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Todd Rundgren - Runt. The Ballad of Todd Rundgren CD (album) cover

RUNT. THE BALLAD OF TODD RUNDGREN

Todd Rundgren

 

Crossover Prog

2.35 | 50 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars The ballads of Todd

The re-use of the "Runt" name on Todd's second solo album may seem a bit odd at first, but as with the first album, this release was originally credited to a band called Runt and not to Todd in his own name. Subsequent re-releases have shown the artist as Todd Rundgren and the album title as "Runt, the ballad of Todd Rundgren". Apart from Todd, who again writes all the songs, sings, and plays virtually all the instruments, the rest of line up consists of just bass and drums.

Unlike the credibly adventurous, if still flawed, "Runt" this album is a much more straight forward affair, and a pretty obvious attempt to follow up on the singles success of "We got to get you a woman". The diversity here, if you could call it that, extends to just gentle ballads (including a track called "The ballad") and more up beat pop songs.

The upbeat numbers, such as "Long flowing robe", and "Parole" are generally the more pleasing, being acceptable if unremarkable slices of power pop with decent but unadventurous arrangements. "The range war", an inoffensive short ditty, could have been lifted straight from a Crosby Stills and Nash album, while "Chain letter" has a distinct Beatles feel. The lyrics of the latter are surprisingly trite for Todd, as they simply describe the writing process for the song itself. That said, the song, which is the longest on the album at just over 5 minutes, has the most interesting arrangement of any of the tracks here.

Two singles were released from the album, but neither the gentle pop of "Be nice to me" or the soft ballad "A Long Time, A Long Way to Go" found anything other than the most minor chart success in the US.

As an album which will be acceptable to whatever company you happen to be in at the time, "Runt, The ballad of Todd Rundgren" fits the bill nicely. The music is pleasant, inoffensive, and performed with competence. There is though an anonymity to the songs which is unusual for a man who has shown such a willingness to challenge himself. Fortunately from that point of view, this was not in indicator of what was to follow.

The rather doubtful taste of the sleeve image was reportedly designed by Ron Mael of Sparks.

Easy Livin | 2/5 |

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