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Todd Rundgren Todd Rundgren
Album: White Knight
Label: Cleopatra
Tracks: 16

Todd Rundgren is one of the stalwarts of the US music industry with a career spanning just over fifty years. This singer songwriter musician has never quite achieved the fame he arguably deserves in the UK which might in part be down to his somewhat unique music style. He does what he wants, not always what the public or his fans desire.

He is renowned in his homeland as a record producer and has been involved over the years with numerous acts both as a performer and producer. A frustrated musician who has never quite found his natural musical home! He still tours and also works on occasions with Ringo Starr & His All Star Band, perhaps proof that he is not quite sure what direction to go in.

"White Knight" is Todd's 25th album. It is a mix of genres comprising primarily a number of duets, a bit of a departure for Todd. Featuring artists such as K K Watson, Daryl Hall, Donald Fagen, Joe Walsh and one of his three sons Rebop, amongst others, the music on this album, for me at least, does not really show what a talented artist Todd is.

The track list includes a couple of Rap songs, a genre to which I have never warmed. These tracks do nothing to encourage me to search it out further. "Beginning Of The End" with John Boutte is a delightfully slow jazz influenced number which works very well. My favourite track is "Sleep" featuring Joe Walsh of the Eagles. Despite Todd being a bit of a rocker, the best tracks on this album for me are the slow numbers which allow both his skills as a songwriter and producer to come to the fore.

The album is most certainly not overproduced, with much of the musical backing being very simple and basic. It is also an album which I find rather disappointing. I believe that Todd is much better than this and it seems to me that he has produced this album because he feels that he has to do something. Never a good reason to do anything in life!

His life story is worth reading and much of his earlier music is excellent. I am just not convinced that "White Knight" hits the mark! It may well improve with further listening, at least I hope so.

Rory Stanbridge