Todd Rundgren - 'Global'

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Todd Rundgren - 'Global'

Like all his albums, 'Global' offers more than the average.

Todd Rundgren, everyone's favourite wizard and true star, has released yet another solo album. Entitled 'Global', it continues his recent habit of one word titles for his original material albums (e.g. 'State', 'Arena' and 'Liars'). Also, carrying on his career trait (which is a blessing – artistically and a curse – commercially), this album is a bit different from all the others. In this case, the style is electronic-based; heavy on synthesizers and not too much guitar. To be honest, it veers far closer to Pop/Dance Music than Rock and so out of all the albums in his canon, it is nearest to 1993's 'No World Order'.

As for the songs themselves, the album commences with the raucous 'Evrybody' (note it's spelt that way), a great opener which gets your attention with its repetitive and hypnotic chorus. The album is, on the whole, upbeat but the more introspective songs (still Techno-influenced though) work well; in particular 'Rise' and 'Fate' with their layers of synths and pounding electronics. World music is covered with 'Holyland' replete with a chugging mantra and half spoken vocal.

Lo and behold, lurking at track eight, there is a top drawer Rundgren song in 'Soothe'; although there is still no sign of a guitar solo, it is clear that Rundgren has retained his mojo with such a classic song in the vein of the Utopia classic 'Mated'.
Rundgren, although best known as a balladeer/Soft Rock king and Rock Guitar God, also has a penchant to being a bit Funky – demonstrated on the aforementioned 'Liars' album and throughout this album; for example 'Earth Mother' includes a Rap and a vocoder bit thrown in for good measure.

Like all his albums, 'Global' offers more than the average; Todd Rundgren has put a lot of thought into this release and he clearly still has a lot to offer. Maybe his next venture will bring him back to the piano-based ballads of his solo career back in the 1970s?

Rob McKenzie

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