This album became a massive seller thanks to the two smash hit singles that bookend the record, "Rosanna" and "Africa". So Toto regained their fame and fortune, albeit briefly.
"Africa" is the classic of course. Its warm keyboards intermingled with a crooning verse before the flying chorus is Toto at their best, again demonstrating that - when the band put their mind to it - they can be superb. Unfortunately, what comes prior to that demonstrates how frustrating they've always been, and has me wondering why they can't reach such heights more often. It's not that any of it is bad, rather than none of it is particularly memorable, and that includes "Rosanna", which I've never had much time for.
Elsewhere, such tracks as "I Won't Hold You Back" and "Good for You" work to a degree, despite their limited choruses, maybe because Toto knew how to inject just enough interesting chords and/or instrumental touches to take the songs slightly beyond routine, and that could be appled to most of the album - it somehow manages to just rise above the mediocre.
But "Africa" shows that the band can soar above the mediocre when they really try. Alas, they don't try very often. It should also be pointed out that that track is the one that spares us the limp romantic lyrics which dominate everything else.
Toto has continued to release albums into the 21st century, but can any casual pop fan name one of their songs from that period? There have been a few gems ("Stranger in Town" comes to mind), but they have never regained the fame they found themselves enjoying in 1982 and 1983.
Eventually, even above average mediocrity will find you out.Rated:
by Reviewer: The Doctor