Hydra (album dei Toto del 1979)

Nell’anno di grazia 1979 i Toto, in grande ascesa, pubblicano il loro secondo album HYDRA, confermando la bontà del precedente disco che porta il loro nome.

Il brano apripista che dà il titolo all’album è una cavalcata di oltre 7′ che fonde rock, ballata e prog, un grande passaggio della carriera del gruppo. St. George and the Dragon è condotta da un ritmo incisivo di cui si avvale la splendida voce di Bobby Kimball. 99 è ispirata a un film poco noto di George Lucas, THX-1138, in cui le persone vengono chiamate per numeri e non per nome. Mama tiene in equilibrio la sontuosità vocale di Kimball a delicati controcanti. All Us Boys ammetto che non mi esalta per via di un ritornello che considero prolisso e stucchevole pur vantando un ritmo non indifferente. Lorraine, già dal titolo, tocca l’argomento-donna caro al gruppo losangelino con una ambientazione transalpina che David Paich trasforma in una dichiarazione d’amore per la moglie.

Totalmente diversa l’atmosfera di White Sister, a mio parere una colonna del rock settantina: energia cambi di ritmo e una lunga coda in cui Steve Lukhater e Jeff Porcaro si scambiano una memorabile staffetta. La chiusura spetta a Steve Porcaro, con una grandissima, breve e dolce canzone che mette i brividi: A Secret Love, interpretata in sottrazione dal tastierista, anche coautore del brano con Kimball e Paich.

Il disco non riuscì a sbancare come quello d’esordio ma è riuscito nel tempo a divenire un classico per melomani sopraffini, cosa comprensibile vista la scalette che alterna brillantemente energia, dolcezza, carica e rilassatezza. Da notare che la prima traccia Hydra fu composta da tutti i membri dei Toto, frutto di un impressionante affiatamento e non credo, come sostenuto da alcuni critici, che l’album non fece breccia perché privo di uno stile immediato e vario come il suo illustre predecessore. Semplicemente il gruppo cambiò rendendo più dura la sua musica ed inserendo anche tocchi di jazz, blues e il sopracitato prog in apertura.

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