Music Reviews

posted: February 25, 2009

Todd Rundgren – Arena Arena

HiFi Recordings CD
Todd Rundgren – Arena

The coolest thing about Todd Rundgren is that you never know what he’s going to come up with next.  Arena continues down the path of self-examination that TR started with Lies, but with a lot more bite.  In addition to the great, layered vocals that you would expect on a Todd record, there are monumental guitar and bass riffs throughout.  Playing all of the instruments on this record, Todd’s no slouch on the drums either.

Arena has a big, fat, thick sound and it reminds you what a great guitarist Rundgren has always been. Though you would swear that you could hear Kasim Sulton singing backing vocals, this record is all Todd, recorded in his studio in Hawaii. Arena has a fresh feel, but there are great grooves from past TR records that are remixed and lightly sprinkled in, causing you to revisit your other favorites when you are done with this disc.

He’s certainly come a long way from “Can We Still be Friends”, lashing out at current gun users, when he sings “you better run, because I’m young, dumb and I’ve got a gun” on “Gun”.  Amazing how your perspective changes from your early 20′s to your late 50′s.

This one’s a winner from start to finish and best of all, the sound quality is fantastic. Be sure to read my interview with TR and concert coverage in issue 18 of TONEAudio.  If Todd is in your town, go see him!  The current tour has been selling out everywhere.