Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  Expert Witness
Books:
  Is It Still Good to Ya?
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Xgau Sez
Writings:
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Playboy
  Blender
  Rolling Stone
  Billboard
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
  Recyclables
  Newsprint
  Lists
  Miscellany
Bibliography
NPR
Web Site:
  Home
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
  Archive
Venues:
  Noisey
CG Search:
Google Search:
Twitter:

Consumer Guide Album

Todd Rundgren: Something/Anything? [Bearsville, 1972]
I don't trust double albums, especially when all sixteen cuts on three sides were laid down by the singer-composer-producer and all seven on the fourth by a studio pickup band. But this has the feel of a pop masterpiece, and feel counts. The many good songs span styles and subjects in a virtuoso display that runs from the evanescent "I Saw the Light" to a true tale of high-school grossouts called "Piss Aaron." And the many ordinary ones are saved by Todd's confidence and verve. The studio pickup side, for instance, gains genuine meaning from his tongue-in-cheek notes ("I drafted it into some sort of operetta, that kind of thing being very popular nowadays"). Studio games that would infuriate me on somebody else's record add context here. And his perpetual adolescence is winningly lyrical and winningly snide, though rarely at the same time. A-