Arpeggiated keys kick off â€œImagination,â€ the first track off ToddÂ Rundgrenâ€™s new album,Â State. The Hermit of Mink Hollow assures us â€œI am what I am,â€ singing stark verses over a big drum machine beat and floaty keys, mixed with a heavy, ominous bridge and chorus of big power guitar and organ. Thereâ€™s also some great wailing guitar added in too.
Weâ€™re in familiar, tight, Todd disco-like material (you recall “Bang TheÂ Drum All Day”?) for â€œSeriousâ€ with its sing-able chorus. The soft key bass funk of â€œIn My Mouth,â€ a Vocodor-led track, could be as much Hall and Oats as T. Rundgren. There’s also the sneaky running keys of â€œSmokeâ€ and the throw-away disco of â€œParty Liquor.â€
â€œAngry Bird,â€ along with â€œPing Me,â€ have been said to be Rundgren tipping his hat to the now, and though the latter works better for me with its certainly more important lyrics and Toddâ€™s soulful vocals, â€œAngry Birdâ€ is a kind of fun, funky, Prince-like guitar mover.
â€œCollide-A-Scopeâ€ is a mÃ©lange of metallic farts and spurts that somehow works with, again, some introspective lyric couplets and Rundgrenâ€™s masterful production. â€œSomething From Nothingâ€ is a slow ballad that might have been better sans the same sound palette. However, “Sir Reality,” the last tune of the ten here is truly great Todd, with its wailing guitar, solid lyrics and dramatic key flourishes.
Letâ€™s face it, Todd-is-God still has something to say and an interesting way in which to say it. State reveals this American iconâ€™s present state.