Once again I found myself in a rut. So many great albums with so little time. One album really stood out from start to finish. This four sided record is nothing short of a masterpiece. I’ve been listening to Sparks’ albums for a while. Last month my formula for picking an album was to look at the producer. I applied this again.
Sparks’ debut album (Halfnelson) completely blew me away. I thought it would be AOTM but then I looked at its producer. Halfnelson was of course produced by Todd Rundgren. I did my research and found myself listening to Something/Anything.
“Others had recorded one-man albums before, most notably Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney, but Rundgren — without borrowing musically from either artist — captured the homemade ambience of McCartney with the visionary feel of Music of My Mind, adding an encyclopedic knowledge of pop music from Gilbert & Sullivan through Jimi Hendrix, plus the crazed zeal of a pioneer.”
There are 33 tracks on this album so forgive me if I don’t go into too much detail telling you about each one in turn. Personal highlights were: I Saw the Light; It Takes Two To Tango; Breathless; Saving Grace; The Day the Carousel Burned Down; Black Maria and of course the showstopping Hello It’s Me. Rundgren produced and played each instrument on 3/4 sides of this LP. The entire album is a “mind altering trip” and does leave you breathless. One of the best albums I have heard. IT alters my perception of what good music is.
“The first side is “a bouquet of ear-catching melodies”; side two is “the cerebral side”; on side three “the kid gets heavy”; side four is his mock pop operetta, recorded with a full band including the Sales brothers.”
Something/Anything is one of those albums which make you self aware. It shows every side of Rundgren’s highly distinguished musical capacities. So many genres of music are covered. Now I shall leave you to make up your own minds about this album. I was moved and so too shall you be. In which direction remains for you to decide.