I had a vision in my sleep last night...
Tim Brough | Springfield, PA United States | 03/20/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Todd Rundgren took a stab at new ageist music in 1981, long before it was popular, with "Healing." It is designed as a complete listen, with most of the album ebbing and flowing from song to song, culminating with the three part "Healing" suite at the album's end. The music is back to Todd as One Man Band, focusing more on texture and feel than on style and pop structure.
The only time the original album diverted from that form was on the song "Golden Goose," whose quirky hook seemed jarring in the middle of "Healing's" more gentle nature. Allegedly written about a home invasion incident where Todd and his house-mates were tied up then robbed while the perps were whistling "I Saw The Light," it jerks the album from its meditative state. "Goose" is then followed by the superb ballad, "Compassion," which should have been a hit single. It's a song so emotionally rich and beautiful, it is among my ten favorite Todd songs.
Funny thing as, the suits at his record company must not have heard "Compassion" that way. When Todd first delivered "Healing," the execs were aghast. Obviously hoping for another popfest like Hermit of Mink Hollow, they sent it back to Todd with the demand for a hot single. Todd's response was to include "Tiny Demons/Time Heals" as a single inserted into pressings of the original album. As bonus tracks on the CD, they come off as out of place, even if "Time Heals" was a great bit of 80's power pop.
That kind of jarring conclusion made it obvious that "Healing" was meant to be taken as a whole work. Todd never ventured back to an album like this (and the 80's instruments sometimes sound a bit dated now), placing "Healing" in a unique position in his already eclectic discography."