"... Rundgren album. This album was the first I ever bought, and it contains some of the most engaging pop music ever to grace an aluminum polycarbonate sandwich. It's all composed of sounds made by Todd's voice (and other self-made sounds, such as handclaps). Some sounds have been heavily processed and you'll find it virtually impossible to believe that they started out as vocal sounds (although Rundgren's soulful voice, one of the best in rock, also makes plenty of appearances under its own recognizance, most notably on "Honest Work"). Never has one man's mastery of the studio as an instrument been so evident. I only give it 4 stars because Rundgren displays a regrettable tendency to repeat his choruses a bit too long before finally fading out. Still one of the best."
Instruments need not apply
B | Rochester, NY United States | 04/21/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Like the title suggests, Todd Rundgren created "A Cappella" entirely with his voice. It sounds gimmicky, and it is..but, it really works. Due to computerized manipulation, he's even able to add percussion like sounds via his voice. So it doesn't sound as bare as you might think.
Songs like "Pretending To Care" and "Lost Horizon" are suprisingly lush and gorgeous considering this is all coming from one man's voice (albeit processed and meticulously layered). Both are extraordinarily good songs.
There's plenty of quirkier, lighthearted moments too - "Hodja" ('covered' by John Stamos et al on an early episode of "Full House"), a cover of The Spinners' "Mighty Love", and "Something To Fall Back On". The latter, as many other reviewers have said, is the ultimate 'hit that never was'. Although many Todd songs fall under that category, "Something.." is just *insanely* catchy and fun sounding.
Other highlights include "Johnee Jingo" (which sounds like an old protest song), the mysterious, majestic opener "Blue Orpheus", the frightening "Lockjaw" (Which manages to be 10x weirder than anything from "A Wizard a True Star" and "Todd"), and "Honest Work", which is a cappella in the truest sense (no processing at all - just Todd's regular voice).
It's ambitious, fascinating, strange, catchy, and many other adjectives. Don't be scared off by the gimmick, because it's really one of Todd's more accessible releases.
And what a trailblazer! 20 years later, Bjork does the same thing with "Medulla" (which I also highly recommend)."
Jerry Kindall | 07/15/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a very different, but wonderful album. It won't sound like anything you've heard before (it's all done with voice and synthed voice), but you will be hooked. Beautiful music, meaningful lyrics. Pretending to Care and Lost Horizon are among my top Todd tunes ever. Something to Fall Back On should have been a hit. There's even a bit of silliness here and there (the song Hodja, and the children's bedtime tale Lockjaw, about an ogre who doesn't like liars...) Open your mind and heart and simply enjoy."
A great collection
It's Gold I Tell ya | Cali | 11/19/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Once you get past the concept - the human voice creating all of the sounds heard on this you - you're left with a wonderful collection of songs made by one of the true musical genius' of our lifetimes. Pretending to Care and Blue Orpheus are wonderful."