Todd Rundgren – A Wizard, A True Star

A Wizard, A True StarTodd is a cult name — a producer (XTC, Meat Loaf, New York Dolls) — a one-man band. As a nod to the music he loves (Carole King, Hendrix, Philly soul, the British Invasion, show tunes, psychedelia), he’s got “it.” As a self-styled genius, he’s full of crap. Fronting the Nazz was easy. Recording for himself by himself, he wants you to know he’s Godd. Craft, ego, poor sales, and dogged marginalia endear him. He’s a whiz kid, lost among the pet sounds.

A Wizard, A True Star is a kaleidoscope. It’s as if “Revolution 9” went to Pepperland for an hour. Was Todd bored with the board? He sings like Helen Keller, and the synths dart around like Pac-Man on speed. But it’s all too much. The muddle is contrived. It’s predictably unpredictable.

Rating: B-

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