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  • State
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Customer reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 1 August 2013
Todd R is undoubtedly one of Rock Music's true genius. Albums like Hermit of Mink Hollow, A Wizard, a True Star and Todd, showed you don't have to follow and can be creative and different without compromising on musicality and quality. I have listened to the first album a few times and it sort of grows on you but not like his earlier works. I went to see the concert aligned to its release and was sad to say it is simply no where near his best work.
Yes he probably doesn't want to do another album of ballads he wants to push the boundaries but this isn't it. What is this album? its sort of synth pop, dance laden grooves mostly computer driven - ideal for Dad Dancing which he showed all too well in concert.
Come on Todd R you are so much better than this! State - cd 1 1.5 stars
Aah! but wait is there a glimmer of hope in CD 2; Todd R and The Metropole Orchestra. This featuring tracks that range from albums going back to the early 70's . This is more like it - its excellent arrangements include the opening track Another Life: just superb. The more I listen the better it gets culminating with the 3 tracks to finish it off all from Hermit - Bag Lady, Can't we still and Fade Away, the quality is there throughout - 4.5 stars. Buy this album for CD 2 it shows whilst Todd is currently limited on great new ideas his old ones were simply brilliant and have stood the test of time!!
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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.
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The reason why I have rated this CD's 5 Stars is because for £11 which includes P&P one is getting two CD's with 24 Tracks/Songs enclosed within it which nowadays is excellent value for money Disc 2 was taken live from a concert over
in Holland last November it basically has songs from Todd's Musical Oeuvre from 1974 to 2004 and is unique on its own
As for Todd's new CD entitled 'State' personally I like his new music. What's this Todd 'DJ Odd' Rundgren? Todd is not a DJ he is a Musician and his musicianship stretches from 1967 until the present day which in my reckoning is 47 years.
Also, who typed the lyrics to the songs out for example on the track 'Party Liquor' track nine of the 'State' CD the word
should be 'Snigger/Laugh' not 'Snickers' & Surely the last track (Track 10) is entitled 'Surreality' not 'Sir Reality' Surrealism a bit like the past Spanish Portrait's Artist a Mr Salvador Dali who's paintings where a bit surreal like melting clocks funny enough Todd used some of his pictures in his Time Heals Video back in 1982 it was out around the same time as his Healing Album anyway to get back to the 'State' CD I notice the cherry pickers are saying for example oh the Tracks 'Ping Me/Collide-A-Scope/A 'Party Liquor' are worth a mention the rest is not. What a load of BS all the tracks are unique and in a surreal sound environment that fits in with today's style of music with Todd's unique song writing craft stamped all over it. In my opinion it's a fifty-two minutes wee gem and certainly worth the £11 purchase price on it's own let alone the additional CD of the concert over in Holland last year which is a welcome bonus. It's certainly one of those CD's after a few listening's to it, one will become fond of it, that is for sure. As for some other comments about oh he made that CD with just his Laptop/Power Book what another load of BS. One has to put down cords and keys you know before mixing said sound and using sequencers long gone are the days of over-dubs and cutting and splicing which one musician like Todd would have to do back in the 60's & 70's. Todd has made some very unique albums/CD's in the past like 1) Acappella (1985) where Todd makes the whole album just using his voice. 2) No World Order (1993) This CD being an Interactive CD where one can, via a PC, can adjust the music tempo/sound/beat 3) The Individualist (1995) this CD was also unique where one could play games, change the tracks order of playing and watch different type of song videos all enclosed within one musical CD is also very unique indeed. Todd has made nearly thirty solo albums and if you count the other records with Nazz & Utopia that he wrote or co-wrote the songs with it's probably over forty (40) albums which Todd has made over the years gone bye. He has probably performed in over 1,000 gigs/concerts just go to TR Connection and click on the column tab in said home page and go into Tours and past Tours and you will see what I'm referring to with loads of concert reviews and pictures. As mentioned above the 'State + 1' CD is well worth the £11 purchase price in more ways than one. I'm certainly looking forward to the 'State Tour' in the UK in June 2013 Where one will be treated to no doubt the whole 'State CD' + all the other classic's from Todd's Oeuvre of past songs
that he has written and performed over his illustrious long musical career that Todd has carved out over the past years
If I was you, I would try and catch one of his gigs over in the UK in June and you will be in for a treat for just £25 a ticket
yeah later's folks.
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on 8 April 2013
With any TR solo album nowadays you have to expect the unexpected. That is exactly what you get here - from the 70s funk of Serious to the simple weirdness of Angry Bird to mention two of the more disposable songs.

There are however several tracks on here that warrant repeated listening (I got a preview copy so I have already repeatedly listened!) and In My Mouth, Ping Me and Something From Nothing bear comparison in my opinion to some of his very best stuff from the last 40 plus years and these songs alone warrant a 5 star rating.

The use of synthesizer gives the whole album a bit of the early 80s feel of the "Healing" LP but without the consistent running lyrical theme, although Something From Nothing could almost perhaps have come straight from that album.

And although Imagination, Collide-A-Scope and Sir Reality are much weaker tracks lyrically they are still interesting musically, especially the classic TR guitar licks on the latter.

I recommend you buy the Deluxe edition for the added live album which has beautiful string arrangements from a late 2012 European tour of Pretending to Care and Bag Lady amongst other live versions of some of his "greatest hits".
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on 12 May 2013
Been with Todd since 72 and although I kind of wrote this off on my first listen. I've learned over the years to stick with him and something will come, anything! After a few listens it grows and grows and grows into a fantastic new Todd sound, amazingly produced as usual. Get the headphones on!!!! A lot of people wrote off NWO as they no doubt will State, only because DJ Odd is trying something new, but stick with it. It does blossom into another Todd masterpiece. Roll on the State visit to Glasgow :o)
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on 19 June 2013
Despite some conflicting reviews here & elsewhere (it is all down to musical taste, after all) I bought this after seeing Todd at the Shepherds Bush Empire last Saturday. Previously I had only heard brief samples via here & Itunes & the 'jury was still out' with just 2 or 3 tracks having real potential as 'growers' on me. Seeing the concert really brought the album to life - not something the vast majority of diehard fans have the opportunity to do - & I bought the album straight after.
State has made me revisit 'Liars' ( one of my favourite Todd albums anyway), 'Reconstructed' & 'No World Order' with a fresh mind - it fits in nicely, I feel.
Would I have bought it if it was an unknown artist? No. Did I buy it as a fan of Todd for some 40 years & the benefit of the concert I saw? Absolutely!!
A real grower & the (mostly) usual thoughtful lyrics
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on 17 June 2013
On first listening I was a bit disappointed with State, I think because the chosen genre (loosely dance/electro) slightly overwhelms the songs. However after repeated listening, and especially after seeing him perform it live, the great melodies at the kernel of each song become apparent. Todd just can’t help being a peerless song-smith. I’ve heard people criticise the dance flavour of the album, because it’s not his style – since when did he ever stick to a style or genre anyway?. The bonus disc performed with an Orchestra in Amsterdam is great too, and probably a comfort to those unable to get into the dance stuff.
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on 20 October 2013
There's no holding the guy down. STATE is all the more wonderful for having been put together using laptop technology. In contrast, on the deluxe edition, you have Todd performing with a complete orchestra in Amsterdam (the performace is available on DVD and is all the better for the visuals). 'Imagination' is magisterial and virtually worth the purchase alone. While none of the other tracks quite match up to the imperious opening number, the combination of tenderness, jokiness and downright raunch of the other offerings make this an excellent collection to have alongside all your other favourite Todd albums.
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on 8 May 2013
Once again he delivers an inovative and "fan-provoking" album. I've heard everything from "worst album he's done" to "best thing I've ever heard" and all points in between.

This guy just doesn't do boring.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 12 December 2013
Having been a big fan in the 70s, I was intrigued to hear what Todd was doing nowadays. The main CD is music entirely played and programmed by the man himself, which has nods to more modern styles of programmed dance music - but always has more of a song structure with recognisable melodies at its heart.

Of course Todd pioneered the idea of one person playing everything, using electronics and overdubs, back in the late 70s/early 80s with albums like Initiation - but he always used his wealth of musical experience as a producer and his prodigious musicianship, to create something unique. It was never the machines taking over, as it has been with some artists - you know Todd is fully in control and doing what he intends.

However, there are no tunes here that really match the classics of the past, although every track is interesting with personal lyrics - but what really rescues this package and makes it an essential purchase for fans, is the live album with a full orchestra, recorded in Amsterdam. This grabs you from the start with tight,tricky arrangements and moves into improvised solos hinting at a flirtation with Jazz - now that would be a really interesting development.

The songs on the second disc are all much better and the collaboration gets the best out of them - Todd's voice might be strained at times, but the arrangments win you over and it's great to hear classics like Another LIfe, Hello It's Me and We Gotta Get you a Woman, played so enthusiastically. This is best I've heard from him for many years and I would like to hear more of this kind of project.
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