1974's TODD was a departure for Todd Rundgren. After a series of one-man-band albums highlighted by the classic SOMETHING/ANYTHING?, he'd allowed a few other musicians onto this effort's immediate predecessor, A WIZARD A TRUE STAR. TODD goes one step further here by incorporating a full band, and the difference between this and Rundgren's streamlined, early records is startling. The songs are lushly orchestrated, with a full Philly-soul-styled horn section led by the legendary Brecker brothers on several tracks. The double-album length gave Rundgren the license he needed to stretch out compositionally and instrumentally.
Keyboards dominate the arrangements, with Rundgren, longtime cohort Mark "Moogy" Klingman, and session-man Ralph Schuckett all contributing piano, organ, and vintage '70s-style clavinet. The songs themselves are quirkier and more exploratory than earlier efforts, with the progressive and fusion influences that would dominate Rundgren's forthcoming band Utopia rearing their heads. Yet, at its best, TODD still comes across as a pop album, with soulful gems like "I Think You Know" and snarling rockers like "Heavy Metal Kids" predominating. Listeners looking for more ear-pleasing pop on the order of SOMETHING/ANYTHING? may be surprised by the musical tangents here, but fans of early '70s prog and experimental pop will find much to appreciate.
- Format: Vinyl
- Genre: Rock
- Released: 10/29/2013