Other Sellers on Amazon
|Price:||£12.45 & FREE UK Delivery on orders dispatched by Amazon over £20. Delivery Details|
Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) is a service Amazon offers sellers that lets them store their products in Amazon's warehouses, and Amazon directly does the picking, packing, shipping and customer service on these items. Something Amazon hopes you'll especially enjoy: FBA items are eligible for and for Amazon Prime just as if they were Amazon items.
If you're a seller, you can increase your sales significantly by using Fulfilment by Amazon. We invite you to learn more about this programme .
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
As every seasoned Todd watcher knows, the man has many sides, and those fond of the proggy, spiritual explorer may be a little shocked by Arena. For, like Peter Finch in Network, it appears that Rundgren is mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. Whereas on 2000's One Long Year he hated his ''frickin' ISP'', in these serious times things have been upped a notch.
The reasons for his ire are manifold. Current foreign and domestic affairs for starters. Gun is an hilarious boogie that proves once and for all that Todd is not about to become a member of the NRA. Meanwhile Mercenary and Today obviously stem from his disappointment at worldwide hypocrisy and trauma. At other times it's unnamed individuals that get the polymath's goat. Mad and Pissin' both confront people who get too close for comfort and cause him to ponder "How does one vent one's sense of sickness/At skull and skin of such vast thickness?". Turning 60 has not quenched his fire one iota.
After a 'guerrilla' tour of the States with a four-piece guitar outfit he's been inspired to make what the title confirms is widescreen arena rock. Of course this is Todd's version so while there's more metal in the mix than usual (Mercenary is as close to Metallica as he'll ever get, and Strike could actually BE AC/DC) it's still leavened with those swooning, soul-inflected harmonies.
Aside from the anger there's the usual subjects that TR fans will recognise. The constant re-evaluation of what it means to be a modern male (Courage), the belief in the power of love (Weakness) and the constant striving for self-improvement (Afraid Mountaintop). But fans of guitar god-Todd will be most happy. Bardo and Weakness are numbers that approach the bluesy, Hendrix-style lope of classics like Black Maria or Number 1 Lowest Common Denominator, where his axe lazily goes from woozy psychedelia to turned-to-11 histrionics. And just about every other track is riddled with axe frenzy. Hurrah.
If there's a downside it's the lack of a real band. ironically for the man who wrote the book on doing it all yourself (inspiring Prince among others) the modern digital process is slightly too clinical. You long for the glorious imperfections that marked his early work, where ambition overstepped technology.
But this is a minor drawback, and Arena is 13 songs of pepped-up, pop metal: intelligent, masterful and proof positive that age means little to Upper Darby's finest son. Invigorating stuff... --Chris Jones
Find more music at the BBC This link will take you off Amazon in a new window
Top customer reviews
Rundgren's new album, "Arena", is a stripped down, back to basics collection of guitar rock anthems. Nuances and nods to vintage ZZ Top, Ted Nugent, RUSH, Robin Trower and AC/DC are on the menu of the day, but make no mistake, this isn't a thumbs up to AOR radio in the vein of REO Speedwagon, Foreigner and Journey.
Like Neil Young, Rundgren continues to push the envelope. Over a career that spans 40 years, his output is consistent and constantly surprising.
Twenty-eight years later, the former Hermit of Mink Hollow, continues to wave the rock'n'roll rule book in front of the noses of all those cynics who never even knew how to rock in the first place. It's a delightful display of self-recognition and an affirmation that the man is always on the edge.
What you get on the new album is a first class ticket to rock'n'roll salvation. Not only do the new songs display an emotional reaction, but, together, they represent a rock'n'roll mindset that doesn't date.
The album kicks off with the rock humdinger "Mad", followed by the lush mid-tempo power ballad, "Afraid." Make no mistake, on "Arena", Rundgren makes no concessions. This is a guitar rock album, simplified, potent and direct.
Third track in, TR hits the nail on the head with "Mercenary", a song that sounds like it could have stepped out of RUSH's "Moving Pictures" album. "How do you like me now?," screams Todd. No doubt, Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson fans will love it.
Are you just looking' for some "Tush", or is that that the same riff TR's executing in the song "Gun"? The latter starts off all retro sixties electric guitar and then if flash forwards to Ted Nugent's "Cat Scratch Fever" with Utopia backing vocals. This is a bluesy guitar rockin' track that blasts Hendrix and Gary Moore. "This is my rifle and this is my gun. This is for fighting and this is for fun."
In "Weakenss" he epitomises the human experience. The song starts with a lazy Hendrix guitar riff that sounds it was just ripped out of Electric Ladyland. Todd comes on with a bluesy, gutsy vocal, and literally sings his heart out. Shades of "The Last Ride" from the "Todd" album, and you suddenly find yourself in some kind of post hippy psychedelic acid flashback.
"Are you ready to rumble?" So, asks Todd in the AC/DC electrified song "Strike".
"Pissin" sounds like it was performed by a bar band straight out of David Lynch's "Blue Velvet", and then gradually morphs into some southern fried slide guitar anthem. "Today" begins with a shimmering keyboard intro, sneaks up and subjects you to a masterpiece in pop perfection. It's also quite possibly the only song on the new album that sounds like a distant relative to 2004's "Liars" album.
As you dig deeper into the album, the song "Courage" rears its head, and suddenly, you find yourself thrown back into Side 1 of "Faithful" where acoustic and electric guitar interweave into a hypnotic flurry of stunning melodic hooks, enhanced with beautiful vocals and glorious harmonies.
The song that illustrates Rundgren's genius as the ultimate songsmith is celebrated in the thumping, grunge electro guitar rocker, "Mountaintop". Here, Rundgren borrows the riff from Norman Greenbaum's "Spirit In The Sky", and then turns it into a radio active guitar anthem, featuring one of the catchiest choruses you're likely to hear this year.
"Arena" is Todd Rundgren's masterclass in pop perfection. This is the Wizard's gripping return to the guitar rock album. It's a remarkable achievement.
Now I'm sitting here with an advance copy of the nineteenth studio Todd album and it's pretty much everything I could have hoped for. Todd himself said Arena "is a definite return to riff-oriented guitar rock. It's supposed to make you reflexively pump your fist and wave a lighter in the air." Well, not quite, but it is a fabulous return to form and the music that made me swoon for him in the first place. Don't come here if you're looking for his experiments in a cappella, bossa nova, and rapping. This has much more in common with some of his heavier Utopia moments, minus the gibberish, and all the better for it.
The songs are all short, sharp and to the point, with even the titles restricting themselves to a single word. And for a man who has just turned sixty, he performs them with a fire in his belly. At times he even veers surprisingly close to metal as he rocks out hard, with "Gun", in particular, a pounding riff happy tune that should sound even better with a real band on his live dates. However, this is Todd Rundgren, so the album still manages to be a concept album, albeit a loose one about the nature of conflict.
The opener "Mad", is also the single, and it's a straight down the middle rock tune that doesn't really prepare you for what's to come, although it does have a splendid guitar solo. "Afraid" is a much more restrained number which would have slotted easily onto Liars, but then "Mercenary" arrives and blows you away with it's vicious guitar and anti-war ranting. An absolute belter of a song. And is that a tribute to Boston (the band) in the middle? You won't be surprised to learn that "Gun" is about gun control, but it's another heavy rocking cracker. "Courage" takes us back to classic seventies Todd and is a nice change of pace. Coming up to the half way point and "Weakness" seems to be his take on the blues, with a slow, menacing groove.
Over on Side 2 (if only), and Todd has decided to beat AC/DC at their own game on "Strike". Yes, really, the most unlikely sentence I've written this year, straight of Flick Of The Switch, with repetitive beats and cries of "are you ready to rumble". Utterly mad and utterly splendid. Then the chorus arrives and he actually does a Brian 'Beano' Johnson impersonation. I had to hit replay just to make sure I wasn't hallucinating. The obligatory comedy number arrives on "Pissin", and I do not want to know why someones "dick is in the mayonnaise". The first skippable number. Things flag slightly on "Today" and "Bardo", the keyboard heavy former sounds like a Liars outake, the latter is a good, mellow, spaced out number that just seems out of context here.
But Mr Rundgren still has a few tricks up his sleeve as we near the end, with the boogiefied "Mountaintop" finally attaining the punching the air effect, "Panic" playing homage to some of his own earlier work, and a number that long term fans will find themselves returning to and the closing "Manup", an out and out stadium rocker, replete with another classic guitar solo.
It's not the greatest album he's ever made, but it's certainly up there with some of his best. I'm old school, so would have preferred real percussion and bass, rather than Rundgren's preferred protools method, but it's a small quibble on what is one of my favourite albums of the year. I'm not sure about the UK release but there is an American version planned which will come with a DVD and CD of Rundgren's live performance of the album from a US show in July. Something I will definitely be queuing up for, especially if the UK tour lives up to its promise.
There aren't many albums I've bought not knowing the songs where I've actually discovered I love most of the tracks, what a catalogue of surprises.
I didn't regret this purchase one bit and would recommend it to anyone who likes well produced rock music that's a bit different but still makes sense!
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Most recent customer reviews
I've played this product a few times now & it's exactly what I was looking for
& yes said...Read more
umpteenth time and just wonder what some people want from a rock album.Read more
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Look for similar items by category