Todd Rundgren - Something/Anything? - 1972
It is not easy to review a non prog album from 1972 in order to attract the attention of some readers. Maybe the best argument is that it is a masterwork, and masterworks do not suffer as years go by, and do not need of any restorations. Although I must acknowledge that I would like to know the opinion of someone that feels and lives for the first time a work like this after 28 years of its official release.
"Something/Anything?" was classified in its time as the most varied and juicy musical mix that could be. Short songs very varied and with their own life, sparkled with the tremendous personality of the magician Todd Rundgren. It is a tremendous collection of songs that go from the most commercial to experimental pieces and from the simplest thing to the most elaborated one, but with a naturalness that impresses. A hallucinating mixture of Pop, Rock, Soul, Spiritual, Hard-rock and who knows what else. There are 25 songs but so varied that they are digested with an incredible easiness and when you know them well you never get bored of them. 22 years have passed since I first knew this album and I have never stopped listening to it. As I write this review, it sounds in my stereo and I see it has lost very little of its freshness, and only the noise of the vinyl shows its age. This reminds me that you can find in the stores a double CD remastered version, that shows the songs in a different order, capturing a new very interesting dimension.
If Todd already shows us that he is a genius in composition and theme of the pieces, what can I tell about the fact that he is the interpreter of all instruments and voices in the first three sides of the album (in the fourth there are some guests) besides taking charge of the production and the recording. He is a magician of the recording techniques, a perfectionist, a musical scientist that never leaves a detail lacking. The picture we find in the inside of the cover impacted many listeners, as it reflects the world of Todd. A dark room with multitude of instruments, recorders, cables everywhere, microphones pegged to a mop and him, standing in the center of this whole chaos with his arms high, dominating everything. He is the god of that small planet.
Todd Rundgren is a very attractive character to investigate. He has an extensive discography, besides juicy experiments. In the beginning with his first group Nazz, before working alone, a group that disappeared, probably it was too early for their time. The parallel group Utopia that was formed in 1974. Its complex music gave a lesson on how one had to make progressive rock in their first works (if you find Todd Rundgren´s "Utopía" or "Ra" somewhere around, buy them, as they are very recommended albums for those that visit progVisions). Although I must notice that there are also very irregular and crazy albums (maybe I didn't know how to understand them) that confused me a lot and I got lost on his career in these last years. Maybe now that I am prepared, it may be a good moment to rediscover his music.
In definitive, Something/Anything? is a wonderful, magic, romantic, seductive album, and Todd Rundgren is a sorcerer that will charm you.