Cooking Vinyl (label)
29 September 2008 (released)
17 September 2008
What is the difference between 'Retro’ and 'Old Fashioned’? When is an album 'Oldskool’ and when is it 'Oldhat’?
Todd Rundgren has released an album that most definitely has 'Retro’ leanings and when you have been as involved in the bizness for as long as he has I’m guessing that he practically invented 'Oldskool’. And this album is most definitely NOT 'Oldhat’ or 'Old Fashioned’.
From the kick-off, 'Mad’, the album is a collection of guitar styles and genuinely powerful songs and the different forms he uses seem to hark from everything he has done in a long, long career. 'Afraid’ is very 'proggy’ with swirling guitars and synths and then 'Mercenary’ delivers a militaristic and harsh piece of classic rock with the refrain 'How do you like me now!' underpinning demi-thrash guitars. Touches of so many of the great rock bands here – at one moment sounding a little like Rush, another like Steve Hillage and at others with a real taste of Floyd crossed with Cheap Trick. When you realise that he actually produced all the above artists at one time it is hardly surprising!
What is surprising is just how fresh this all sounds and how much enjoyment can be had from a musician who really does know all the buttons to press and who knows when NOT to press them all at once.
Todd has finally rediscovered the guitar and proceeds to show what it really is capable of and on the way he has given us his best album for years.
A hearty 'Welcome back’ to the real Wizard and True Star.