Todd Rundgren is considered to be a creative genius because of his many talents and roles: producer, song-writer, guitarist, pianist, drummer, video director, engineer, and computer programmer! He recently turned 60 years old and to celebrate performed this new release, “Arena” in its entirely live.
Anyone wondering if his career was over after not hearing from him for four years – the answer is “absolutely not”. This album indicates that he is still full of energy and ideas. Todd describes Arena as “big stadium rock”. I didn’t have the urge to flick my Bic and wave it around while listening, but I did play it twice in a row and found myself liking it very much. On the second time through I picked up on a theme of social injustice, gun control and peace running through the lyrics. I also noticed some influence of Ac/DC, Bad Company and Boston.
Somewhere in the back of my mind I still associate Todd Rundgren singing ballads but this is definitely more of the “Utopia” Todd (someone said of him that he’s a musical schizophrenic and had to “form an alter ego (the band Utopia) to explore his 'progressive ' ideas and leave his pop ideas for his solo albums.”
I read this quoate sums him up well, “Anyone who can pen a beautiful love song and at the same time deliver a head-banging rocker has got to be special”. This album is for the head bangers!