quinta-feira, 10 de janeiro de 2008

:: Todd Rundgren ::

TODD RUNDGREN - "A Wizard, A True Star" (1972)

"1972 was a tremendous year for Todd Rundgren. His double album release, Something/Anything?, spawned two singles, "Hello It's Me" and "I Saw The Light". Both were artistic and commerical successes, as was the entire album (it eventually would go gold and remain Rundgren's bestselling release to date). The man was on track for superstardom.

Which is precisely why it is so amazing that one year later he would turn around and shoot himself in the foot with this collection of demented songs, odd noises, chopped-up of photographs the female anatomy and short, bizarre musical ideas. A Wizard, A True Star is Todd Rundgren's Smiley Smile or When the Madcap Laughs, a fascinating window into the process of a rock star coming off his peak and feeling the decay set in.

The difference between this album and those two, however, is one of quality. A Wizard, A True Star surprisingly represents a step up from Something/Anything? in terms of musicianship and vision. From a Hot Rats-period Zappa instrumental in "Flamingo" to the acid-drenched psychedelia of "When the Shit Hits the Fan" to the gospel-inflected ballad "Just One Victory," this album displays Rundgren's ability to dabble in a variety of styles and succeed (to some degree) with all of them. Despite the confidence with which each piece is played, the album exudes a real sense of frailty and confusion, as if Rundgren is just on the verge of breaking down at any moment.

There are a few conventional tracks in addition to the numerous stranger ones. Some prog listeners will probably balk at the ten-minute medley of 60's soul and R+B classics which takes up almost a fifth of the entire release. I'll admit it probably runs a few minutes longer than necessary, but also contend it serves as a necessary function in transitioning from the mania of the first two-thirds of the album to the relatively laid-back tone of the last third. And the finale of that song is tremendous, with Rundgren belting out each line of "Cool Jerk" as fast and furiously as he can.

A Wizard, A True Star isn't a perfect record, but it's pretty darn close. Fans of pop music will surely enjoy this, as Rundgren is one of the real masters of the style; but those who enjoy more avant-garde or unusual fare may find much to relish as well. The album is a compromise between art and commercialism; it succeeds to a degree few other of its type do." - texto extraído do "Ground and Sky"

DOWNLOAD (MP3 de 192kps - 83 MB)

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