Album Review: “Something/Anything?” By Todd Rundgren
via True Wizard/YouTube
Few Albums Are In The Same League As “Something/Anything?”
It wasn’t until his third album that Todd Rundgren was finally catapulted to superstardom. Something/Anything? was incredibly ambitious – he worked on this double album all by himself. He wrote, recorded, produced, and played all the instruments. He wasn’t the first to do it but he was one of the few who succeeded in such a challenging endeavor.
There were catchy pop songs peppered throughout the LP but it was done tastefully. And the fact that each side has a concept is proof that the entire double-LP is far from being half-baked. Side one is “A Bouquet of Ear-catching Melodies”, side two is “The Cerebral Side”, side three is “The Kid Gets Heavy”, and side four is “Baby Needs a New Pair of Snakeskin Boots (A Pop Operetta).”
Something/Anything? is an eclectic mix of ballads, tributes, power pop, straightforward rock numbers, Motown, soul, novelty tunes, and psychedelic hard rock. It’s a mish-mash of tracks from various styles and genres and yet, there are no fillers. And anyone who listened to it from start to finish cannot help but recognize the sheer brilliance of the man behind it. It’s extraordinary and remarkable.
Some of the highlights include “I Saw the Light,” “Couldn’t I Just Tell You”, “It Wouldn’t Have Made Any Difference”, and the masterpiece “Hello It’s Me.”
The term musical genius gets thrown around easily but for Rundgren, it’s the absolute truth. With a total of 25 songs, there are some tracks that don’t do much for us. Even so, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re anything less than stellar. It’s mostly just a matter of preference.
But overall, Something/Anything? was a bold and fearless move for Todd Rundgren. There were so many things that could have gone wrong and yet in the end, he won.