto. More a Tambu sound with Lukather back on vocals. Typical Toto harmony chorus with some harmonica thrown in on this mid tempo rock track. Pretty good, but not outstanding.
Caught In The Balance however, is outstanding! This Kimball led track is one of the highlights of the album. Starting slowly with some soloing, the track then moves into prime moody Lukather mode. Kimball sings strong, but restrained.
The chorus rises in anthem-ish fashion and Lukther gets more room to move. Strong and exactly what you want from Toto. Strangely, at 6:21, this track doesn't seem long enough!
Last Love unfortunately slows things down again, just as they were getting going. This is another moody Lukather ballad. Average verse, but a pretty good chorus. Slow tempo, but some nice organ again.
Mad About You is promising from the start with a nice little guitar riff and some chord changes that suggests this will be an anthem ballad. Indeed it is, a feel good uptempo ballad with Kimball singing a killer chorus and some heartfelt lyrics. Great stuff. Bridges, rising vocals and plenty of harmonies. Maybe a little Seventh One in it. Classic Toto.
One Road is a fairly heavy mid tempo rocker, again sung by Kimball in that moody Lukather style of vocal. An OK track, not as memorable as some others on the album.
Melanie is a big Lukather power ballad. Nice track and a great ballad. Very Tambu / Seventh One.
Cruel is another big jazzy, bluesy mid tempo rocker. Not bad, but probably for older fans and die hards. I didn't get into this one a lot.
Better World is the kind of track you can only end an album with. At 7:41 it's fairly long and totally indulgent! Lukather fans will enjoy several long solo's. The tune is mainly instrumental, but at 7 minutes plus it has room for plenty of vocals as well. Mainly a Lukther vocal, this track has big guitars, big piano and big backing vocals. Then it just ends!
Mindfields touches over several styles and is like listening to a history of the band. There are tracks that represent the early years (the pomp and the jazz), there are smoother Westcoast tracks like the Seventh One and Fahrenheit years and then there is some modern bluesy and AOR tracks, like Tambu and Lukather's solo records.
While this diversity is welcome and actually gels quite nicely across the whole album, the main problem is lack of energy in the tracks. Live maybe a different story altogether and if I was in the touring path of the band wouldn't miss it for the world.
So unless I am in the mood there will be a few tracks I skip here and some others I will play quite a bit. Kimball makes a welcome return and I think older fans of Toto will like this more than the more recent or 80's coverts.
Where as the Fergie Frederiksen album was also soft, it differed in that it's songs retained the interest of the listener from the start to the finish.
Released in Europe March 3 and 8, Japan March 10 (with bonus track), UK April 5 and North America May 5.
PRODUCTION: 81%SONGS: 73%VIBE: 66%ATTITUDE: 64%
ESSENTIAL FOR: Most Toto and Steve Lukather fans. Bobby Kimball fans.


17/02/06: MIKE - MRYANDT@MSN.COM
Rating: 100
YEP, IT'S THAT GOOD. ALL THE SONGS ARE KILLER! PERIOD.

11/04/05: ElectricHead - frebre@web.de
Rating: 40
Well, after the Seventh One Toto didn't make any good albums. This one also bores me to death. Fergie Frederiksen, Tommy Denander and Le Roux and Pride Of Lions are much much better than this under-average album. Only die-hard Toto fans will love this. A objective music lover like me knows many other albums with much better music. Forget it!

20/10/02: Ignacio - jigutierrez1@yahoo.comÁ
Rating: 80
Hello,

I like Toto. The first song i heard of them was a bonus track that was given here in melodicrock... The spanish steps of Rome... what a killer song!! no words to describe it.. Any Toto fan should listen to it and have it, really (u won't regret it)
After that i began my interest for Toto , and i sadly discovered that in this record was not the bonus track =-(. It is not a bad record, it is GOOD... BUT i can not understand why this track was a bonus... this track IS indispensable. It would make the album fly to 95 ...

PS: Really i can not understand the Japanese bonus track. Fans are all OVER the world ... aren't we? Our money is as good as their...
PS2: Andy, many thanks for the track, you made my month with that only song, and i began loving Toto :-)

19/03/02: Dave - corkscrew42@hotmail.com
Rating: 95
Yes, I'm that impressed... I saw them live when they came to England, livefields is excellent and they sound just as great in the flesh. Hey you fellow toto fans? Are they wicked or what? Purely at the top with their professionalism, FUCK all this boyband shit! I wish they'd all die... sounds harsh but i mean it! Godbless to all you who love this band as I do...

24/02/01: Scott - scottw@mfx.net
Rating: 70
Great sound quality. But this release should rock out a little more. It's a little to mellow.

02/12/00: duncan macleod - theimmortal1@hotmail.com
Rating: 9
I happen to think every toto album is great. TO me they ARE aor melodic music. I don't say rock cause they are more than rock they are jazz,pop, modern top 40 (the good stuff), fusion, latin, rock 'n' roll, and everything that is great about music. These guys have been pissed on, shit on, made an absolute mockery of here in the states. I can't understand why they have been outcasted like they have been. I met the band in feb. 2000 @ the vegas shows they were 3/4 ths full but the crowd got the best show in an hour and a half you can get. I love this band, none better ever!!!! All 5 singers (including luke who has been lead singer since 1991 when they fired 4 th lead singer jean-michel-byron) are some of the best in music period. The only bright side to this unfortunate happening is that for 20 yrs. we heard 5 different singers, styles, vibes and sounds!! NO other band has this unique ability to take you on a pop/rock ride of unparralled greatness bobby, fergie, joseph, jean, luke. Hey, if you haven't got there catalog then get it!!!!! THINK ALL THAT TOTO IS IS BALLAD LOVE-SONGS OR DATED POSER ROCK???? YOU ARE DEAD WRONG!! There is no ONE way to classify this band they are simply the best. Joseph williams is my personal favorite a close 2nd tie with bobby and fergie, byron was cool but I don't think he was a good fit for toto not after the others. GET MINDFIELDS, WHETHER YOUR A KIMBALL FAN OR BYRON FAN OR JOE OR FERGIE FAN IT DOESEN'T MATTER THIS ALBUM GIVES YOU A LITTLE BIT OF EVERYTHING!!! IT IS ARGUBLY MY FAVORITE AND I LUV EVERY RELEASE. FROM TOTO 1 TO MINDFIELDS I GOT 'EM ALL AND THIS IS THE BEST!!! DAVID PAICH FANS GET THE U.S. VERSION IT HAS BONUS TRACK "SPANISH STEPS" WELL WORTH THE PURCAHSE. If ten is a perfect score this is the closest I've ever heard by anyone! fav tracks "CAUGHT IN THE BALANCE", MAYBE TOTO'S BEST TRACK EVER!!! KIMBALL IS AT HIS BEST HERE. " MELANIE" PURE LUKE UPTEMPO BALLAD WITHA REAL COOL DRUM LOOP AND "SUMMER NIGHT DRIVE WITH THE TOP DOWN FEEL" WITH A SAD HAUNTING TWIST!! A TOP TEN HIT IF IT WOULD'VE GOT A CHANCE. "MAD ABOUT YOU", GREAT POP TRACK WRITTEN BY JOE WILLIAMS." "BETTER WORLD". GREAT 3 PART SONGS LUKE AT HIS BEST AND MY OTHER FAVORTIE TRACK IS " AFTER YOU'VE GONE" PEOPLE GET THIS ALBUM IT IS PURE BRILLIANCE!!!!!! A.M. GET CLUE PAL. 71% ADD 20% AND YOU'VE GOT A START. THIS IS PURE TOTO; VERSATILITY, MUSICIANSHIP, VOCALS WITH NO EQUAL, HARMONIES, SOLO'S GREAT SET OF TUNES. HANDS DOWN THE BEST OF 1999! TO DAVID PAICH , STEVE LUKATHER, SIMON PHILLIPS, BOBBY KIMBALL, MIKE PORCARO, YOU GUYS ARE THE BEST!!! COME BACK SOON TO U.S. AND WORLD!!

'on the wings of time',' 'your faithfull companion'

duncan macleod the toto highlander!

27/11/00: Brad - bdame@snet.net
Rating: 93
I have always been fond of this band dating back to the "popular heyday" of Toto IV, when they had such hits as "Rosanna", "Africa", and "I Won't Hold You Back." In addition, "Hold The Line" is one of my favorite songs of all time. So obviously I have enjoyed them for their hits. But you know what, this band has proven to be about a lot more than that as time goes on. "Mindfields" is perhaps their most musically diverse, interesting album ever. (I bought it the day it FINALLY came out in the states--a year ago this month.) It sure is great to hear Bobby Kimball again. This band has always been about great musicianship, and with albums such as this they (to me) prove the critics wrong about being just a formulatic, hit-making machine. Granted, I wish this album got more notice in the states, but I doubt that will ever happen with this band here again. Sarcastic comment: how can they possibly "keep up" with the likes of the Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync? In any event, I hope to hear more music like this from this band in the future. I do have 10 of their albums, after all, so I am obviously a big fan. Keep up the great work, guys.

31/08/00: Steve lukather - you guys wish
Rating: 10
thanx to all the toto fans around the world
you know who the fuck you are
you rule

s.lukather

22/06/00: joe - kingshmegland@aol.com
Rating: 80
the first time i listened to the album the sound quality was fantastic! the songs were either hit or miss, more to the hits. highlights are caught in the ballance and mindfields/better world. wish toto would tour in america again.

05/02/00: Luca - ddregs@usa.net
Rating: 85
I really dig this album. I think it is a mix of all classic Toto styles only they could give us.
Mindfields, Caught in the Balance, Cruel and Better World are really great songs and now have become classics. Don't remember a song from Fergie Fredriksen that could be compared to these ones. No way. Next album they can be better! Long live to Toto

29/10/99: Jörg - ice-man@knuut.de
Rating: 90
I think it's one of the better albums of Toto. You must hear it several times to check out the diffrent Songs and Styles of the songs. Mabye it's an idea to show people how diffrent Toto can be. I've seen them live with that Stuff in Oberhausen Arena and i was very impressed how much power the Band brings to the audience. So check it out and you will love i!!

17/06/99: TONI H. - gbasesores@cgbasesores.redestb.es
Rating: 95
Is a great group with a great musicans, one more time Simon Phillips is a amazing drummer

05/06/99: glenn russell - gdarcart98@aol.com
Rating: 10
there's no doubt that this is a great album !! i'm also a big fan
of "isolation" ..but anything with joe williams was too weak and
poppy !!! .. the only decent song on the "7th one" was luke's song ..these chains ... bobby kimball has got to be considered one of the best vocalists in rock and display's this all over this album .. for those who had negative comments about this great cd !!!! maybe you should go back to your "rap" cd's ... or
whatever it is you listen to !!!! ... yes i agree that "kingdom
of desire" and "tambu" are very weak cd's !!! but mindfields has to be considered as one of the best "melodic" cd's in the last 5
years !!! luke's slower tracks are always awesome !!! and the 7
minute "fusion" workout of "better world...." smokes !!! as far as the length of the songs .... i enjoy listening to "great"
musicians at work **** i'm sure that there are others that will agree with me here !!! .. i did not enjoy having to shell out
35 bucks for the jap imp. hev

29/05/99: Cenk Eroglu - hydra@superonline.com
Rating: 0
I am a Toto fan since 1983 and I am a die hard fan,
well 2 great songs in "mindfields" album which are
"caught in the balance" and "mindfields" well
I think this is an insuficient album for toto (there are no great melodies)
I am disappointed.
Tambu was much more better but not %100 too,
I can say after Jeff ,Toto is in trouble...
sorry but thats the truth.
cCKk+

24/05/99: Mario Prieto - Goodluke@mailcity.com
Rating: 85
Well,

I think that the return of Mr. Kimball would be a little bit better... in fact the magic of the 4 first albums is not on this record. There is a moment on the album, in the song "Cruel", which have a little reminiscence to the TOTO IV sound (the part that starts with "you´ve got that kind of love, flowing like a mountain...). I think this part is one of the highlights of
the album, very-first-TOTO-sound. I hope in the next record make a better use of Bobby´s comeback and give us the magic and freshness of the first era.

Despite of what I said before, I must say this is a great record. Only TOTO can make a record like this one. The songs "After you´ve gone" (uff... eargazm!!!), "Mysterious Ways", "Mindfields" or "Caught in the balance" are f***ing great tunes. Perhaps the songs "Melanie" or "Mad about you" are very-easy-catchy tunes, not on TOTO level... they don´t use to make this kind of songs, which, for me, are very typical. It´s not TOTO style, I think.

Next album will be better, I´m sure. So prepare yourself...

23/05/99: TOTO FAN - kabron247@hotmail.com
Rating: 10
I myself have been a diehard Toto fan since the begining. I have loved watching these guys grow with every album they make. Their musicianship is some of THE finest I have ever seen/heard. Without a doubt Mindfields IS a great album. Paich is truly amazing, and his first class playing shows on this album. CHECK THIS ALBUM OUT!!!!!!!!

23/05/99: TOTOHOLIC - kenlorco@aol.com
Rating: 10
CHECK THIS ALBUM OUT!!!!!!!!!

22/05/99: mike - dylan7@webtv.net
Rating: 85
The first time I listened to this cd I didn't know quite what to think about it. 3 of the first 5 songs in my opinion aren't what I would consider Toto-sounding songs ("Mysterious Ways", "High Price of Hate", and "Selfish"). But the other ten songs make up the best Toto album since "Isolation" (also one of my all-time favorite albums). The keyboard work on this album is haunting at times, and the melodies are as strong as ever. Songs like "After You've Gone", "Mindfields", "Caught In the Balance" are pure melodic bliss. So to those who were dissatisfied with the cd the first couple of listens, give this cd another chance. The last 2/3 of the album are as strong as I have heard this band sound in years. It is one of those cds that I keep coming back to when I am looking for something different to listen to...it is not a boring album by any stretch of the imaginatio

26/04/99: Brian McGowan (Hard RoxX) - brianmcgowan@hroxx.freeserve.co.uk
Rating: 95
Time will lend perspective to 'Mindfields'.
There is no doubt in my mind that this absolutely superb album is Toto's best since 'Seventh One'.
The fact that Kimball is back is purely icing. Lukather's guitarwork and vocals are the stars of 'Mindfields', elevating each quality song to classic Toto level.
Mark my words.
ri

25/04/99: Dave Williams - dwilly5150@aol.com
Rating: 94
It's so great to hear Bobby back with these guys! "High Price of Hate" is a little long, but a good tune none-the-less. Everything else is OUTSTANDING! Ranks up there with the best Toto ever! But then again, I loved Tambu as well. I think some people expected Toto IV all over again. But these guys have grown as musicians! Nothing less than I expected. Great Artwork and packaging too! Contrary to others, I think it rocks!

13/04/99: Shane Berry - shaneberry@hotmail.com
Rating: 90
I would have to say that being a TOTO fan right from the beginning that the retun of Bobby Kimball alone makes this an album to purchase. However, with the exception of "High Price Of Hate" which in my opinion is just too long every song on this CD is excellent. If you get a chance try to get the Japanese import version. It has an amazing bonus track called "Spanish Steps Of Rome". Sung by David Paich (who's lower range vocals graced TOTO IV's "Africa" , this song features amazing spanish guitar by Luke and haunting background vocals. While I agree this CD is no "TOTO IV" it is one of their best works. A must for good ol' melodic rock fans...
SB

28/03/99: Chris - ckoll@jura.uni-wuerzburg.de
Rating: 85
Sorry Andrew, but I think you misjudged the album.
I don't know if I'm very objective because I've been a Toto-fan since almost ten years now. But I guess I can distinguish between a bad and a good Toto-album. Mindfields surely is a good Toto-album. Compared to classics like Isolation (my favourite album of all times) or 7th one it can only lose, that's clear. But compared to everything else that was released in the last two years it is a clear winner. And because you mentioned Tambu I can only say that this one was also a big disappointment to me. In comparison to the weakest Toto-album of all times Mindfields sets a new standard. I agree that it doesn't really rock but I prefer a well balanced album that you can recognize as a Toto-album in contrast to the more Lukather-driven Kingdom of desire. The songs on Mindfields are all top-class maybe apart from High price of hate, which is much to long indeed. I don't understand why they didn't cut it after the third chorus. There happens nothing new after it. The best song on the album is surely Caught in the balance. Second maybe Mad about you and Cruel although I think that tracks like After you've gone, Mindfields and Better world make the album really interesting. They guarantee that you listen to the album again and again without getting bored. One last point: if you give Equilibrium 90 % I understand that you don't like the new Toto-album. Seems like you appreciate more the pure AOR-stuff, so you couldn't get so into Mindfields. That's no problem with me cause everybody should have his own opinion. To the frequent readers of this site I can only say give Mindfields a chance and don't expect another Toto IV, then you will get along with it very fine. Many greetgs


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