Toto, “Orphan” from Toto XIV (2015): One Track Mind

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Toto officially introduces the superlative upcoming Toto XIV with “Orphan” — a song about kindred spirits, a song about belonging, a song about finding community in a time and a place where you thought it simply couldn’t be found.

It’s the story of Toto today, encapsulated in a smoothly inviting pop setting that will do just as much to remind long-time fans of their breakthrough moment on Toto V as does the title of their long-awaited new studio effort.

Toto XIV, due on March 20 in Europe and on March 24 in America, finds this group in a moment that few thought they’d ever be in again, a moment that “Ophan” perfectly reflects: Back together after a time in which they were essentially broken up. Back in the studio after a lengthy period in which it seemed Toto would never record again. Back with Joseph Williams, who — likely because he didn’t circle the globe in the ensuring years with his erstwhile bandmates — is in remarkably robust voice. Back collaborating as brothers, as family.

“Orphan” is the sound of that spark igniting again, of a group rising from the ashes of its own history to find something simultaneously familiar and brand new. That comes in the way the lyric moves from the personal toward a broader perspective on sharing this newfound sense of community. In this way, Toto harkens back to an earlier time again, one in which music summoned our better angels.

If you loved Toto before, this is a song that will speak to that passion. If you wondered whether they still had anything left, “Orphan” — as with the rest of Toto XIV — answers that, too.

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso has written for USA Today, American Songwriter, All About Jazz, and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the U.S. by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Nick is now associate editor of Ultimate Classic Rock.
Nick DeRiso
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