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Thursday, January 1, 1998

Review - With a Twist

Artist: Todd Rundgren

Posted on Thu, Jan 1, 1998 at 4:00 AM

Todd Rundgren's fan base has had to be patient with the mercurial nature of his recorded output. With possibly only Neil Young and Frank Zappa counted as similar pop contemporaries, Rundgren has led his flock through such forays as Beatles pastiche, solo overdubbed a cappella, apocalyptic socio-political rap and Broadway stage-intended music.

Although his eccentricities are common knowledge to the converted, "With a Twist" possibly ranks as one of his oddest turns. While Rundgren's pop ballads of the '60s and '70s cushioned countless hard tumbles from affairs of the heart, these songs have been excluded from his performances for the better part of two decades. Now they are reprised on this album as sublimated bossa-nova arrangements conveniently marketed for the lounge-music renaissance. The sorrowful songs in this setting rarely approach the originals' impact, but the Martin Denny/Exotica spin on "Hello It's Me" is worthy of a chuckle.

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