Review: Were Not In Kansas Anymore - Anne Carlini
For those not in the know, Bobby Kimball is an American singer, best known as the original and longtime frontman of the rock band Toto.
In 1974, Kimball moved to Los Angeles where he joined three members of Three Dog Night to form a new band called S.S. Fools. They released one album on CBS Records, but the band split up within a year and a half. About six months later, Kimball was asked by David Paich and Jeff Porcaro to join the five session musicians to form Toto.
He submitted a self-penned audition song for the band, 'You Are the Flower', which was included on their debut album. Kimball performed on the first four studio albums by Toto, but was released from the band in 1984 during the sessions for the Isolation LP.
After splitting from Toto in 1984, Bobby Kimball relocated to Germany for a solo career under producer Frank Farian of the Far Corporation. In 1998, Kimball rejoined Toto. The band then returned to the studio to record Mindfields. Toto toured in support of Mindfields throughout 1999 and 2000, but all came to an end once again when it was announced in June 2008 that the band members had gone separate ways.
But now the voice of Toto returns with a very special new studio album! Reteaming with producer John Zaika, We're Not in Kansas Anymore (out now via Cleopatra Records) features stellar performances by drummer Joel Taylor, keyboardist Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater), Mitchel Forman and more!
Chock full of AOR and funky bass lines, free flowing melodic guitar breaks and exquisite arrangements ala Toto, the quite stunning We're Not in Kansas Anymore kicks off with the joyous hipsway of 'Too Far Behind' and backs that up with the funky horns of 'On My Feet', the guitar rock of 'Hey It's Me', and then the ballad 'One Day.' The upbeat old school soft rock of 'Flatline' is next and that's followed by both 'Met Her For' and the Gospel-sounding ballad 'Hold On.'
With Kimball's vocals as incredible as always, no sound of the tests of time having taken their toll on him, the exhilarating rock sounds of 'Scam' are upon us next, the piano ballad 'You’ll Be With Me' backing it nicely. This well-balanced, expertly produced, and more often than not soul-influenced album then comes to a close with the light funk of 'Some They Do', and then the mid-tempo piano ballad, 'You're' Not Alone.'