Top positive review
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Still the ultimate individualist . . .
on 11 April 2013
As usual with Todd's (relatively) recent output, there's a lot going on within the new album. Whereas others of his generation maintain their careers by retreading past glories (often in a limp & uninspred manner), or pay embarrassing homage to the Great American Songbook or suchlike, Todd always challenges & invents, mostly without compromise. It's 40 years since one groundbreaking album (A Wizard, A True Star), and 20 since another (No World Order), & the synth loops & organised cacophony common to both show their influence on "State". However, the 10 new tunes are separate entities. Three listens in, and I'm definitely positive about 5 of the tracks; "In My Mouth" sits on a spacious techno backing with chord changes to die for in the choruses. "Smoke" is of the same ilk, with another stunning chorus. "Something From Nothing" is the one ballad, and beautiful too - very much enhanced by a female vocal contribution towards the end. "Party Liquor" seems to have come in for scornful comment in one or two reviews I've read, but to me it's witty, satirical and fun, and with a snappy pop chorus. "Collide-a-scope" depends on repetition and Todd is clever in making this work. The other five tracks aren't bad, just harder for me to get into so far. This isn't Todd's greatest album by any means, but as a benchmark it's at least as good as "Arena", though some way short of the close to perfect "Liars".
I'm glad to have invested in the deluxe version with the additional live CD with orchestra. What a joy this is, even if at times I easily imagine that it's what Todd would sound like as a guest on Radio 2's "Friday Night Is Music Night"! To hear "Fascist Christ" followed by a lush version of "We Gotta Get You A Woman" is outrageously brilliant, and yet again we are reminded of the great man's astounding back catalogue. The dream lives on forever.