Stuff That Works - a review of State by Todd Rundgren

Todd Rundgren State: 1. Imagination
3. In My Mouth
4. Ping Me
5. Angry Bird
6. Smoke
7. Collide-A-Scope
8. Something From Nothing
9. Party Liquor
10. Sir Reality
 
Todd Rundgren is turning 65 this year.
I have been a fan of his for 40 years - back when he looked like this.

 
These days Todd looks like this.

 
On his new album STATE - he looks like this.
 
Who cares what he looks like - lets talk about the music.
 
After listening to State for most of the day - on my PC's system, on headphones while walking Otter and even in Julie's truck whilst we ran some errands - I am floored. This is a wonderful collection of music. Once again TR has come through and blown me away.
 
The music is beautifully textured, layered lush sound from a master craftsman. The first song sucks you in slowly - we don't even hear him sing a lick for over 90 seconds. I would highly recommend your initial listen be done with head phones - TR makes the most of synthesizers for crazy bottom end and for lovely musical grace notes that ping right through your head. The production work really shines on a good set of cans.
 
His voice is teched out on several songs, but Todd's pipes are in fine fettle and he proves it again and again in the course of the album. Probably my favorite song for showcasing his voice is "In My Mouth" or maybe "Serious". Hey - no matter which song you listen to it become immediately clear that Todd has not trashed his vocal cords as so many performers have, they are limber and co-operative. The music is not ALL electronica - guitar chops appear here and there in prime Todd fashion. A couple are great dance toons - for me the best booty shaker is "Serious".

 
This record feels like Todd has taken the best elements from several stages of his long and storied career as both a performer and producer and offered them to us in ten songs. My least favorite song is "Angry Bird", but I would still give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. This is the rare album that I listen to from end to end - normally I pick and choose. I don't want to leave any of State unheard.
 
"Imagination", "Something from Nothing", and "Collide-A-Scope" are my favorite three. I would suggest that you give it a listen from stem to stern and pick out your faves. My wife LOVES "Something from Nothing" and a lot of the credit goes to the lovely voice of Rachel Haden, who duets with Todd. "Ping Me" is another goody - he is not asking for a serious commitment, just Ping him for goodness sake.
 
When I was an angst filled teen taking heart at the words "you don't have to be afraid" because "someone knows who you are and someone watches over you - someone knows how you feel and someone feels the same way" from "The Ikon" on his first Utopia album,
 
 
 
I never could have imagined that I would remain a Todd fan for over four decades.
I have and I am. State is ample justification for my remaining one.
 
It makes me laugh when I read that people don't like Todd doing
"techno stuff". What? Well then, you better toss out a whole bunch of his work - including "Initiation", "Healing", and "A Capella".  Good lord, Todd has been in the vanguard of tech since he started. Maybe people just expect to hear two hours of "Hello, It's Me."
 
 
Todd is touring in support of State.
Tour details and lotsa fun Todd stuff is available at Toddstore.com.
Or click the link below:
 
Yup - got to shake Todd's hand and thank him for all the great music.
Julie and I went to Chicago where he played a benefit for the Chicago Homeless Coalition.
 
 
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