I had only heard "I Saw The Light" and "Hello, It's Me" before (both great songs), but I'm actually surprised by how much I liked this album as a whole. A more diverse collection of styles than the pop ballads I had associated with him. - Fun Fact #1: Todd Rundgren played every instrument on 3/4 of the album himself until he was interrupted by an earthquake and left for New York - Fun Fact #2: The last side of the album was recorded in New York with an assortment of session musicians basically live with no overdubs - Fun Fact #3: Each side of the album has a unique name and personality: Side 1 is "A Bouquet of Ear-catching Melodies", Side 2 is "The Cerebral Side", Side 3 is "The Kid Gets Heavy" and Side 4 is "Baby Needs a New Pair of Snakeskin Boots (A Pop Operetta)" - Fun Fact #4: Todd credits his productivity creating this double album to Ritalin and cannabis. Apparently his sound changed after this album when he began experimenting with mescaline and other psychedelics. - Not So Fun Fact #1: YouTube Music only has the first half of the album, what a disgrace of a service
Starts off well, tails in the middle and never really recovers. I loved the harmonies and some of the first tunes, but very quickly it became so anonymous...every song a repetitive dirge of the previous. 25 songs too...you taking the piss? Least Oasis crammed 11 and a half into their 90+ minute album!
Very solid, very diverse album from a multi-instrumentalist virtuoso. Rundgren mixes R&B, soul, rock, and pop into a delightful 90-minute double album that does not wear out its welcome at all. It's astoundingly consistent in its quality despite the wide variety of styles and eclectic influences. Highly recommended.
Absolutely great stuff, so layered and interesting. Loads of music reminds me of this album which i think means this album has influneced loads of people. Def can hear pet sounds influencing it though, also lots of motown in there... I dont know much about the era, and i think the beatles have the jump on him in some production techniques but this must have broken the mold/invented plenty. What a brilliant record.
Sprawling and wonderfully indulgent. I hear flights of fancy in the instrumentation, arrangements, vocal stylings, and later in the other musicians. The "intro"-lude is a great break. It never quite flies into space, which is a shame, but always comes back to the ground, which is good. The back quarter never jumps the shark, but seems significantly looser than the rest. So far I'm enchanted but not quite in love. Future listens could temper my feelings, but for now this is just what I need.
Close to a 5. Great variety and interesting songwriting with non conventional chord structures
Excellent production. Pleasant enough songs, superbly melodic with a plethora of ear worms, but can tend to lack some tangible substance. Its sheer length meant I couldn’t enjoyably listen to the album in one sitting, it took me a few days to get through which kind of broke up the flow. But honestly by that point my interest had wavered. 3/5 - Some bangers on here worth cherry picking, but probably won’t be listening to the album again any time soon.
Todd Rundgren's "Something/Anything?" is a personality-driven pop-rock mixed bag. The record sports a lot of eclectic instrumentation, like the juxtaposition of the gospel vocals and swaggering guitar lines on "Black Maria". The high-energy tracks like Wolfman Jack and Song of the Viking are also a blast, sporting Rundgren's quirky vocals and cute melodies. These qualities aren't present on every track, such as slogging ballads like "I Went to the Mirror" and "Torch Song", and some songs go on for too long for their best attributes to save them (see "The Night the Carousel Burned Down"). There's still great power-ballads and stripped-back cuts like "Dust in the Wind" and "One More Day", along with soul and jazz fusion on "Hello It's Me" and "Slut". While the duds make the 90-minute runtime feel bloated, the sonic range and charm that the record offers largely makes up for it. BEST TRACKS: Wolfman Jack, It Takes Two to Tango (This Is for the Girls), Little Red Lights, Dust in the Wind, Slut WORST TRACKS: The Night the Carousel Burned Down, I Went to the Mirror, Torch Song, Some Folks Is Even Whiter Than Me
I'm a day behind with listening...
This is a strange album to process through. The front six are as the album self-describes "A Bouquet of Ear-catching Melodies" that are very easy listening. The second side is described as "The Cerebral Side" and I'm not quite sure that is the best description. Unless by Cerebral he meant "I've fucked up my cerebral cortex with too much acid" which then yes I agree. There are so many mood swings in these 6 songs but yet it's still enjoyable to sit through. Until you get to the Song of the Viking which just feels like a Ringo song. And then I Went to the Mirror drags you down into the trip with him. "The Kid Gets Heavy" side is the return to rock roots if the first two sides are the weed album and the acid album respectively. It just doesn't really all flow together well. Feels a bit like the songs that couldn't fit on the other sides got thrown together with the hopes that it would work. The back seven, otherwise known as the "Baby Needs a New Pair of Snakeskin Boots (A Pop Operetta)" side was an ummm........experience. Not exactly sure why the 4th side needed to be a Pop Operetta but yet it is anyway. As a standalone album it might actually work really well, but it is just a strange way to end and album. But then again the whole album is all over the place so it is fitting. And to end your album with a song called Slut is a power move. I think the first two sides despite their weirdness sit above a 4/5 for me. But the third side sits at a 2 and the fourth a 2 in this but a 3 or 4 standalone. So I honestly don't know how to grade it.
Surprisingly (sunny why, tho – no idea why I expected what I was expecting) melodic and enjoyable. The outtakes and extras were a bit...extra. Still
I don't get it, lame-ass 70s pop. This is album to listen to *after* you die.
Something/Anything? is 65% mediocre/boring pop songs and 35% kick ass rock songs. With it being 90 minutes that makes for an excruciating listen. Feel free to just grab the best tracks and ignore the rest. Favorite Tracks: "I Saw The Light", "Wolfman Jack", "Black Maria", "Couldn't I Just Tell You", "Dust In The Wind", "Piss Aaron", "Hello Its Me", "Slut"
I'm enjoying this so far
Rundgren was unreal during this era of his music
Electric Light Orchestra pero más raro y particular. Todas me gustaron mucho.
A great throw back to 60s psychedelic pop and precursor to 70s pop all in one.
A rock-solid classic!! The album is stylistically diverse which is even more impressive when you know Todd played everything himself for the majority of the tracks on the album.
Vraiment un super album. 1h30 qui se passe bien. Une belle variete de chanson. Le projet es t malade. Reecoute assure. 5
I wasn't excited when I saw that this was a double album from 1972, but it's really good. Rundgren takes the listener on a journey, turning each of the four sides into its own artistic experience. It feels like an "influential" album but it's also a solid work in its own right. I like an artist that isn't afraid to eff with different genres and bring in different styles. The album art is really nice too. Also, I choose to believe that Rundgren is honouring his Swedish heritage by naming the closing track after the Swedish word for end.
Love is infectious and I was a victim The worst case you’d ever see But still I know no doctor or nurse Could cure what you gave to me. - You left me sore
Oh wow this is awesome. I enjoyed it thoroughly! Infectiously catchy and feel-good without being simplistic and trite. It's so solid throughout. A bit bloated in size but there are so many highlights. The voice sounds just like Don McLean, but this music is way better than most Don Mclean stuff
10/10 awesome album my favorite side was probably side 2 where he has you play a game to spot all of the recording/mixing flaws throughout the songs it was genius because not only were the songs bangers I enjoyed listening to but I felt more invested because I wanted to dig deeper into the sounds overall super cool album, kinda had Elton John vibes but with more Queen style rock stuff
Should be 4.5 stars, but just too long for my taste. Great old school pop music
Poprock, multiinstrumentalist, melodiøst, kærlighed, harmonier
Ranges all over. But these are the guys who did bang a drum all day. So they know how to make a pop song
I really liked this. I think I'll checkout more about Todd Rundgren
I'm really digging this record. Very fun!
What a down to earth human
Odd collection of what seems like love songs and experimental songs. Almost everything and the kitchen sing when it comes to recording.
bello! non tutte però fresco e ascoltabile
This is like finding a brand new shiny thing. Montage of many artists in one dude. Pretty good
Pretty fun album
Una canción sale en My Girl, I Saw the Light. Le doy un 4. Aunque igual no me gusta tanto. Es agradable.
Experimental in the best sense of the word, when new textures and sounds are in the service of great songs. In its best moments (I Saw the Light, It Wouldn't Make Any Difference, Hello It's Me, Black Maria...) takes the form of a masterpiece. A lot of content though, not always at same level, but very compensated and a necessary listening altogether
2nd album was better than the first
Poppy 70s goodness.
Very well done, variety of music.
I never knew this was a double album! Have to say I liked the first two sides way more than the rest but it's still a great body of music. It really lives up to the "catchy" billing and embodies the best of early 70s rock/pop. Will definitely be revisiting chunks of it.
A tale of two halves. The first half is a really enjoyable 70s Pop-Rock album. The second half, starting with the track ‘Intro’ featuring Rundgren explaining the extra background sounds of a recorded album, then proceeds to turn into a more psychedelic rock album with some really experimental sounds. Finishing with the song ‘I Went to the Mirror’ which starts off with Rundgren mumbling most of the lyrics until the song peaks with a George Thoroughgood/ ZZ Top guitar riff to end the track. An interesting overall enjoyable experience to say the least.
Great melodies, solid voice and lines. Very classic 70s disco sound.
so how many sounds did you guys find and who is the winner??
Amazing album, Rundgren is a genius.
121021 17:53 3.5
It has a character
This got pretty cool in a few spots, with some hyperpop elements thrown in. Good fun album, even thoigh im suffering a bit of fatigue from albums of this era at the moment.
I only really knew Todd Rungren from Hello - so this was a really nice education for me. I really like the “just stupid enough” lyrics for songs like Piss Aaron and Slut. Even at 90 minutes, the album did t seem to long - quality just about all the way through. Even the other Hello-ish ballads were mostly great. I also really enjoyed all the studio talk before some of the songs - especially the scavenger hunt for hissing and other evidence of “poor engineering” - really fun stuff.
Huh. Todd Rundgren. Like him. It's like the lighter side of 70s music, but with the proficiency of the 70s music I like. The "Intro" track (half way through the record) was a strange choice. And that synth line into "Breathless" is really great. I like this record and will definitely return to it. 4 but it really should be 3.5.
Quite a head full of sounds. Pretty enjoyable ride!
Really cool album. I know Todd Rundgren only for his bang on the drum all day song, but this is a very interesting album. Probably longer than it needs to be, but it meanders through a number of different styles and genres, and I really like that strange interlude (intro but not at the beginning?) of him talking about record static. So many tracks on here that I ended up enjoying, one or two that I recognized, and there are some hilarious track titles on here. Piss Aaron? I don't know, this is wild. I'll be saving a lot from this one. Also looked this up to find that Todd himself sang and played every instrument on at least 75% of the album. I need to know more about this madman. Favorite tracks: It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference, Sweeter Memories, Saving Grace, Dust in the Wind, Hello It's Me. Album art: I like this, like an old floral print couch. It's a nice artistic cover, and much like the album itself, I don't really know what to make of it. But this is really cool. 4/5
Solid, inventive, and with a lightheartedness that is often lacking in big arty magnum opus type productions. A fair minority of it felt like filler to me and I thought the bulk of it more low weight pop than I expected given the critics, but maybe I did not attend to the lyrics well enough based on some of the reviews.
Clever, musically and lyrically. Not sure how well this album has stood the test of time, but I was fully appreciating it
2/4/2022 Today's Album: "Something / Anything?" by Todd Rundgren - This will be a bit harder of an album because it is so long, given it is a double album clocking in at just under 90 minutes. However, I will still give my general opinion, which is that this album is pretty fantastic. There's extremely well crafted melodies, a ton of really great solos, and the vocals are spectacular. There's some interspersed bits of spoken word sections, like the comical track "Intro" which is the 7th track despite it's name and plays around with record sounds. There's a handful of colorful instrumentals and every song either has an excellent backing track or a solid vocal performance. The style is right up my alley with a lot of early 70s psychedelic guitars and tons of really bright, but well mixed instrumentation. I listened to it while doing homework and instantly turned it on again when it finished because it simply a very nice experience to listen to it. There's some well done experimentation with things getting really weird or dark at moments and there's tons of charming chatter and banter from the band members. The album's production is also top notch and sounds just as good as an eagles record, but with imo better playing. Tons of different genre breaking songs make this album sort of hard to pin down, but it's still a fantastically paced record all the way through. I think it could have placed lower than what I am going to rate it just because it still is a pretty typical sound for it's time, but just the sheer amount of great music on this thing, given its a double lp, and the consistency of quality makes it really respectable in my opinion. Give this one a listen if you like 70s soft rock. Also Black Maria and Little Red Lights are straight up awesome tracks. Score: 8.75 Really dang good Highlights: Wolfman Jack, Breathless ,The Night the Carousel Burned Down, Marlene, I Went to the Mirror, Black Maria, Little Red Lights, Dust in the Wind
Quite a strange album but some interesting songs, and the Record Game was funny.
cool fact: on most of these songs Todd Rundgren played all of the instruments. Whether that fact alone affects one's enjoyment of this or not is unclear, but you could make the case that there's something unique and special about an album like this because of the very fact that it is *not* democratic, and all under one person's vision. Contrast that with a lot of pop music today that has up to 10 or more songwriters -which runs the risk of drifting towards "the middle" or whatever might be popular at the time. That risk is nowhere to be heard here - there are some undeniably all-time classic singles that many people will know ("I Saw The Light" and "Hello It's Me"), but amidst the 23 (!!!!!) other tracks the variety and non-commercialism shows; yet at the same time even though many of these couldn't have been singles they're mostly quite accessible. Incredible sense of melody (this guy never met a major 7th chord he didn't love - I approve). "Couldn't I Just Tell You" should have been a bigger hit, that's a great pop-rock song right there. As for the "non-traditional" parts of the album, not only am I not put off by the spoken word parts (e.g. beginning of "Couldn't I Just Tell You" "Hello It's Me" and the entirety of "Intro") it adds to the experience for me (being a studio junkie). It's almost like (well, it essentially was) being there for a home recording yet decidedly NOT low-fi (thank god); you'll hear Todd talking about recording techniques, counting in other musicians (I believe the only songs he used other musicians on are in the final 1/4 of the album). Ok so... the album is long. LONG. Some of my favourite albums are double-albums but they tend to have a theme; maybe it's only that I'm not familiar enough with this one and/or it doesn't have enough cultural touchstones (outside the 2 aforementioned singles) so at some point I get just a little tired of it before it picks up steam again over the last half. But overall: the album sounds amazing; I'm a sucker for these kinds of melodic turns. It's Rundgren's most famous album for a reason and much more accessible than the one to follow... (A Wizard, A True Star) because when at their best, many/most of these songs are cohesive and a great intro to both Rundgren and 70s melodic rock in general. 8/10 4 stars
A whopping ladleful of fun and creative 70's pop, with enough weird to keep it interesting despite its length.
Very varied, very seventies. Proto-prog, and all performed and produced by one guy. I really enjoyed it; it could have handled being a bit shorter, but I'm not sure what I would remove! Saving Grace and Black Maria were my favourites, but it was all pretty good
Ambitious and varied, if a bit overlong.
This is not what I expected from Todd Rundgren - some lovely songs and early power pop! I had to dig on Spotify to find the second LP though.
Something / Anything? is an album that touches on a variety of different sounds. It feels like a sprawling journey, one in which you don't know where you're going but you can sit and enjoy the ride. Overall a really enjoyable listen and one I'll definitely listen to again! Of note is the fact that Spotify and Youtube Music don't carry the full album (both seem to only have the first 13 tracks. Fortunately, there are playlists to be found that contain the full album.
The term "musical genius" gets thrown around a lot, but in Todd Rundgren's case it is well deserved. You can tell by listening to this double album that this was a particularly fertile period for him, with an explosion of ideas. My only complaint about him is that his music leans a little toward the soft rock side of things. 4 stars.
Did know much of his stuff. This was worth the listen
Crammed full of joyous, catchy tunes. Impossible to dislike, surely?
I just love Todd Rundgren. Why has he not been in my life before this year..
+I Saw the Light, Intro, Hello It's Me There's a lot of music here clocking in at nearly 90 minutes of audio. Most of it pretty good! It's psychedelic and soulful, among many other things, it seems like there are a lot of genres crossed here. It also never really takes itself too seriously while it's also apparent that care and pride was taken to produce a quality product. There are various outtakes scattered around making it clear that the artists making this album had fun while doing it. A strong start with "I Saw The Light", a feel-good classic. "Wolfman Jack" sounds like it was lifted right out of Motown. "Intro" takes a lighthearted jab at mastering technicians, usually I don't enjoy non-music tracks, but this one was a fun little detour. Some of the tracks are downright funny (Some Folks..., You Left Me Sore). There is a lot to enjoy here!
Sounds like 70s soft rock. Not bad, just not my favorite.
I had not heard this one, so I did a quick google about it, and was excited when Axl Rose called it his favorite album. It was a fun listen, thought of like a gay Tom Petty. Soft 70s rock, I'm on board. His 'game' was pretty weird. Odd inclusion. 3.5 if I could.
A few great songs, some are a little bit yikes
Sounds like typical white guy 70s music.
Chill but boring at parts.
It's all right. I like the piano in it occasionally. Couple songs I know.
Nice songs but did not stand out for me
Nice enough in parts (Beatlesey) but fuck me its long. Just as you think its getting going there is a bad track. Saving Grace, Black Maria, and Wolfman Jack are my highlights but there is just way too much filler. Could probably have made a decent 40 min album A generous 3/5 for the bits i liked, especially the 2nd half.
Decent background listening. Little grabbed my attention, but nothing offensive to my ears.
I like the vibe of this record. Reminds me of bands like the Eagles and people like George Harrison and Steve Miller. Impressive that he played all the instruments on the album as well as produced it.
Unexpectedly good. Fun album. Beatles vibe. Would listen again
Some really nice tracks. Doesn't quite do enough to get a 4 from me
I think it might be too whimsical... Some great (if sad / meloncholy) songs, but quite a lot is too meandering. Why not just do a tight album of bangers? Who listens to the stupid bits?
Proficient soft rock, listenable but not too exciting.
This album started off great, but it's over an hour and a half long. There's movies that are that long. And several of the pieces are sketch like interludes. If it was boiled down to its greatest bits it would be a great album, but as is its unwieldy. Favorite Track: wolfman jack
I'm actually ranked global elite at the studio game
spannende Mischung aus GIttarrenrock, Funk, pop, Hippie...
Alright 70s rock. 7.6/10
Iznenađujuće oke, nis ti loš Tode.
Album kao album mi se čini dosta ciljano da bude perfektno, bar što se tiče zvuka, kad sam čuo na intru onu igru koju je on izumio. Stoga, intro mi je čak malo i edukativan. Inače, drago mi je da sam našao vremena za album. Album ima puno pop elemenata, a u nekim pjesmama i onaj stari rock. Iako nije moj tip glazbe u neku ruku, skužih, nije samo do toga. Album je dost dugačak, a ako mi ne sjeda u potpunosti album, to može samo biti minus. Ima stvarno dobrih pjesama kao što su: Breathless, I Went to the Mirror, It Takes Two to Tango, The Night the Carousel Burned Down, Couldn't I Just Tell You, Little Red Lights, Hello It's Me. Naravno, puno pjesama na albumu, bilo bi žalosno da nema minimalno pet dobrih/odličnih. Zanimljiv album, playful, ovako za pustiti si u pozadini, shifta iz jednog žanra u drugi kroz cijeli album (iz popa u rock, pa u soul, čak i malo country na jednoj-dvije pjesme), dobar je ae. 3.3/5
Difficult to understand how this made the list. It is too long to be consistent. It works as a record as each side has songs of a similar style. The singles are magnificent and the album shows off his song writing ability and musicianship.
I thought it was great, if a bit too clever for its own good. However, it was waaaaayyy too long and I tired of it about half way though.
Pleasant pop, but nothing special.
This album is pretty good! I like it a lot. Highlights have been I Saw The Light, Wolfman Jack and Couldn't I Just Tell You. The only thing is it did get quite boring due to how many songs there are on the album. 3/5 stars.
A bit folky but a bit weird sometimes
solid but realllly long
A bit forgettable
Mediocre album. The first song, I saw the light, was the highlight of the 25 song album. For the most part, It was all pretty cheesy soft unremarkable pop-ish types after that- with the exception of songs like wolfman jack
I learned something new about him.
Not great. Some decent and catchy, some weird, and some just bad. 2.5/5
This is by no means a bad album, but it felt like it dragged on a bit. This is a 3.5 because I understand why it's on the list, but for me it started to get bloated about halfway through.
Yeah I dunno about this one. I keep flipping between 2.5 and 4 stars. The middle of the album started to drag / sound same-y and then a Viking song appears out of nowhere? If it wasn't so long then 4 stars. If he didn't play literally every instrument, a 2.5 stars. Feels like just over a 3 for me,
No Really sounds very 70s, harmonising not unlike elo, keyboards
Why does Todd Rundgren have to make his albums so long? I do enjoy every single song on this album but I do not have the patience to sit through 25 songs.
Apart from the ingenuity (and that he produced and played everything himself) and the "mimicry" skills, the sound is somewhat still washed out and has little personality. The real creative approaches are found in the instrumental parts. (6/10) Favourite Tracks: I Saw the Light, Breathless
I couldn't believe how long this was, so I had to look it up. This was his first double album, and he played all the instruments and did all the vocals himself as well as produced it. Pretty damn amazing. Definitely know Todd Rundgren, but never knew he was such an intrumentalist. The first two songs are decent. Wolfman Jack caught my ear. There's a motown vibe, but I can't get over the fact that he wrote an ode to a damn DJ. You can see how the business has changed. The idea that pandering to an DJ is just completely acceptable makes my head spin. Sure you want to get played on the radio, but come on, man! He also covers "Money, That's What I want," so... Cold Morning Light reminds me of the Eagles. I get the sense that these LA artists of the early 70s really tapped into something that all manifested into a "sound." The Intro is brilliant. How often do you hear the artist talk to you like this? And for it to be about poor producing is even better. I would like to see more records have a track like that. The Night the Carousel Burned down definitely has that relatable feeling of loss. Interesting, sad and eerie. Saving Grace has a weird opening mix. Otherwise, a sing-songy song. Feels like a George Harrison song, which is funny since Rundgren apparently things the Beatles are over-rated. This album is an odd listen. It kind of goes all over. A love song about Marlene followed by the song of a Viking? Marlene was a beauty though, so I get writing a song about her! A few solid rock songs in the middle of this record. He can certainly rock on the guitar when he goes after it. I like Dust in the Wind. Has an Elton John/Billy Joel quality. Piss Aaron - it is stupid, but it's cool. Hello it's Me - Everyone knows this one. I didn't realize it had that little count down start. He's really working out a constructivist approach to this album. Slut is also Elton John-esque. The Bitch is Back kind of vibe.
3.5. Pretty chill. Noting truly special.
Didn't get it. Very common sound.
Well that album did include my very favourite track by him ! Nevertheless, much as I enjoyed listening to it it only scores a 3*
it may sound dated, but this is the album that influenced 80s and 90s rock and is still influential today.
There's a lot of schmaltzy 70s MOR rock here, but at least it's super well produced. The rockers here can really rock too, so all in all a worthwhile listen.
Didn't end well but was quite an interesting listen
This was a little much. Best track: Couldn't I Just Tell You
Liked his songs
There was a bit too much, but I liked the personalization of a few of the spoken clips a little. Some interesting sounds. Favorite songs were I Saw the Light (pre-existing, but still), Wolfman Jack, Saving Grace, Couldn't I Just Tell You, and Dust in the Wind.
Groundbreaking stuff, but the constant experimentation gets a bit tiresome over the course of a long album
Decent album that's a bit too long and too all over the place to really get going and leave an impression
Very interesting and talented musician, but the 4 movement album seems all over the place and not as well planned out as say Stills’ double album. Production and musicianship is great but the songs never really take off.
mmm very unmemorable. it wasn’t terrible but i just didn’t like it and it went on much longer than i wanted it to. it was just fine.
Bloat central, but I liked a lot of what I heard.
Старый лирический рок-ен-рольчик)
Not my fave...
A decent enough album. A bit long. There is good guitar and instrumentals throughout. Some songs pretty mellow where others rock harder. Strange mix. A few classic hits...Hello it's me... Overall ok. Although nothing truly exciting to listen to repeatedly for me.
3.5/5 goodish, i'll have to relisten
3 i guess, it was meh but I can't say it was bad.
Some really good songs, some weird songs
It's kind of a bizarre album. Some good songs here and there. 3/5 Standouts: Hello, It's Me, I Saw The Light, Others: It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference,
Ohh, this is who sings all those songs I've heard on 97.1 the Drive
Three stars, maybe? A landmark album for many but I'm not sure I'm sold on this one. It's sure impressive that Todd Rundgren played almost all the instruments on this album. And there are some choice cuts in it, from "I Saw The Light" to "Wolfmann Jack", not to mention the atmospheric waltz "The Night The Carousel Burned Down" or the awfully good power pop hit "Couldn't I Just Tell You"--here foretelling many later great tracks of a genre that was still in its infancy in 1972 (say hi to The Cars, Weezer and The Posies from me, please). The thing is, those cuts are here mixed with many tracks that often border on muzak or elevator music. And when I say "many", I really mean it, since it's a double LP. Of course, I *do* realize that double albums such as these should be unafraid to explore stylistic u-turns and take risks of some kind to justify their sheer length. But can the human mind stand *so many* meandering laneways that rarely have a proper destination point here? And this in *one single take*, to boot. Case in point: "I Went To The Mirror". After a long pointless dirge, the track starts to get interesting with a bluesy Led-Zeppelin-like riff that gets things a little more animated and lively. But almost immediately, the song fades out, just as we were getting to something. This feeling of an unfinished business pertains to many other parts of this double album. And even when things get a little more interesting, like in the track that follows, "Black Maria", one often can't refrain from comparing the proceedings to other staple acts from the sixties and seventies. Yes, Todd Rundgren can remind you of the Beatles, Queen, Led Zeppelin or even the Rolling Stones (see also the nice closer "Slut"). But can he be as memorable, charming and evocative as the Fab Four? Can he be as deliriously histrionic and "over the top" as Queen? Can he rock as hard as Jagger and Richards, or Plant, Page, Bonham and Jones? No, he can't, and this for all the examples we've just quoted. As a result, he's stuck in a sort of limbo: he's an excellent and imaginative musician, but he's not a perfect songwriter or performer (his voice is a bit dull at times). And as such, he's doomed to stand below all those rock legends we've just mentioned. Conversely, he's not leftfield or abrasive enough to offer something that would counter this overall "mixed bag" narrative either. He sure tries to be more daring sonically speaking in later tracks such as "Little Red Lights". But it's too little and too late, especially at this point of the second record... Some fans might argue that the chords change are often off-kilter or unexpected. Maybe, but it's the same question as the one we've asked before, is it not? Are those chord changes leading somewhere? Nope, they definitely aren't. Take "Torch Song", for instance. Sure, it's nice and delicate, and it offers thoughtful instrumentation and arrangements. But basically, it's just another interlude. The emotions it tries to convey at first do not feel earned at the end, if only because the latter comes too soon, once again. To put it in a nutshell, I feel like this is a record where technical prowess doesn't always lead to truly *compelling* songwriting. And just like the flowery wallpaper aesthetics of its cover, most of the sounds and melodies displayed in *Something/Anything* appear slightly quaint today, if not downright cheesy sometimes. So I can understand listening to this album once because of its cultural importance, and overall it's been an interesting listen, if not always a pleasant one. But I'm not sure I ever want to play that album again now that I've listened to it. Life's too short to waste it on stuff that doesn't convey genuine emotions to you. Number of albums left to review or just listen to: 949 Number of albums from the list I find relevant enough to be mandatory listens: 23 Albums from the list I *might* include in mine later on: 14 (including this one?) Albums from the list I will certainly *not* include in mine (many others are more important to me): 15
Let's get the obvious out the way first: this is just too damn long, a common flaw in Todd Rundgren albums. One wishes that he could suppress his brobdingnagian tendencies and just focus on producing one great slab of vinyl rather than two middlers packaged together. However, that's hardly the only flaw present. That feels harsh, and it's not as if the album sounds bad, but the first three sides merge into a bog-standard 70s powerpop/AOR rock that neither offends nor inspires. So paradoxically, we have an overtly ambitious record that tries to play as safe as possible. However, side 4 markedly improves things, being rockier, more awake, and quite a bit funnier. As such, side 4 raises this to a 3-starrer, but that's all it can do.
Starts off good but kind of fizzles out.
Nothing awful about this album. Equally nothing noteworthy. Insanely average.
Not my jam, but hey it fills the time.
Wel lekker begin van het album, einde wat minder
i already knew this, but i really just don't care for todd rundgren.
Skjønner at mange "gæmmliser" har lagt sin elsk på Todd Rundgren. Jeg er nok for ung til å skjønne dette. I Saw the Light er jo en grei og fin sommerlåt da, pluss for den.
I like the producer angle this guy has, it seems he has been quite influential on that basis to people like Prince, Bjork and Daft Punk. So I rate him for that, but musically this album is a bit boring. A bit too easy listening for me. 5/10
doesnt sound bad but i couldnt get into it and it was super long. i liked sweeter memories.
It's got a song called 'slut'. However, otherwise pretty generic sounding soft rock. An unexciting 2.5
This had huge potential for a nice, peppy, feel good album. But the marathon it subjected me to, really soured me. Therefore reducing the enjoyment and therefore the rating.
Dizzying album with no clear genre established. Can hear elements of Queen and early synth.
I think I only listened to about half of this. Never really captured my attention. Not offensive. Seems like some of this would be up my ally but it just didn't hold me for whatever reason. Maybe too polished?
Todd Rundgren's third album is a double album - so it has double the normal amount of songs. It's primarily a pop album with Todd playing almost all of the instruments heard, which is impressive. This album is recognized as one of the best pop albums from the 70's, but it wasn't recognized until later in the 70's. I enjoyed listening to this older version of pop, but I don't normally like pop music.
Might as well be the white album
Surprised that I knew a few of these songs. But, all in all, not my thing.
I saw the light is OK
Enjoyable, middle-of-the-road 70s rock. Not planning to listen to it ever again though. This probably could have been edited down into a really good album, but as a double there's a lot here that's not essential. The awful cover of Money and the smug studio recording gag detract from the good tracks.
This was by no means bad, but it needed to be shorter. Like much shorter, because after 45 minutes I said to myself “This is just gonna stay repetitive for another hour huh?” I listened to this while cleaning. That’s not a slight or a compliment.
Something about "It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference" stuck with me but the rest of this album felt so extra. Who does an hour and twenty in 1970 and expect it to be good? So many skips on this album and this fella reminded me of better rock singers.
Slick - can see how this set the platform for the next decade of rock
So opens with an all time classic and then is just indulgent studio wankery with no great melodies? And this guy dissed the Beatles?!
This was pretty blah. Kind of sounded like a very good AI was asked to make non-offensive rock music
Didn't feel much about this one. Some of it a bit twee
I LOVE this album artwork!! I have never heard of this guy Todd... Let's see if his tunes live up to his beaut 70s artwork. Ok wow I just found out he did this entire album by himself, that's very cool and kind of arrogant haha (he didn't think other musicians measured up) maybe if he'd included some other minds and inspiration into the mix it would have made this album less DULL. It's quite cheesy in a not very fun way... Wolfman Jack is a cool tune. I do think it's all missing that group feeling though, like Wolfman Jack is a fun song I like the beat and the melody, but it's weird to imagine him doing that all alone for some reason. I want to think of people all vibing off each other having a great time playing it. OMG this has so grown on me throughout, what an unusual experience. I love the game he introduces in that weird skit that breaks the flow, and now I feel like I understand what he's trying to do here a bit more.
Forgettable, moments I enjoyed
I like yacht rock but this is too yacht rock for me.
Turns out there's a good reason why I haven't listened to this album before. Not that it's the worst I've listened to from this list (not by a wide margin), but it does reopen the question of "what are so many of the albums on this list doing on this list?" In other words, I find it hard to see what so special about this album.
Starts off strong with some wonderful meta touches (the recording dialogue was amazing), but with the back half being live takes and demos the overall LP feels overstuffed and half-baked. Would be much stronger with most of the second half left on the cutting-room floor
Some of the songs were bangers and sounded like the 70s. Other songs were extra cringe and sounded like the 70s.
Noise at times. Unremarkable, but not unpleasant.
I was rally bored with this album. Very pleasant pop songs, in a soft rock style. Was this about the first album where the artist played all the instruments? Possibly so, which makes it a bit of a landmark with regards to what a single person could accomplish with a multitrack, and set a precedent for artists like Prince. Mind you, others were coming to the same discovery independently (Mike Oldfield must have been recording Tubular Bells almost simultaneously). But the song sand performances frankly bore me, and I suspect they did for Rundgren too, who started being much more experimental following this album. Even the heavier rock songs on this album are kind of bloodless. It reminds me of how Danny Sugarman in 'Wonderland Ave' complains about how the rock (largely) seemed to water down in the early 70s. This album is a case in point.
This really sucks
Terrible. I'm not sure how this made the list. I could only make it half way through.
Cannot rate this - wouldn’t listen again
This guy again. Probably not as bad as his drugs are so interesting album but not good either.
Not into it
I didn't care for this. Not my taste in music at all.
I saw the light está OK, el resto es una mierda.
What a slog. I had to call it at track 21. Some mix of yacht rock, parade/humor rock, and what? Slut was pretty offensive and I consider myself one. Such a monumental waste of time. God I will never do this again.
Got about 3 songs in and had to abandon it. Nothing about it captured my imagination or stirred emotion. The sound of unsweetened rice pudding with cloves in it. Spyak.
Not my speed at all.