Toto, “Alone” from 40 Trips Around the Sun (2018): One Track Mind

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If the initial single from Toto’s upcoming retrospective set 40 Trips Around the Sun has a hint of familiarity, that’s not too surprising. “Alone” could have easily fit into the sonic scheme of their last studio effort, Toto XIV – and that, in turn, harkened back to the feel and textures of Toto’s first five releases.

In keeping, “Alone” isn’t a gigantic leap forward. Still, it’s is a refreshing reminder of the group’s compositional acumen and soaring musicality, something that is now once again being appreciated by the masses.

In contrast with extras on 40 Trips Around the Sun like “Spanish Sea,” which grew out of leftover material from 1984’s Isolation, “Alone” is an all-new track completed in collaboration by David Paich, Steve Lukather, Joseph Williams and Steve Porcaro.

The song kicks off with up-front drums by Vinnie Colaiuta, before moving into a conga-style groove that also recalls the Isolation era. Steve Porcaro’s sonic wizardry is in evidence, before Joseph Williams enters with a restrained vocal. Williams continues to build the tension, as “Alone” rushes to a bridge and chorus that are mature and foreboding.

An all-too-brief synthesizer solo proceeds to their second verse. Lyrically, “Alone” is compact, catchy and fascinating. Toto does not fail to impress musically either, with a driving second synthesizer section set over the top of fast-paced rim work. Steve Lukather’s melodic solo is the perfect icing on the cake.

40 Trips Around the Sun is due on February 11, 2018. This first taste has me wishing that day was already here.


Interesting in going deep on Toto? Click here to check out Toto Tuesdays, a weekly song-by-song feature that explores the band’s rich musical history.

Preston Frazier

Preston Frazier

Preston Frazier is a bass-playing lawyer living in Atlanta. His first Steely Dan exposure was with an eight-track cassette of 'Pretzel Logic.' He can be reached at slangofages@icloud.com; follow him on Twitter: @slangofages. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Preston Frazier
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