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Todd Rundgren - Arena CD (album) cover

ARENA

Todd Rundgren

Crossover Prog


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Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams
3 stars I'm not sure where the line-up of musicians listed for this album came from. My CD only says "Produced, performed, and written by Todd Rundgren". Whatever.

This is by no means his best album, but it is far from his worst. After recrntly turning sixty, Todd went and recorded one of his most rockin' albums in years. As the title suggests, Rundgren is aiming for an arena rock sound. Mostly, he connects. You can hear lick reminiscent of Foreigner, Boston and others throughout, all played in true Todd style (with hints of prog licks here and there). The are a couple of songs that seem to aim at particular bands: "Gun" sounds like it could (mostly) have been played by ZZ Top (although they would never have written such biting lyrics), and "Strike" sounds quite a bit like AC/DC, with it's simple power chords and screaming vocals.

Todd's lyrics are in top form, as are his vocals. He hasn't lost much at his age.

My favorite tracks on this are, besides the aforementioned "Gun", "Weakness", a blues song in 6/4, "Pissin", and the frenetic "Panic".

Again, there are only hints of progness here, but this is a very entertaining album.

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Send comments to Evolver (BETA) | Report this review (#216397)
Posted Sunday, May 17, 2009 | Review Permalink
2 stars Ah, Todd Rundgren.

He has been twisting and turning through the progresive world that it's hard to keep track, from his crazy prog in the 70's, to whatever he did in the 80's and 90's, he has been in and out of the prog closet, he's having adventures in Prognia.

This album isn't that bad, but it's not that good either. There are some quite good moments, and a lot of filler songs and songs that just annoy the hell out of me. It started off good, then went downhill, got a little better then died in the end.

His direction for arena rock failed, and I hope he goes mental and delivers another piece of prog again.

And what's with all the one word titles, who does he think he is, Disturbed.

And I'm glad no testicles were shown on the front cover (shivers)

Although, I do have to give this guy credit, he did perform and produce all of it by himself.

1. Mad - Pretty ok intro. Has a good rocking vibe to it. 8/10

2. Afraid - Has a nice chorus and laid back vibe. Quite cool. 8/10

3. Mercenary - Pretty kick ass riffing and a cool chorus. Reminds me of Iron Maiden. 9/10

4. Gun - Usually I hate songs like this, but this song does have a great chorus, and the vocals are great. 8/10

5. Courage - Vocal melody reminds me of Black & White by Michael Jackson. Very 80's, but suprisingly good. Has a cool Genesis vibe about it. 8/10

6. Weakness - Very cheesy. The chorus is quite nice. I like the slow nature of the song. 7/10

7. Strike - Pretty interesting vocals especially in the chorus. Too AC/DC for my liking. 6/10

8. Pissin - The lyircs are just stupid.Very boring. 3/10

9. Today - Intro had a bit of hope. Has quite an electronica vibe about it. A bit repetetive and lackfull. His vocals are quite weak as well. 6/10

10. Bardo - Some nice quitar work, but a bit repetitive. 7/10

11. Mountaintop - Nice chorus and some cool vocal overdubs. 8/10

12. Panic - Has a pretty cool riff. The chorus is pretty cool as well. Great vocal overdubs. Has some quite proggy moments in it. 9/10

13. Manup - Snore. 3/10

CONCLUSION: Some good moments, but it's overshadowed by alot of garbage. I would strongly advise buying any of his 70's stuff.

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Send comments to arcane-beautiful (BETA) | Report this review (#292325)
Posted Wednesday, July 28, 2010 | Review Permalink

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