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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Todd Rundgren


Review by Gary Hill

I like pretty much everything Todd Rundgren does. The guy really has a sense for songwriting. He can take sounds that are decidedly out of the mainstream and make them feel mainstream. This album is a perfect example of that. I can see people arguing about it being put under progressive rock. I did that for two reasons. First, Rundgren’s Utopia is a prog act, making him a prog musician. Second, I think a lot of this definitely fits into a “progressive music” category. Wherever you land it, though, this is another great release from Rundgren. Would you expect anything else?

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2015  Volume 2 at

Track by Track Review

This rocker is high energy. It has a bit of a soulful edge to it. The guitar brings some crunch. Yet, there is also a bit of a prog rock sensibility. This is a fun tune and a great way to start things in style. There is a bit of an electronic edge to the cut, too.

Flesh & Blood
Speaking of electronic, this piece has a lot of electronics built into it. It has a lot in common with dance music, but there is a bit of Kraftwerk element, too. Yet, Rundgren’s vocals bring something completely different to the table.
I absolutely love this cut. It has a lot of the same electronic element from the last song, but the magic just gets ramped up dramatically. I love the vocal hooks and the whole thing is just extremely cool. It’s one of my favorite tunes here.
A bit more rhythmic, this has a lot of that electronic sound in the mix. It is also a bit tribal. It’s fun, but one of the more purely proggy numbers here. It’s also quite catchy.
I love this one. It’s another with a lot of prog in the arrangement. Although I love the music on this track, the vocal performance manages to stand even taller. This is one of my favorite songs of the set. The lyrical content is great, too. The saxophone solo adds a lot. 
Earth Mother
Gospel and electronic music combine into a rather funky groove. This is great stuff. I love the female voices, the computerized stuff and just about everything here.
Global Nation
The same mix of electronic music with other sounds is present here. This is a fast paced piece that works particularly well.
Although this still has a lot of the electronic edge to it, it’s more like old school Todd Rundgren in a lot of ways.
Terra Firma
This energetic number is even more like classic Rundgren. Yet, it’s still electronic and very proggy, too.
There is a great flow to this cut. It’s catchy and has some great prog moments later in the track when the pace picks up.
This one is an energetic, bouncy kind of number. Parts of this actually make me think of The Bee Gees, but it’s definitely Rundgren.
This Island Earth
Although still quite electronic, this is definitely classic Rundgren.
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