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Todd Rundgren - Nearly Human CD (album) cover


Todd Rundgren

Crossover Prog

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4 stars Todd returns to form! This is the best Todd album since Hermit at least (dare I go so far as to claim it is the best since Todd?) Anyhow this is a gem that deserves far more credit than it gets, since Todd didn't get around to making this one until he had largely become irrelevant.

There are so many memorable songs on this one. For the Want of a Nail shows Todd's ability to take a trite idea and make it into a great song. Parallel Lines, Feel It, and Hawking are all lusciously produced thoughtful songs, while Unloved Children and Can't Stop Running show what Todd can do with rockers. I Love My Life takes a weird but interesting trip into black gospel. The Waiting Game is too light and fluffy for me, and the other two tracks are forgettable.

Nonetheless this is an excellent album and it was a welcome end to the '80's, which was a rather dismal decade for Todd's production.

4 stars. The album has some flaws but it holds up against time really well and has to rank as one of Todd's best releases.

Report this review (#198820)
Posted Tuesday, January 13, 2009 | Review Permalink
2 stars This is my twelfth review of a Todd album so far. Of which only three reached the three star level. I guess that I'm not a Todd maniac?

?only a music lover with some prog tendencies (but not only). At this stage of his career, I believe that Todd would sit better in the prog related area than X-over. And even so, I could hardly find deep relation with prog all along his work (so far).

Only the trilogy "Wizard ? Todd - Initiation" corresponds to this criteria.

Most of the songs featured on this album are syrupy American rock ballads ("The Waiting Game", "Parallel Lines", and "Fidelity" etc.) or basic rock songs with little appeal ("Two Little Hitlers", "Can't Stop Running" etc.).

Actually, each new song is just some repetition of its predecessor in the according style. Oh yes! I forgot some funky-soul-Motown like track as well like "Feel It". Sorry, but I don't feel anything to tell the truth?

The upbeat and rocking "I Love My Life" could have pleasant but it is too long and repetitive (just under nine minutes). It almost sounds as a live in the studio track the "soul" feel is too much stressed to make it enjoyable.

I have used my own developed device (the prog-meter) to determine the level of progressive music held in the albums I review; and the meter showed here is a one point on a level of ten possible.

Two stars (on the positive edge).

Report this review (#257334)
Posted Tuesday, December 22, 2009 | Review Permalink
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars As much as I respect Todd Rundgren as a multi-instrumentalist, I enjoy the albums where he actually has a band more than say, the TR-i recordings. And here, he is saved by having some great backup musicians (including Randy "Dog" Jackson, who now is known more for hosting a dismal become-a-pop-singer-the-easy- way game show).

The songs are typical Todd, clever lyrics, pleasant ballads, and a few hard hitting numbers. What's missing is the great heavy guitar extravaganza that he used to try to include (Black Maria from "Something/Anything" would be my favorite of these). The best songs are Elvis Costello's Two Little Hitlers, and the bluesy Unloved Children.

There's no prog on the album, mostly it's Philadelphia Arena Soul.

3 stars.

Report this review (#373737)
Posted Wednesday, January 5, 2011 | Review Permalink

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