Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Toto

  • Toto IV [Columbia, 1982] B-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Toto IV [Columbia, 1982]
Wish I could claim this millionaire Grammy-rock was totally pleasureless, but professionalism is rarely that neat. The fattest of all studio bands is almost as hooky as Shoes or the Ramones, and their production excesses at times betray verve, delight, even (though I must be mistaken) a sense of humor. But the lyrics are utterly forgettable, and the tone and spirit have nothing to do with rock and roll--unlike Thom Bell, to whom they've been rapturously compared in Billboard, they don't know the difference between slick and smooth, between hedonism and conspicuous consumption. At least Michael McDonald learned his shit from the real thing; Bobby Kimball and Steve Lukather learned theirs from McDonald. Still, for a band that crosses Chicago, Asia, and the Doobie Brothers, they have their glitzy moments. B-

Further Notes:

Meltdown [1970s]

Everything Rocks and Nothing Ever Dies [1990s]