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Todd Rundgren - A Wizard, A True Star CD (album) cover

A WIZARD, A TRUE STAR

Todd Rundgren

 

Crossover Prog

3.97 | 106 ratings

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R-A-N-M-A
4 stars If you stick with the same old stuff, no matter how wild it is, sometimes it feels like you've heard everything there is to hear. Luckily, if stick with prog you'll eventually get completely blindsided by something you never saw coming. That's what just happened to me with Todd Rundgren's A Wizard, A True Star. Well, the first half at any rate.

The first half, bookended by International Feel and Le Feel Internacional is a stunningly complex and sprawling pop-prog cascade. Parts of it are reminiscent of the better clips of Tales from Topographic Oceans (released the following year I'll have you note) and the primal utterances of Tubular Bells, but for the most part it is a uniquely manic and ecstatic musical expression. Todd himself admitted that he was experimenting with drugs and wanted to replicate the experience on album, thus accounting for the unpredictability. Todd is clearly unhinged on this album and I love it. It unfortunately slows to a crawl through the middle section generic 60s/70s pop middle section, but is unexpectedly revived with an embedded cover of Cool Jerk by the Capitals part way through another track. From there it doesn't quite veer back to the frenetic joy of the first half, but Todd does manage some more excitement before the end of the album, particularly on Is It My Name.

In essence, this album is almost 40 years old and it's still one of the freshest things I've yet heard. I'm shocked only 36 people prior to me managed to review it. It isn't perfect, but damn is it close. I highly recommend it at 4 stars and am looking forward to the allegedly even more progressive follow up Todd.

As a slight aside, I recently posted in the forum bemoaning the lack of upbeat prog rock, anybody looking for the same should check this out.

R-A-N-M-A | 4/5 |

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