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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Something/Anything?

Todd Rundgren

1972

Buy At Rough Trade
Something/Anything?
Album Summary

Something/Anything? is the third album by American musician Todd Rundgren, released in February 1972. It was his first double album, and was recorded in late 1971 in Los Angeles, New York City and Bearsville Studios, Woodstock. Three quarters of the album was recorded in the studio with Rundgren playing all instruments and singing all vocals, as well as being the producer. The final quarter contained a number of tracks recorded live in the studio without any overdubs, save for a short snippet of archive recordings from the 1960s. Rundgren had become confident enough at other instruments beyond his standard guitar and keyboards that he had tackled in earlier releases, and this, coupled with a general dissatisfaction with other studio musicians, led him to temporarily relocate to Los Angeles in an attempt to record an entire album single-handedly. After he had created significantly more material than would fit on a standard LP, an earthquake struck LA. He decided to head back to New York for some live sessions, with the help of Moogy Klingman, to lighten the mood. The final sessions were in Bearsville, where the remainder of the recording and mixing took place, and this created enough material for a double album. The album peaked at number 29 on the Billboard 200 and was certified gold three years after its release. A single taken from the album, "Hello It's Me", was a top-five hit in the US in late 1973, and it contained a further hit, "I Saw the Light". Something/Anything? later attracted critical acclaim as one of the most significant records of the 1970s. In 2003, the album was ranked number 173 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, maintaining the rating in a 2012 revised list, and later ranked at number 396 in the 2020 edition. It was voted number 797 in the third edition of Colin Larkin's All Time Top 1000 Albums (2000). After Something/Anything, Rundgren moved away from the straightforward pop ballads present on this album to more experimental territory and progressive rock in later releases, beginning with A Wizard, A True Star.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.02

Votes

10453
Genres
Rock
Pop
Psychedelic Rock

Reviews

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Thu Jan 21 2021
4

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

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Thu Nov 04 2021
2

I don't get it, lame-ass 70s pop. This is album to listen to *after* you die.

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Tue Dec 28 2021
1

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.

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Fri Jan 21 2022
2

So opens with an all time classic and then is just indulgent studio wankery with no great melodies? And this guy dissed the Beatles?!

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Wed May 05 2021
5

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.

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Fri Feb 18 2022
2

This was pretty blah. Kind of sounded like a very good AI was asked to make non-offensive rock music

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Mon Jun 28 2021
5

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.

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Thu Jul 22 2021
4

Close to a 5. Great variety and interesting songwriting with non conventional chord structures

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Thu May 13 2021
2

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!

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Sun Jun 20 2021
4

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.

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Fri Jan 14 2022
3

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.

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Thu Jan 20 2022
3

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

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Wed Feb 02 2022
3

I'm a day behind with listening...

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Sat Feb 19 2022
3

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.

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Fri Jul 07 2023
4

This was really good. It was a pretty fun album, and did not feel like it was 90 minutes long.

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Sun Feb 20 2022
3

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

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Wed Jul 14 2021
2

It's got a song called 'slut'. However, otherwise pretty generic sounding soft rock. An unexciting 2.5

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Tue Dec 28 2021
2

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.

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Thu Jan 20 2022
2

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"

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Wed Aug 31 2022
2

I recognized the first couple of songs but never thought Todd Rundgren did those songs. I always thought he was better than that. Perhaps we can attribute some of the weenieness to a poor attempt to fit in the psychedelic scene at the time. I had the 1 rating locked and loaded and then side 4 started. There are a few good rockers like Couldn’t I Just Tell You. Rick D also lays down some good ‘ole guitar on Dust … The side 4 goodness comes to a screeching halt with the next hit which is a return to hotdog songs.

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Thu Jul 06 2023
2

I didn't have the willpower to listen to 90 minutes of Todd Rundgren, so I'll give it a 2 and move on.

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Mon May 10 2021
5

Wow! Great album. Every song could be a hit! Production is fantastic and the album really flows well. Gotta start listening to more Todd Rundgren I guess

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Sat Jun 05 2021
5

Rundgren was unreal during this era of his music

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Tue May 25 2021
5

Electric Light Orchestra pero más raro y particular. Todas me gustaron mucho.

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Fri May 21 2021
5

A great throw back to 60s psychedelic pop and precursor to 70s pop all in one.

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Mon Jun 28 2021
5

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.

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Fri Sep 17 2021
5

Vraiment un super album. 1h30 qui se passe bien. Une belle variete de chanson. Le projet es t malade. Reecoute assure. 5

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Wed Oct 27 2021
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.

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Mon Jan 31 2022
5

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

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Wed Feb 23 2022
5

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

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Wed Mar 09 2022
5

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

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Fri May 27 2022
5

rose-tinted nostalgia beats. like montage music for a period movie. pleasant skits and a variety of styles keep this fresh. borderline 5 but this album left a great afterglow

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Thu Jul 14 2022
5

Impresive and very colorfull

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Mon Aug 29 2022
5

this was fun as fuck. probably 4 stars close to 5

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Thu Nov 03 2022
5

One of those artists I thought I'd like if I gave them some time, and I was right. A great mixture of lovely ballads and enjoyable weirdness. I Saw The Light pips It wouldn't Have Made Any Difference to the coveted best song trophy.

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Wed Nov 09 2022
5

In which Todd Rungdren displays his virtuosity by releasing a quadruple album, each side alone a worthy record and distinct from the others. The first side is undoubtedly the best - I’m going to make some stellar pop records, near parodying Carole King, and in twenty minutes (!) write I Saw the Light, one is the greatest tracks of the era. Second side I’m playing around with form and structure and studio effects; third side I’m making some straight up hard rock power pop classics. Oh and I’m playing all the instruments. Fourth side is live tracks in the studio and some more messing around. The guy is a one man Beatles. A freaking genius. What an achievement. Is this the first Ritalin album?

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Mon Dec 12 2022
5

This strikes me as an album that has a bit of everything. At first I didn't pay much attention with the first few pop and soul songs, but it started to pick up a bit a few songs in, and the spoken word to the listener and the little game explained in Intro got my attention. After that I was pretty sold. Additionally I'm always a sucker for hearing some behind-the-scenes chatter and banter from the band, like what was in some of the later songs. (Shame Todd didn't name the album "Throw Money" in the end!) Some of the songs were weaker and weirder than others, but overall I liked this one a lot. Varied enough to never get old, despite the 88 minute runtime. Good one! Favourite: Breathless

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Wed Mar 15 2023
5

Really liked this one. Kind of radio friendly rock in the vein of Elton John or Billy Joel. A little more mellow than both. But really enjoyable.

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Sun May 07 2023
5

This is one of the albums that I always knew about but never listened to. And Todd Rundgren is one of those artists that I knew was more important that the few hits I had heard. I was excited to listen to this double album. I was not disappointed. There was a good deal of variety on this album, and it is even more impressive to think that Todd Rundgren recorded a lot of the songs alone. Really impressive. So much I loved on this.

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Sun May 07 2023
5

If you asked me what 70s pop music sounded like, I'd hand you this. This is a long album and I think there are probably some songs that I could do without but there are also some real gems. I don't think I carry it in my brain all the time as such but when I listen to it, it's clear that "Hello, It's Me" is a genius pop song. I was prepared to be outraged at a track called Slut but even that was catchy and kind of pro-slut it turns out.

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Sun May 07 2023
5

Another artist on my "I should really get to know their work" list. So, thank you, 1001. It was definitely worth the extended listening time today...too bad that I didn't have enough time to get two rounds in, but I will someday.

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Sun May 07 2023
5

I was a little nervous about committing to a 90-minute double album, but I found it a quite interesting journey. It helped a lot to follow the album liner notes that gave a different title and feel to each of the four sides. I really enjoyed this.

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Sun May 28 2023
5

I really like this album but this listen through it got a bit long - maybe could’ve been a single album. Still a soft-rock staple imo. 9/10

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Sun May 28 2023
5

9/10. I knew going in that there were some classics on this one, my question was if the songs in between would hold up. In general they did, but a double album is a long time to listen to Todd Rundgren.

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Mon Sep 25 2023
5

Reminds me of 70's classic easy listening rock music, I like

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Mon Oct 16 2023
5

A sprawling , varied and hilarious tour de force.

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Wed Oct 18 2023
5

One of my all-time favorite albums. “Couldn’t I Just Tell You” is brilliant early power-pop, and the rest is clever and adventurous. This, coupled with his next album (A Wizard / A True Star), define Todd Rundgren for me.

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Thu Nov 09 2023
5

This was a nice surprise, an artist I've heard of but never actually listened to. I recognized the first song when I heard it, but everything else was new to me. There is great variety on here, and a good bit of experimentation with different styles. I like that he doesn't seem to take himself too seriously as well, given the funny voice note about a quarter of the way in. I actually recognised that from "Shake A Fist" by Hot Chip, but never knew it was a sample until now. It's quite a long album, and I maybe could have done without the rock opera bit at the end, bit given I only listened to it once, I could see it growing on me. Everything else on here though was near perfect. This is exactly the type of album I was hoping to find by doing this challenge, unfortunately they are rare! 9/10

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Sun Nov 26 2023
5

Previously rated: A Wizard, A True Star (4/5) ***************************** Like the previous album, it's an eclectic collection with good variety. He's got a great singing voice. This album even has a couple of hit songs. Didn't feel too long for a double album either. My appreciation for his music is growing. Some of it sounds a bit 70s AM easy listening, but I liked that too. Liked the humor too - I caught some of the recording problems he mentioned in Intro :)

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Fri Dec 08 2023
5

Really wish I could have listened to this on vinyl. I think in order to get the full effect of the four distinct sections you need the physical action of flipping a disc to transition from one to the next. That said, I love some ambitious, high concept nonsense and this was a lot of fun.

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Fri Jan 05 2024
5

to be honest, i'm a todd fan. i haven't dived super deep into his greater discography, but this album is one i have loved for a long time, ever since i heard "I Saw the Light" on the radio one time and was mesmerized. i think you have to be a certain type of person to really enjoy todd and i'm that type of person. he is terrific at crafting catchy melodies and doing lots of studio wizardry. he plays most of the album himself! that is never not an impressive accomplishment, especially because YOU CAN'T TELL BY THE PLAYING. to me, this album is sort of like his version of the beatles' white album. is it overly long? yeah. is it a bit uneven? yeah. does it get kinda weird? yeah. and, like the white album, i appreciate how off kilter it is. although, still not my favorite album of his, and definitely not his most off kilter, but still very much up there for me.

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Sat Jan 27 2024
5

This shit rules! What a ride!

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Mon Jan 29 2024
5

Great easy listening like Burt Bacharac

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Thu Feb 15 2024
5

I grew up with Todd Rundgren (quite literally as I spent my youth in Woodstock, Bearsville, and Mink Hollow). I love this album and never tire of it. And I have to say it, Todd is God!

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Fri Feb 16 2024
5

The best Beatles album the four never made

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Thu Mar 14 2024
5

So glad this found the weirdness from Intro onwards, he was starting to lose me a bit with all the love songs. Another example of fortune favouring the patient. I Saw the Light is up there with one of the strongest album openers in history, verging on perfect song territory. I've also dipped a little into his live performances on YouTube a few times, man was wild and probably informs why I was impatient for things to get weird. It all properly kicks off from Song of the Viking eg Black Maria, Some Folks, You Left Me Sore. A rare occasion where the over 1hr run time didn't bother me, would happily have sat with it for longer. Slut is an outrageous closer. Fucking loved this - enough to dive straight into a second listen.

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Fri Apr 12 2024
5

Wonderful album and an all time great.

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Thu Apr 18 2024
5

Extraordinary - Rundgren plays almost all the instruments on this bad boy. He covers so much ground, and does it well (largely). And sometimes, he is through the stratosphere - "I Saw The Light" is the apogee of power pop, "Breathless" is superior Yellow Magic Orchestra, "I Went to the Mirror" is delightfully brooding - and just when you might think one power-pop classic isn't enough, "Couldn't I Just Tell You" repeats the trick. I wish I had an ounce of Rundgren's drive, restlessness and creativity.

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Tue Sep 29 2020
4

Should be 4.5 stars, but just too long for my taste. Great old school pop music

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Tue May 04 2021
4

Poprock, multiinstrumentalist, melodiøst, kærlighed, harmonier

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Thu Jan 21 2021
4

Ranges all over. But these are the guys who did bang a drum all day. So they know how to make a pop song

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Fri Jan 22 2021
4

I really liked this. I think I'll checkout more about Todd Rundgren

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Mon Mar 15 2021
4

I'm really digging this record. Very fun!

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Thu Feb 11 2021
4

Odd collection of what seems like love songs and experimental songs. Almost everything and the kitchen sing when it comes to recording.

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Mon Jun 28 2021
4

bello! non tutte però fresco e ascoltabile

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Thu Apr 22 2021
4

This is like finding a brand new shiny thing. Montage of many artists in one dude. Pretty good

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Sun Apr 11 2021
4

Una canción sale en My Girl, I Saw the Light. Le doy un 4. Aunque igual no me gusta tanto. Es agradable.

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Tue Jun 22 2021
4

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

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Fri May 14 2021
4

2nd album was better than the first

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Sun Feb 14 2021
4

Very well done, variety of music.

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Fri Jul 09 2021
4

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.

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Wed May 12 2021
4

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.

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Wed May 19 2021
4

Great melodies, solid voice and lines. Very classic 70s disco sound.

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Thu Jul 22 2021
4

so how many sounds did you guys find and who is the winner??

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Thu Aug 19 2021
4

Amazing album, Rundgren is a genius.

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Wed Oct 27 2021
4

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.

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Thu Oct 28 2021
4

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.

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