Picks and Pans Review: Isolation

updated 12/10/1984 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/10/1984 AT 01:00 AM EST


Suppose there's a chef whose specialty is hollandaise sauce. Now this is great hollandaise sauce, mind you, but the chef pours it over everything, not just eggs Benedict but lamb stew, onion soup, spaghetti, banana splits. That sort of thing is what the six musicians of Toto do with the driving, glossy California rock sound that is their trademark. Nobody questions their musicianship, least of all the producers who use them—especially drummer Jeff Porcaro, his keyboardist brother Steve and guitarist-singer Steve Lukather—on just about every pop album that is recorded. But their taste and discrimination certainly should be questioned when nine of the 10 songs on this album are all but identical in pace, tone and volume. The slowed-down How Does It Feel is about the only variation from the straight-ahead freeway approach. The group's lyrics run to "This feelin's gettin' stronger" clichés, which don't establish much differentiation between tunes. This is the worst kind of assembly-line music, from people who should know better. (Columbia)

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