Let me nail my colours to the mast: yes I am a die-hard Todd fan, who loves the Holy Trinity of "Something/Anything", "A Wizard A True Star" and "Todd" - the best three consecutive albums ever made. However, I will concede that some of Todd's later output has been uneven, and even a trial for those who do not "get it".
No problems with this record though - its packed (and I mean PACKED) with great songs. "Soulbrother" is indeed the "soul brother" to Ben Folds' "Rocking the Suburbs" - sardonic lyrics with the catchiest Georgie Fame "yeah yeah" organ vibe. "Stoodup" is the typical Todd pop confection - more hooks than velcro, and inspired hangover backing vocals. I'm waiting for "Liar" (sans vocals) to become the backing track to one of BBC Sport's edited sequences (for Euro 2004 or the Olympics say) - it packs power and drama, leaving you exhausted. "Godsaid" is wonderfully thought provoking, with God's voice as sweet as an angel's.
There are no bad tracks (well, maybe "Mammon" isn't as strong as the rest), and Todd's voice has so much soul and depth its scary.
If I have one faint crirticism, it is that the music just keeps coming at you! Imagine a Michelin 3 star restaurant where you are offered 14 main courses. Sometimes you need the occasional sorbet to cleanse the pallette. And the irony is, Todd has been accused in the past of throwing silly songs into his CDs for no good reason. Now I know the reason - he knows what he's doing!
Todd is back at his creative best, crossing genres and defying his critics, producing one of the albums of the year.