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

A Wizard/A True Star

Todd Rundgren

1973

A Wizard/A True Star

Album Summary

A Wizard, a True Star is the fourth album by American musician Todd Rundgren, released March 2, 1973, on Bearsville Records. It marked a departure from his previous, Something/Anything? (1972), with its lesser reliance on straightforward pop songs, a development he attributed to his experimentation with psychedelic drugs and his realization of "what music and sound were like in my internal environment, and how different that was from the music I had been making."The album was produced, engineered, and, with the exception of some tracks, entirely performed by Rundgren. He envisioned the record as a hallucinogenic-inspired "flight plan" with all the tracks seguing seamlessly into each other, starting with a "chaotic" mood and ending with a medley of his favorite soul songs. At the time of release, he stated that Wizard intended to advance utopian ideals; later, he said that the album had no definite meaning. No singles were issued from the album, as he wanted the tracks to be heard in the context of the LP. With 19 tracks, its nearly 56-minute runtime made it one of the longest single-disc LPs to date. Upon release, A Wizard, a True Star received widespread critical acclaim, but sold poorly, reaching number 86 on U.S. charts. According to Rundgren, "the result was a complete loss of about half of my audience at that point." To support the album, Rundgren formed a new group, Utopia, his first official band since the Nazz. Their technologically ambitious stage show was cancelled after about two weeks on the road. A Wizard, a True Star has since been recognized for its influence on later generations of bedroom musicians.

Wikipedia

Rating

2.83

Votes

4664

Genres

  • Rock
  • Pop
  • Country
  • Folk
  • Soul
  • Psychedelic Rock
Reviews
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Fri Apr 09 2021
5

My stepdad is a Todd Rundgren fan so I heard this one early on. Also a favorite among college friends. I love these kinds of kitchen sink affairs where artists have the freedom/time to really explore possibilities in the studio. I wish more albums flowed like this one. Makes for quite a ride. Love that the ambition is tempered with humor along the way. Definitely his best album. A tour de force.

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Wed Apr 14 2021
4

Why haven’t I heard of this guy before?

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Tue Jul 13 2021
5

👍🏼 definitely need to listen to more of this guy. he has clear talent and imagination and all of the songs are incredibly varied and cool. the whole album is cohesive without merging too much but still if you listened to the first half of the album not in completion it wouldn’t really work. awesome album cover and i like the song names. come on a 4/named song ?! 👍🏼

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Wed Jul 20 2022
5

Was not expecting to rate it this high, but this record is so out of control and unique that I have to give it a 5. Give it up for Todd Rundgren, because this is a psychedelic masterpiece.

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Wed Apr 14 2021
4

Really weird album, but really enjoyed it. All over the place, but still coherent enough to be a really fun experience. Favorite tracks: “Zen Archer,” “Onionhead/Da Da Dali,” and “Medley:....”

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Wed Mar 10 2021
2

This is mental. It's interesting and I'm sure ground breaking at the time. Glad I listened, wouldn't listen again

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Wed Feb 24 2021
1

I wanted to like this but do not.

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Mon Oct 12 2020
5

Incredible album. The flow of the record is immaculate

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Wed Mar 10 2021
5

Sounds like an album that was written in some dude's bedroom while he was on psychedelics. There are plenty of "Mr. Kite's Glass Walrus" moments (and a John Lennon diss track, apparently), but it also manages the trick of staying down to earth without being particularly dense or impenetrable. Rundgren didn't release any singles because he wanted people to listen to the whole album straight through, which is typically an eyeroll worthy statement, but in this case, I think it's a cohesive enough unit that a straight listen is probably the best route to take. This thing got better as it went. A great listening experience. Best track: Just One Victory

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Sun Feb 21 2021
5

So happy this came up. Spend. More. Time. With. Todd.

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Fri May 21 2021
5

Discazo de canciones. Del space rock al progresivo, del heavy al pop sofisticado. Muy grande, inabarcable. La esquisitez del rock setentero impecablemente presentado. Genial.

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Sun May 02 2021
5

Really excellent. I loved this album

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Sat May 29 2021
5

Incredible album! Cohesive, interesting, and boundary pushing. I can imagine how formative this must have been for experimental musicians. I'm very glad this has been put on my radar.

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Thu Oct 21 2021
5

i so love it

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Thu Dec 02 2021
5

This came out in 1972?! WAAAY ahead of it's time musically. Switching between playful and riffing rock songs effortlesly. I was expecting some boring prog album based on the album cover, but I couldn't have been more wrong. This album was an amazing experience

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Thu Dec 30 2021
5

My favorite Todd album.

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Thu Jan 13 2022
5

When I first listened to this about 10 years ago I wanted to like it more, but found it too schizophrenic and irritating. On relistening Rundgren's genius really shines through. I love the fact that it doesn't sit still and changes direction so many times, but still manages to work in some decent tunes.

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Wed Feb 02 2022
5

I just love when someone is having fun

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Mon Feb 14 2022
5

Quelle aventure cet album. On oublie rapidement que c’est sorti en 1973. Un petit bijou psychédélique/pop/rock/soul. Je ne serais pas surpris de retrouver cet album dans la bibliothèque de Kevin Parker de Tame Impala ou des membres d’Animal Collective. Un gros coup de cœur pour moi. Pièce préférée: Le Feel Internacionale, When the shit hits the fan, Just Another Onionhead, International Feel, … ;)

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Wed Feb 16 2022
5

Wonderful! This is one of my favourite albums ever. The book states that at first listen it could be tiring, but the first time I played it I was amazed: I thought it sounded as if it were made in 1993, not 1973; it really sounds far ahead of its time. The sprawling nature of the record reminds me also of the White Album, another of my favourite ever. I can hear Frank Zappa influences, Beatles, Beach Boys, some prog, gypsy music, and so much more. One of those records where you discover something new at every spin. I don't know if he was a true star, but for sure he is a true genius.

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Sun Apr 10 2022
5

Even if side 2 was blank I still would love this album. A true star completely.

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Wed Oct 14 2020
4

A brilliantly inventive album, and his use of synths as an instrument (as opposed to a shortcut to the sound made by an instrument) was ahead of its time. However, you'd be pressed to say that the songs themselves are his best work.

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Wed Nov 04 2020
4

On first listen a brilliant but exhausting single LP (emphasized because of a 55+ minute runtime).

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Tue Oct 06 2020
4

Interesting. Haven't listened carefully tho.

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Thu Mar 18 2021
4

Väldigt bra , i like it!

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Mon Jan 18 2021
4

It is chaotic but a very interesting journey. Definitely an album that needs to be played straight through.

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Mon Jun 07 2021
4

Fun and interesting! Kind of reminds me of some of the Beatles' later songs.

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Fri Apr 09 2021
4

A name I've never heard before. Surprised to hear synths. Shit for 1973 this is quite modern with it's synth-explorations. Via Wikipedia: "The sound and structure of Wizard was heavily informed by Rundgren's hallucinogenic experiences. It was envisioned as a hallucinogenic-inspired 'flight plan' with all the tracks segueing seamlessly into each other, starting with a 'chaotic' mood and ending with a medley of his favorite soul song". Fascinating. Ok I just looked at the track list and I'm 4 songs in and thought I was still on track 1. Wow. "You Need Your Head" is crazy! I have a feeling I need to listen to this all again. Dogfight Giggle woooow lol. This is like some RCE mandatory overtime shit. This is a perfect follow-up to that Zappa album, there is much more "heart" in here for me, but I'm sure vocals help here. 3.5 to 4.

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Wed Mar 03 2021
4

🧐

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Fri Apr 09 2021
4

Wow, kind of stunned by this. How have I never heard of this guy? Hearing Lemon Twigs in this, and Jack White. If this came out now it would still sound edgy. Getting really yacht rock with the Medley. Second half of the album sounds more dated but I still like it overall.

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Mon Feb 01 2021
4

Rundgren is another artist I really need to dig into for a longer time. Whenever I listen to his music, I really like it, and then I forget for another year or so. One of my favorite new-ish bands, the Lemon Twigs, cite him as a major influence. I definitely hear that influence on this record. I'll be sure to revisit this one a few more times this next couple weeks as I can tell it's one that keeps on giving new gems over multiple listens.

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Fri May 21 2021
4

I really like the eclectic style of this music.

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Thu Feb 04 2021
4

The sound is way ahead it’s time for 1972. Utterly bonkers in places but strangely enjoyable psychedelic.

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Fri Jan 29 2021
4

Really good

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Sun Apr 11 2021
4

Quite classic psychdelic rock from that era, I liked it.

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Fri May 07 2021
4

Psychedelic rock. I enjoyed the flow from one song to the other. A couple songs I really enjoyed.

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Fri May 21 2021
4

WTF this is some crazy experimental stuff from the 70s. The album is made up of quick snippets of unfinished songs and one ten minute journey of a track. Sounds like he was on a ton of psychs when he was recording, makes sense.

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Wed Aug 11 2021
4

I have his album "Todd" from the next year, but don't remember much about it. I know he has a reputation for being uncompromisingly non-commercial in his approach to pop & rock. Sounds good on paper, but doesn't necessarily lead to good albums... Well, this one is surprisingly enjoyable. I like the aesthetic of short, almost-incomplete songs, which allows a restless switching around of styles. There's a sense of humour throughout, and some earnest emotional content. It's a fun album. 4*

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Wed Aug 11 2021
4

Bananas. But in a good way

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Thu Aug 19 2021
4

Apparently reviews from the time found the first half too weird for its own good, which is sad, because I feel like the album might be even better if the second half was weirder.

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Thu Sep 09 2021
4

Nice discovery. This album feels like being on acids, but in a good way (which I think was Todd's goal).

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Thu Sep 23 2021
4

A rich collection of quirky pop songs with a satisfying flow, nice drum sounds too.

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Mon Oct 04 2021
4

Really strange but fun and I treating album

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Mon Oct 04 2021
4

Psychedelic and weird. Very happy for the refresher on Rundgren. This will work it’s way into my normal listening.

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Wed Oct 13 2021
4

A tour-de-force kaleidoscope of psych folk pop gems

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Thu Nov 04 2021
4

had never heard of this album, but was pleasantly surprised by the utterly batshit songs. i also note he's released literally dozens of albums since.... I wonder if they're also as mad as this one?

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Fri Nov 12 2021
4

4 stars a very fun listen lots of stylistic changes. Deserves more attention

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Thu Nov 18 2021
4

I digged this. It was chaotic and all over the place yet I liked every moment? Yep.

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Fri Nov 19 2021
4

Loved this record! Going to listen to it again soon

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Fri Nov 26 2021
4

Experimental, unusual, slightly psychedelic, funky. In all a great experience.

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Sun Dec 05 2021
4

Wow! I've never heard of Todd Rundgren before, which is a real shame. What a trip this album has been. It's random and experimental, and then whenever I go 'Well this is a bit too experimental for me' it goes into a more classic rock song. I dig it!

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Sun Dec 05 2021
4

Another very hard to rate album, some of the songs were hard to listen to, others such as Le Feel Internationale were absolute highlights. This is very much on the 3/4 boundary, but the sheer interestingness of the sound has pushed me to the higher edge of that.

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Thu Dec 16 2021
4

Cool Album, variety of different sounds and beats

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Mon Dec 20 2021
4

Diferente e interesante

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Wed Feb 02 2022
4

Wizard Cowboy Space Travel.

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Thu Feb 03 2022
4

LSD does wonders.

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Sun Feb 20 2022
4

Experimental elements mixed with conventional aspects, intriguing listening

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Mon Feb 21 2022
4

I remembered being less warm on Rundgren, but looking back it seems I was about as warm to Something/Anything? If anything, it took me a while to warm to that album; This one, while sprawling, has my favorite bits in the first half. I love the gonzo nature of it, and while it tries a tiny bit too hard it's also plain fun.

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Fri Mar 25 2022
4

Dope. Very prog. Groovy baby, Yeah!

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Fri Mar 25 2022
4

This was very impressive and unexpected. I don't remember if I've already listened to something from Todd Rundgren, but this release sounds really great and that is the type of thing that made this 1001 list worth it. A lot of experiments that sound much more modern than some 2000's bands, but still very enjoyable without exaggerated virtuosic. I liked it very much!! It's not 5 stars, just because there is one only song that is kind of exaggerated, but it's almost an essential album.

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Fri Apr 22 2022
4

Not bad

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Fri Apr 22 2022
4

I always respect anyone who uses the accordion outside of Polka

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Wed May 04 2022
4

This was good overall. Some ups and downs. I was a big fan of "When the Shit Hits the Fan" and "Hungry for Love"

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Wed May 11 2022
4

Some of the experimental songs are too experimental and some of the earnest songs are too earnest but on the whole an engaging listen

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Wed May 11 2022
4

The Wikipedia for this album said it was the result of Todd’s experimentation with lsd and I think that really comes through in the music. The production gets insane sometimes and super overwhelming but most of it was actually really good and well put together as you would expect from an artist on lsd in the 70s

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Thu May 12 2022
4

Interesting. Probably requires several listenings to appreciate

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Thu May 26 2022
4

On record for one of the longest single-disc LP's at nearly an hour long, Todd Rundgren's A Wizard, a True Star is a sprawling piece of art pop that takes you on a musical journey like no other. Songs feel more like vignettes for a larger piece of work as we chug along from one scene to the next, occasionally sticking around a little longer to ground the listener. The album cover accurately captures the kind of experience that this album is. It is certainly strange and sort of loses the plot halfway through side A only pick things up again near the end of side A. Side B slows things down with ballads and a particularly smooth medley. Rundgren's experimentation with psychedelic drugs is on full display with how this record flows, it's an excellent listen throughout. It helps that Rundgren was already an established producer/engineer by this point, so he really brings his own vision to life here. Definitely worth the price of admission.

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Thu Jun 09 2022
4

Lovely surprise. Really enjoyed it

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Fri Jun 10 2022
4

Has some real bizarre moments but I found it to be a fun listen!

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Fri Jun 24 2022
4

Kuin lapsi olisi päästetty valloilleen studioon -- ja nyt siis 100% hyvällä tavalla! Leikkisä, luova ja yllättävä. 4/5

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Fri Jun 24 2022
4

Ei ihan niin hyvä kuin Something / Anything mutta tosi hyvä levy silti. Todd selvästi taitaa löristelyn ja tunteikkuuden sekoittamisen. Tekisi mieli sakottaa muutamasta turhasta biisistä, mutta menköön 4/5.

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Thu Jun 30 2022
4

Last time I reviewed Todd Rundgren, it was for *Something/Anything*, and I complained that even with his brilliant production chops, Todd's music was not "abrasive" or "leftfield" enough to make up for his *relatively* lackluster talent as a writer of memorable tunes and as a performer. This double album displayed a lot of imagination, sure. But that imagination still gave birth to a somewhat by-the-numbers result, in spite of the vast array of genres tackled. Apart from a very few choice cuts here and there, most of those tracks indeed bordered on muzak or elevator music, unfortunately. And it was a chore to go through them honestly. Well, it now sounds as if Rundgren heard *some* of my complaints as I uttered them from the future. If there's one clear asset to *A Wizard / A True Star* (which followed *Something / Anything*), it is that, this time, its production and sonic signature can't be blamed for NOT being "leftfield" or "abrasive" enough. Those sounds are nothing short of astounding, even today--the record is designed to be a purveyor of many classic hip hop or electro beats (proof that it has aged very well), and one can thus easily picture Animal Collective or MGMT doing the exact same sort of music during the 21st century. The first side is almost entirely comprised of short crazy musical psychedelic interludes segueing one into the next, so no one can accuse Rundgren of going the safe way here when it comes to compositions at least. In other words, those 'shrooms must have been particularly potent, that's for sure... On the whole this record is therefore a far more consistent effort than the previous (double) LP, as lopsided and zany as its individual tracks sound. Of course, beyond the multilayered instrumentation and production, there's still the songwriter issue. Going for moods and sonic landscapes, Rundgren doesn't have to worry a lot about that this time, but a few more *real* songs sprinkled in the middle of that wild ride would have *also* been a welcome respite, and made the whole thing far more accessible. Side 2 still has a few of them, even if a third of those more classic cuts are actually covers of soul staples assembled in a medley that comes a little out of nowhere (but in a way, that's keeping with the generally crazy tone and intent of the album, obviously). The most impressive "song", "Zen Archer", is towards the end of side 1 anyway, and it can at least boast of a grand finale that's quite important to make sense of the collage mess that came before. "Is It My Name?" is also a nice rocker, reminiscent of The Who. If only Rundgren had added something that had the level of "Couldn't I Just Tell You" in terms of intensity to those proceedings, the whole thing would hold up far better today that it does now. But that awesome power pop track stayed buried in the middle of the long-winded nonsense of *Something/Anything* instead (rather than *shining* in the middle of THAT shorter sort of nonsense). Another missed opportunity... So it's often a glorious mess, but it's a mess nonetheless. One can easily see how Rundgren became an endearing name for many, and besides, the man was groundbreaking, there's no denying about that. So this is *probably* a record everyone should listen to at least once. But is it *aimed* at everyone? And can enough listeners really dig into all that crazy stuff and not turn mad (at it, or just plain mad)? This remains to be seen, honestly... Number of albums left to review or just listen to: 874 Number of albums from the list I find relevant enough to be mandatory listens: 68 Albums from the list I *might* include in mine later on: 31 (including this one) Albums from the list I will certainly *not* include in mine (many others are more important): 28

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Wed Jul 06 2022
4

Todd Rundgren va ser tot un aventurer musical. El Dr. Livingstone dels estudis de gravació. Cal dir que la majoria de vegades acabava arribant a illes despoblades i no gaire atractives, però els anys 1972 i 1973 sembla que la màgia l'acompanyava i els dos discs que va facturar són obres magnes de la seva discografia, i de la década. Sempre et pots perdre en alguns dels seus excerpts, o dels seus tours de force de més de 10 minuts. Meravellós

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Fri Jul 08 2022
4

One for the Onionheads.

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Fri Jul 22 2022
4

What a feast for the ears. This runs the gamut from heavy psych through to Philly soul, and pulls it off - mostly. Points need to be awarded on the basis of sheer, widescreen ambition. Side one of the album almost feels avant garde in places, with the brief one-minute tracks such as 'Flamingo' coming over like cuts from the Residents' Commercial Album. Elsewhere, 'Zen Archer' has a coda that is close to beautiful. 'Is It My Name?' sounds like a long-lost Tubes track. Closer 'Just One Victory' also demonstrates that Rundgren can play it straight-ish, boasting backing vocals that trip and dance around the music. Very few individuals have quite as much vision as Rundgren does; even fewer have the moxy and the chops to execute.

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Mon Jul 25 2022
4

Performance fantastique de Todd, qui vient nous démontrer que toutes les daubes interchangeables des années 70 n'ont aucune excuse.

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Mon Jul 25 2022
4

Un Todd en très, très grande forme sur cet album. Vous savez d'ailleurs probablement que j'accuse un léger retard sur le générateur depuis quelques semaines. Mon ennemi juré et compagnon d'écoute eltrapeze a donc eu tout le loisir d'écouter l'album, de contacter Todd, de devenir son meilleur ami et d'emménager en colocation avec lui. Lorsque j'arrivai à hauteur de l'album A Wizard/A True Star et compris que j'aurais très bien pu être à la place d'eltrapeze, je fus pris d'une colère noire et tentai de me rapprocher de Todd coûte que coûte. Celui-ci ne répondit à aucun de mes messages. Cette histoire me reste en travers de la gorge.

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Wed Jul 27 2022
4

Weird exploration of synth technology and sounds music. Listen to while under the influence of something.

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Wed Aug 03 2022
4

4 I read beforehand that this album was inspired by Rundgren's experimentation with psychedelics, and after having listened through, I gotta say that checks out. Rundgren captures the feel of a drug-induced trip well with this record... for better or for worse. The two sides of the album are drastically different - yet somehow complementary. Side A was mostly a sporadic collection of sounds and songs transitioning before I had a chance to fully digest one... and not all were pleasant to listen to. Side B was where the album really shined for me, where Rundgren creates a fusion of soul and R&B before finally "coming down" on a rock closer. At this point, I felt like I had reached the end of some spiritual journey. It's hard to pinpoint specific songs on this record, but I feel like that's kind of the point, and that the album is made purely to be consumed in one go. The second half is much stronger than the first, but at the same time, it almost feels like one couldn't exist without the other? Where Side A gives way to Side B to complete the journey? I'm still not sure how this album made me feel, but I think I liked it, so we'll go with 4. Idk I think I need to lie down.

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Fri Sep 02 2022
4

Really surprised me. Was all over the place but always brought me back into it.

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Fri Sep 02 2022
4

This shit was weird as fuck!

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Fri Sep 02 2022
4

Really like the album... weird in a way that’s still melodic. Experimental without being too abstract. Todd Rundgeran strikes a balance between pop sensibilities and music experimentation. 4/5

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Fri Sep 02 2022
4

Interesting, weird, psychedelic, drug-fueled

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Mon Sep 19 2022
4

Todd invited me to his house tonight. He played me this record and before I knew it, we were on a rocket ship to space! I asked him where we were going but before he could answer, we were being chased by Alice in Wonderland across a mushroom forest with a pogo stick. She had Cheshire Cat's weird face instead of her own, which was CONFUSING. We escaped into the first door we saw and found ourselves onstage in a circus. An elephant tossed me a unicycle and told me to get on. What? I don't know how to use a unicycle! Needless to say, I fell off and hit my head. When I came to, I was in the audience and Todd was singing & playing music. Oh shit, he's talented! After the show, I went backstage and suddenly we were slow dancing to Ooh Baby Baby. I yelled at him, "Ohmygod, I know this song!" He then went on a medley while dancing and crying at the same time, before pulling out his guitar and levitating, carried by his confidence. After his last song, he hit me in the head with his guitar. I opened my eyes and was back in his bedroom with the speakers on. What the hell, have we been here the entire time?! Ah yes, the '70s!

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Thu Sep 29 2022
4

Wild and creative - I think it'd be a 5 star if it was half as long. Sounded like better beatles at the start, then went off the walls in cool ways, just a lot to listen to at once. The story of it's creation and impact on solo producers definitely keeps it listworthy!

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Fri Sep 30 2022
4

Very solid record and great introduction to his talents.

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Mon Oct 03 2022
4

This is brilliant. Musicians being brilliant at being musicians. And experimenting with sounds that really works. Todd's songwriting skills are fantastic too.

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Fri Oct 28 2022
4

I don't know what I just listened to, but it was good

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Thu Nov 24 2022
4

I heard this for the first time a couple of years ago and it just blew me away. I prefer the first half to the second, but it's just a fantastic and incredibly odd little record

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Wed Mar 24 2021
3

Full-on space wizard stuff. Schizophrenic at times. A fun listen, but it does drag on a bit near the end. The medleys are super nice, and I appreciate that it gets noisy occasionally. Favorite tracks: "Zen Archer", "You Need Your Head", "Medley: I'm So Proud"

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Thu Jul 15 2021
3

I don’t recall a Wizard. Interesting take on borderline genre bending but nothing blew me away

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Wed Nov 04 2020
3

3.5-4

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Sun Apr 11 2021
3

false

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Wed Feb 03 2021
3

Definitely sounded like a trip, and reading up on the background, he was spot on with his work.

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Thu Apr 22 2021
3

Zappa plus ELO. Cool!

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Wed Feb 24 2021
3

Felt like he was trying to be like frank zappa. Trying a little too hard to be weird. Musically ok but nothing life changing. Will try again another day

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Wed Jan 27 2021
3

Fav Song: Sometimes I Don't Know What to Feel

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Sun Apr 25 2021
3

No nyt on progea. Välillä (aika usein) homma lähtee vähän (ihan täysin) lapasesta, mutta pidin varsinkin levyn rauhallisemmista osuuksista (osuuksista missä oli musiikkia).

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Fri Mar 12 2021
3

odd and interesting

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Fri Feb 05 2021
3

interessante mas meio confuso

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Mon Jun 07 2021
3

What the funk?

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Mon Apr 26 2021
3

This album blended songs together so seamlessly it was hard to tell where one track finished, and another began.

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Thu Jun 24 2021
3

interesting

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Fri May 07 2021
3

Coolness. But a measured taste.

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Fri Feb 12 2021
3

wasn't great and wasn't bad.

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Wed Apr 14 2021
3

I'm still not 100% on how I feel about this one, but it was by no stretch bad

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Thu Apr 22 2021
3

Una bogeria de disc d'un dels grans fundadors del rock progress. Fresc, lliure i imprevisible. Les cançons es van encadenant les unes amb les altres, barrejant versions amb originals. El conjunt és complex i té uns quants altibaixos, però les intencions i la llibertat de la proposta acaben decantant favorablement la balança.

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Fri May 07 2021
3

Good, not great - but useful to have heard

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Mon Jan 18 2021
3

70s, David Bowie vibes. Nostalgic. Syntetizers

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Thu Jul 01 2021
3

A ratos más guitarrero, en otras más templado. Buena voz. Buenos acompañamientos

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Sun Feb 07 2021
3

Pretty weird stuff. Almost good.

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Tue Jun 08 2021
3

The name screams "prog-rock"... let's find out.... Haha it was confirmed after the first note. Rock n Roll pussy. A colourful clusterfuck.

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Sun Mar 07 2021
3

At time of writing this review I had only listened to the full album of 19 tracks once. I can tell though, it’ll need more than one listen to appreciate the sounds and music in each one. There is enjoyment to be had but it will take time to put all the pieces together. I read that Todd Rundgren intended for this album to be listened to in its entirety from start to finish. I can appreciate this as each track does build on the previous. I’ve also concluded that this is a story of two parts...the first is one of, at times, crazy good times while the second settles into a more reflective life of funk, pop and soulful vocals while including beautiful lyrics such as.. “I don’t want a thing to mar this ever, the picture that we make; the balance of our minds together, the perfect give and take.” This half is also where I found the most enjoyment. I’ll definitely come back to this album and give it the attention it deserves. 3 Stars!

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Mon Mar 22 2021
3

As Stu said, definitely not boring. Felt very experimental, I liked some parts, did not like others (the entire onionhead song, for example).

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Wed Jul 14 2021
3

Cooles album

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Tue May 25 2021
3

reallly weird. i’ve heard some of his mother music is good. but don’t love this album!

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Sun May 09 2021
3

7/10 very experimental and dreamy

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Thu Jul 15 2021
3

Weird. Definitely has been mined for some great hip hop samples though. Don't listen on youtube with ads.

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Fri Jul 30 2021
3

Experimentellt, rockigt, roligt och tokigt! A-sidan består mest av korta låtar på 1-2 minuter som flyter ihop i varandra, med undantag för albumets bästa låtföljd Flamingo -> Zen Archer. Flamingo är för övrigt samplad i Frank Oceans låt Solo. Mängden låtar gör att vissa blir lättare att glömma bort, men en efterhängande känsla av lekfullt kaos finns ändå. B-sidan innehåller bland annat ett 10 minuters medley där Rundgren sjunger fyra av sina favoritsoullåtar, vilket är KUL, ju. Annars är B-sidans bästa spår Sometimes I Don't Know What to Feel, Does Anybody Love You?, samt avslutningsspåret Just One Victory. Ibland lite spretigt sound, men annars ett bra psykadeliadoftande album! Albumomslaget är för övrigt 5/5. Bästa låt: Zen Archer.

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Wed Aug 25 2021
3

Not my personal fave album but it's TR 🤷🏻‍♀️

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Fri Sep 17 2021
3

A bit wacky but listenable. Sadly not a patch on “I Saw the Light in your Eyes” otherwise it would have scored higher

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Thu Sep 23 2021
3

Fux

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Thu Oct 14 2021
3

Strange psycho rock

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Sun Oct 17 2021
3

Tell me you have ADHD without telling me you have ADHD. Todd: This album.

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Fri Oct 29 2021
3

There's a category in my mind for this kind of album. An album you have to be a musician to appreciate and I'm no musician.

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Mon Nov 01 2021
3

Some songs are ok.

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Thu Nov 04 2021
3

I've never taken recreational drugs, but based on this album it sounds like it would be fun. It's the sound of a man having a lovely time making weird music, seemingly doing whatever he felt like from one moment to the next. The result is enjoyable chaos. 3.5/5.

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Sun Nov 14 2021
3

Very seventies sounding. Not bad, but it didn't particularly grab me either.

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Sun Nov 14 2021
3

Never fully got into this record, but it is a solid 70s rock album.

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Sun Dec 05 2021
3

Was quite surprised by this one. It was experimental and weird but in a way that was interesting enough to keep it going. Wouldn't return to the album though.

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Fri Dec 10 2021
3

Rundgren packs a lot into his songs. A lot of the tracks are little over one minute. At one point they would have felt like unfinished demos, but a one minute track fits right in with the modern world of streaming. As does Rundgren never sticking with one genre - sometimes even in one track. He's just having fun and creating an action-packed album in the process.

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Wed Dec 15 2021
3

Nuts and good and annoying in places

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Sun Jan 16 2022
3

Interesting, compelling and surprisingly listenable - enjoyed this one and it merits more listens - nice discovery

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Thu Feb 03 2022
3

This looks like it could be weird. 70s prog? Ok yeah early prog rock, not too bad but also not fantastic. Was a shame I listened to it at 6:30am, before the mushies kicked in. 3/5.

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Thu Feb 10 2022
3

Drugs

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Sun Feb 13 2022
3

Es brutalmente dispar, recuerdo algunas canciones tras escucharlo una vez, pero sobre todo el medley, es increible Una fumada endefinitiva

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Mon Feb 14 2022
3

Ayoye!! Jamais entendu parler du dude mais c'était pas plate ça! Je sprint pas chercher le vinyle mais j'ai eu du fun, pas reposant par bout mais la prod est touffue, il se passe des affaires, un peu zappa, un peu beach boys, ça m'a gardé intéressé jusqu'à la fin. Pas certain que je vais le réécouter souvent mais c'est le genre de découverte/expérience que j'espérais avec cette liste

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Thu Feb 17 2022
3

Yeah, a bit hippy dippy for my taste. Not bad though.

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Wed Feb 23 2022
3

I don't know where to begin. This album is crazy.

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Wed Mar 16 2022
3

Pop psicodélico.

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Fri Mar 18 2022
3

Achei chatinho

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Fri Mar 25 2022
3

Very trippy, though the short tracks take some getting used to, each one is pretty distinct, leading to a cool "tapas" kinda experience rather than a full meal.

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Fri Apr 08 2022
3

Kind of style exercise

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Thu Apr 21 2022
3

This was so weird but I kinda liked it

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Thu Apr 21 2022
3

Now I know where Foxygen got some of their ideas

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Thu Apr 28 2022
3

This didn't grab me. Maybe at the time it was important...

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Wed May 11 2022
3

Mostly forgettable, some good, some bad, mostly mediocre.

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Wed May 11 2022
3

This was a musical rollercoaster...but I think I liked it!! A bit weird and out-there, a bit 60s ballads, a bit 70s rock. It was chaotic, but definitely organized chaos and the album actually has really good flow.

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Thu May 19 2022
3

A chaotic mess, but occasionally brilliant

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Fri Jun 03 2022
3

Now I know what Todd Rundgren's brain on drugs sounds like. Interesting but uneven. 3 stars.

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Wed Jun 08 2022
3

Enjoyable lo-fi album with a clear influence on indie artists down the line, but a bit too much filler

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Fri Jul 08 2022
3

a lunatic / a psychonaut

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Fri Jul 08 2022
3

Crazy varied album with some very interesting high points together with some decided vanilla 70s prog.

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Sun Jul 17 2022
3

Overstuffed with too many ideas and just too much going on. Awfully fun, but ultimately the center does not hold.

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Fri Jul 22 2022
3

A 3 star experience for me, but in a good way mostly. I don’t know where to even begin to describe this thing, but when he dips into the soulfulness of the very back end of the record I am here for him. Quite liked the opening track, too. There’s a LOT on here and I couldn’t pick out a standout moment other than the ones mentioned if you paid me to. But I didn’t really mind any of it and it’s hard not to be impressed by the vision of it all. Who’s the modern Todd Rundgren? That artwork - and some of the others I saw - make me think this dude would have cleaned up in the indie circles of the past decade.

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Fri Jul 22 2022
3

This album art is giving me impossibly high hopes. I don't know this album or what is on it. Let's see what happens. This is fun and there's a lot going on here. When our kids were small and they'd get into a very serious mood and they'd be in and out of the room and carrying stuff in and out and building something, my wife and I would say "they're so busy." Todd is very busy here. This doesn't all hold together for me - it doesn't feel like there's something running through all of it outside of ambition or enthusiasm, but it's pretty much all fine craftsmanship. There are no songs that really pull me in, but it's not grating either. So it's background. The covers are strange - they sound... almost exactly like the originals? To the point where I had to say to myself "Are these the originals?" I don't know how to feel about that. I feel like if you're going to cover something, you gotta give it something of your own, otherwise what's the point? But anyway. Fine background for me.

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Wed Aug 03 2022
3

3.5 Jackie from That 70s Show probably listened to this. When it wasn’t making weird noises it was almost a Zeppelin/Queen crossover with a touch of the Doors. Mostly engaging and it’s catchy enough for me find worth listening to again. Though at times it sounded like a guy who got a new keyboard and is playing with all of the settings. Some of the songs reminded me a lot of the music from the Treehouse of Horror Level (7) from Simpsons Hit & Run which made me happy to hear. Pretty average 70s Psych/Prog rock that’s alright with me. Favorites: Rock and Roll Pussy, Zen Archer, Just Another Onionhead; Da Da Dali, When the Shit Hits the Fan; Sunset Blvd, Just One Victory

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Fri Aug 05 2022
3

De esas cosas que te hacen preguntarte ¿qué diablos acabo de oír? Mezcla de géneros, de sonidos, de intensidades e intenciones, pero al final no supe a dónde iba. Tiene pedacitos de mérito y le alcanza para la 3era estrella muy a fuerzas.

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Thu Aug 11 2022
3

This album is all over the place. Transitioning from traditional song structure to sound collages. It's a lot. Cool to be turned on to something like this from the 1970s. It's got a bit too much of a prog-rock feel to it for me. But pretty fun and interesting record.

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Wed Aug 17 2022
3

Out of all the '70s rock parodies that I've listened to, this one (or at least the first half of it) is my favourite. It sounds like David Bowie but crazier. It's a shame the second half is a soul-infused mess. I don't think the entire second disc is even necessary. With chaotic outburst-y sounds like this, it's safer when it's short. Like a joke, it gets worse over time.

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Fri Sep 02 2022
3

I think I like it? 3/5

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Fri Sep 02 2022
3

I am usually not super into ambitious solo albums. This certainly is one. Weirdly, my favorite parts were the R&B sections, “Medley; I’m So Proud…” was a welcome reprieve from the genre-hopping of the rest of the album. The guy is obviously some kind of genius, but I didn’t find myself wanting to know any more about him.

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Thu Sep 15 2022
3

Long as hell, pretty good tho

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Wed Sep 21 2022
3

Seems like an album about a pervy 70s star

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Fri Oct 28 2022
3

aight

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Wed Nov 16 2022
3

Masse gøye lyda

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Mon Nov 21 2022
3

To say that early Todd Rundgren is NOT my thing would be a gross understatement.

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Wed Feb 03 2021
2

Overblown. Not much to listen to

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Mon Jan 18 2021
2

S'ok-ish. Not something I would be like aww shit put on some Todd Rundgren. But I wouldnt turn it off if it was on shuffle

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Fri Feb 05 2021
2

Boas ideias mas confuso dms pra mim

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Fri Apr 02 2021
2

Probably needs a lot of listens and drugs.

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Mon Jun 07 2021
2

Es como si magical mystery tour y a night at the opera tuvieran un hijo deforme.

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Thu Jan 28 2021
2

Not a fan, too "artsy"

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Wed May 19 2021
2

Interesting, but probably wouldn't listen again

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Fri Jun 11 2021
2

Progressive pop. Es como un musical. No me aporta nada.

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Sun Apr 25 2021
2

Aika taiteellista ja sekavaa menoa.:) Levyllä on hetkensä, mutta kokonaisuudesta en saa millään kiinni, että mitä tässä oikein tapahtuu. You Need Your Head ja Zen Archer saivat huomion kiinnittymään itseensä molemmilla kuuntelukerroilla. (P.S. Googlauksen perusteella tää oli joku happopäissään tehty levy, ei olis arvannut...)

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Tue Jun 08 2021
2

Hard hard work.

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Fri Apr 02 2021
2

Just a big musical album lol

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Fri Apr 23 2021
2

A bit weird and rambley, mish mash of genres and nothing really stood out

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Tue Jun 08 2021
2

i now dread anything that this list throws up from the 70s. its always a combination of intense and drama school crap. fantastic production - the mixing is great, but the music is just annoying.

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Fri May 07 2021
2

Well, I put off listening to it, so that says a lot. I think what's annoying is there are snippets of great songs / melodies, but he's being wilfully obtuse and messing them up.

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Mon Mar 22 2021
2

An entertaining listen. Not sure I’ll revisit too often though.

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Wed Jul 14 2021
2

Schmaler grat zwischen gefälligem Pop und ausgefallen schwierigem

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Fri May 28 2021
2

Interesting trip man. 🍓

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Tue May 25 2021
2

Doctor Who enters our solar system and clones Carole King and together they bring a home 8 track recorder to Todd Rundgren's house, feed him LSD, and tell him to record an album with no commercial prospects yet must have a steady diet of major 7th chords, catchy melodies, and soaring harmonies. At least 9 of the songs must be under 2 minutes long, but cannot rely on "traditional" rock instrumentation or progressions. Todd responds with A Wizard, A True Star. I'm familiar with Rundgren's "hits" and much of the album "Something/Anything" but had never heard this one. This album is definitely out there but not caustically-weird, just.... more like a weird/interesting aural scrapbook. If you can call it a "flaw" it is apparently preferential and intentional - I know the album was constructed without respect to creating singles (specifically created without regard to complete songs - quote by TR himself - with *notable exception* of the last tune "Just One Victory" which definitely could have been) but that's also making it difficult to sink into so will require multiple listens. These types of albums are really hard to rate if you've (I've) never heard them before so it's likely unfair but I give this a 2; there's a lot of interesting work in here but it's too scattered for me.

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Sat May 29 2021
2

It’s creative but a bit too out there to be something I’d regularly listen to.

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Mon Jun 21 2021
2

Nope, long and didn’t find much.

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Tue Jul 13 2021
2

This thing is all over the place.

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Sun Jul 25 2021
2

I believe Todd tries his best with creating something unique, but A Wizard is not a big success for me. Music is not defined, or perfected, by filling a near hour long record with weird spacey sound effects, confusing distortions and screamy vocals. Dogfight Giggle is 1:05 minute of a duck quacking and people laughing like morons, which I admit made me giggle like a complete moron as well. The jazzy melodies on "Zen Archer", and the ascending vocals on Sometimes I Don't Know are the highlights on here, because they complete enjoyable songs. To conclude, I wish more on here actually resembled music, but for comedic value this album will be worth your time. 2/5.

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Thu Aug 05 2021
2

Ehhh, was not a fan of this. Not a big Rundgren fan.

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Mon Aug 16 2021
2

Não funcionou como doses de psicodelia

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Sun Sep 05 2021
2

Daft most of the time with a few good tunes.

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Fri Sep 17 2021
2

Very meh. Why is it that people who think they've had some kind of psychedelic break through all end up playing the same music.... Doesn't seem very original.

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Thu Sep 23 2021
2

Bit glossy and overproduced. Something about it just annoyed me.

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Mon Oct 11 2021
2

Rundgren is so prolific and productive that you've got to kiss a lot of frogs to get to the gems. And my word, does he splash a lot of paint all over the place here. Rundgren does a Medley containing four of the greatest classic soul songs of all time and goes out of his way to make them all sound like shit. Apparently the joke is that no white man should ever cover these songs. Music history is littered with artists following up a masterpiece by veering completely off the road in a way to prove something. And Rundgren gives off the impression here that he's almost embarrassed for making the pop classics "Hello It's Me" and "I Saw The Light" from his previous album. There's a reason Todd Rundgren was so sought after throughout his career as a producer. His induction in the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame is long overdue. I just wish he'd not feel guilty about having musical chops and an ear for good pop songs.

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Thu Oct 14 2021
2

weird, not for me

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Fri Nov 05 2021
2

Not as bad as I feared, but almost... Here's hoping this is the last time Todd Rundgren shows up on this list. PS, a 10 minute song w/ 4 titles is 4 songs.

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Fri Nov 05 2021
2

I didn't hate it, but I didn't dig it

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Thu Nov 18 2021
2

Not too into this very prog-y but somehow boring psych album and got incensed looking at this busy album art. As one review notes, ""a minor songwriter with major woman problems who's good with the board and has a sense of humor" and that sums it up enough for me.

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Fri Nov 26 2021
2

Queen i et gøglermusem med mærkelige idéer og åndssvage numre

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