Toto, “How Does It Feel” from Isolation (1984): Toto Tuesdays

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Landing right in the middle of 1984’s Isolation, “How Does It Feel” arrives as an unusual moment in the Toto discography.

The track serves as both a respite from a series of uptempo songs that would both precede and follow it, and as the only ballad and the only Steve Lukather vocal on the album. As such, “How Does It Feel” actually sounds a bit out of place in context – the only time in Toto’s history where Lukather would sound that way on one of their albums.

Steve Lukather’s vocals are soulful, as they generally tend to be, but the song has a phoned-in feel when compared to many of Toto’s other ballads. That said, because “How Does It Feel” sounds so unsuitable on Isolation, the context is likely what makes the song feel a little half-assed. Toto is not known to go through the motions on anything, and I do wonder if putting this track on Isolation was an afterthought – as there were no other ballads on the album.

I can almost picture a label executive saying, “The album is a bit too fast; we need a ballad in the middle to give the listeners a break.” In that regard, “How Does It Feel” works brilliantly. Sandwiched in between “Angel Don’t Cry” and “Endless,” in which Fergie Frederiksen cranks up the energy to an 11, it’s nice to be able to catch one’s breath between those two songs.

Toto Tuesdays is a song-by-song feature that explores the rich musical history of Toto. The group returned last year with ‘Toto XIV,’ their first album since 2006.

Perplexio

Perplexio

Perplexio also maintains a stand-alone blog called The Review Revue, where he explores music, movies and books. He spearheaded 'Saturdays in the Park,' our weekly multi-writer, song-by-song series focused on the music of Chicago. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelse reviews.com.
Perplexio
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