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Todd Rundgren - No World Order - Lite CD (album) cover


Todd Rundgren


Crossover Prog

2.60 | 14 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars I saw the lite (and I liked it)

A year after releasing "No world order", Todd decided to revisit the album and create a "Lite" version. In his sleeve notes, he explains that the most of the material here appeared on "No world order", "albeit in a form that makes discovery of the song somewhat challenging".

While these renditions are therefore based on the same underlying songs as those which made up "No world order", this is therefore from my perspective a much more enjoyable collection. The songs are developed far more satisfactorily this time, devoid of the superfluous (electronic) bells and whistles which saturated them the first time round. Thankfully, the rapping has also been reduced somewhat, although not eradicated altogether. On the opening "Worldwide epiphany" for example, it comes across as a sort of sports commentary. This version of that song alone reassures us that Todd is still committed to creating finely crafted songs with prog overtones. Here, the song has a loud, bombastic arrangement supporting a majestic main theme.

"Love theme" becomes a power pop ballad, the rapping being kept to a minimum. "Property" is certainly lighter with a jaunty beat and a melodic vocal. Buried beneath the original arrangement, it was difficult to see what the song was all about, but here it becomes a highly enjoyable Todd standard.

"Day job" retains its frantic pace and cacophony of sounds and thus for me is the least improved track here. Likewise "Fascist Christ" remains a rapped rant, although the arrangement is much sparser at least making the message clearer. The title track also benefits from a conventional Rundgren arrangement the high speed spoken sections being tolerable in view of the overall appeal of the song.

"Time stood still" reveals itself as a plodding soft rock number with a sensitive vocal on the chorus. "Proactivity" is similar to "Fascist Christ" in that the cut down arrangement makes the underlying song much easier to identify. Unfortunately in this case that song is rather prosaic.

"Word made flesh" becomes a wonderful anthem like piece with swirling synths and a vocal chorale while the concluding "Fever broke" is a brief sensitive ballad to round things off.

The use of the term "Lite" here should not be taken to indicate that is this some sort of unplugged exercise. If anything, many of the songs are actually more powerful this time around than they were on the original album. This is though a much more conventional Todd album, where his vocals are much more up front, and the instrumentation has room to breathe. While I would have preferred the complete removal of the rapping, overall this is a much better experience than the original "No world order".

Easy Livin | 3/5 |


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