Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  And It Don't Stop
  Book Reports
  Is It Still Good to Ya?
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Xgau Sez
  And It Don't Stop
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Rolling Stone
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
Web Site:
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
CG Search:
Google Search:


  • 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]