Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
Out of print in the U.S.. 1982 album by Todd Rundgren's art/ prog/ power pop group. Features the original cover art, all fifteen of the original cuts, and the bonus track 'Hammer In My Heart' (Dance Mix). Standard jewel c... more »
Out of print in the U.S.. 1982 album by Todd Rundgren's art/ prog/ power pop group. Features the original cover art, all fifteen of the original cuts, and the bonus track 'Hammer In My Heart' (Dance Mix). Standard jewel case.
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New Wave Todd
Todd and In Charge | Miami, FL | 11/29/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Todd went through many phases, both individually and with Utopia. Here he dons the new wave duds, the two-tone attitude, and shows he can do power pop/new wave as well as anybody who's ever attempted it. Too bad poor promotion and releasing this after the brilliant but obtuse Deface the Music pretty much meant Todd, once again, killed the buzz. As another reviewer mentioned, they limped off with two ok but not great albums, never to have reached the summit that seemed quite attainable after the well-received Adventures....
But the three-sided artifact those silly Utopians left is great -- tremendous tight harmonies, crystal clear production and glistening guitar runs, clever lyrics, too-cool melodies -- it's a solid, consistently superior package. It's hard to put this on and not feel the infectious, upbeat, intelligent melodies put you in a better mood - from the clever "Princess of the Universe," to the moody "Bad Little Actress" to the Beatlesque "Chapter and Verse," to the should-have-been hit rock ballad "There Goes My Inspiration." Add to that the hits (for Utopia)"Feet Don't Fail Me Now" and "Hammer in My Heart" and you have an irresistable top notch package. As this will surely go out of print again soon, I recommend this for any serious music collector, and the casual Todd fan as well."
I never thought I'd like a latter-day Utopia album through
Glen Bourgeois | Cheticamp, Nova Scotia Canada | 07/19/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This album is so great (considering Utopia's power-pop/rock side, not the earlier prog side), that any attempt at a retrospective of their career pales comparing to this single album. And that's saying a lot.
It's the prog fan in me that brought me to Todd's "A Wizard, A True Star", then "Todd Rundgren's Utopia". Over the years, I've found many a TR/Utopia LP that I listened to, enjoyed three or four tracks fully, maybe appreciated one or two more, and felt turned off by the rest. ("Swing to the Right" was the nadir, with only "Lysistrata"'s name bringing good musical memories.)
I almost fast-forwarded an Internet radio station when Utopia's "Feet Don't Fail Me Now" (from this album) came on a "Gentle Giant"-themed radio station. Say what? My preoccupation with work ended up being a major bonus that got me to the surprisingly catchy chorus, which avoids being saccharine due to the fact that none of the four has a particularly sweet voice (each has its own edge).
And so I started looking around to see if I could find a copy of the song. My only hope was (gulp!) buying the CD. Listening to the sound samples on Amazon, I gulped harder. This didn't sound very friendly.
I received the CD yesterday. I am in _awe_. I played it three times last night (a rare feat for me). There are so many insanely great "nerdy-chords-meets-catchy-melody" moments that few apart from Utopia could pull off that I can't really get bored listening to it. I wonder, had "Perfect Heaven" been pulled off the album so that everything could fit on one 45-minute LP, if the album would have fared better in the shops.
Definite highlights are "Neck on Up", "Say Yeah", "Burn Three Times", "Call It What You Want", and the aforementioned "Feet Don't Fail Me Now". But selecting highlights is an injustice to the album, as "Libertine", "Bad Little Actress" and "Hammer in my Heart" are superior to 90% of the songs on the other albums from their poppier years.
At the risk of sounding like I'm gushing endlessly, it really sounds as if Utopia set out to better every highlight of their "power pop/rock" years with this album. "Say Yeah" beats Deface the Music's similar "That's Not Right" with sheer exuberance. "Libertine" comes really close to matching Oops! Wrong Planet's "Trapped". Roger Powell even screams out a note right at a breakdown in "Burn Three Times". It even seems like Utopia seriously worked this one out before going into the studio, with all four singers demonstrating remarkably similar vocal delivery, hitting most every note dead on. Solos are often eschewed so that the whole arrangement stands out, and at times the right "different chord" can be heard in _just_ the right place during the last chorus. This should have been all over the airwaves in the '80s, alongside the Cars' "Heartbeat City" and Yes's "90125". And the samples on here don't do the album justice. If you're too nervous to buy a copy, do yourself a favor and borrow a friend's, or hunt the local 2nd-hand record shops which still allow you to preview the album. The only thing that stops me from calling this "Utopia's Party Album" is the presence of three ballads, of which I feel one is superfluous ("Perfect Heaven"). (And hey, I could always program my CD player to skip it, or them, were I to play this CD at a party.) It may or may not be my absolute fave Utopia album (the first one is hard to beat), but it'll definitely be my most listened to. I want to start an "original songs" band based on this album alone. Any takers?"