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State Import

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Audio CD, Import, April 16, 2013
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 16, 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Esoteric
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #635,585 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews


Customer Reviews

I like the way Todd Rundgren keeps changing his music and style.
Mark Apanowicz
I liked this album on the first listen and I absolutely loved it a few weeks later.
John Vavrek
I will not do a song by song on the live cd, but will just say it is great.
Scott Mitchell (aka CrazyElf)

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Mark T on April 12, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
There's a love/hate relationship fans are having with State and it's been fascinating to watch.

State is less of a departure than some would suggest. A long-time fan will recognize keyboard sounds harkening back to the Initiation album, percussion and synth effects reminiscent of Healing, rhythm patterns first explored on Ever Popular, even vocal stylings first found on With a Twist. Many the song structures are classic verse/chorus/bridge things Todd has always done.

But all that familiarity is filtered through the aesthetic of today's current--dub step, techno, electronica, industrial. If that's not your thing, this ain't your album. No harm, no foul, no worries.

And yet, there's so much here to admire and enjoy:

"Imagination" starts off with a slow, powerful build of keyboards leading into heavily distorted, drawn out guitar lines. The vocal is buried somewhat in the mix, creating an evocative wall of sound. I really like this track.

"Serious" apes James Brown, then couples that with some serious techno and fun lyrics for a song that's as danceable as anything Todd has ever done.

"In My Mouth" is a weird blend of electronica and bossa nova. Haunting, unexpected and beautiful.

"Ping Me" is classic Todd. Crystal clear, emotive vocals over a bed of keyboards leading into a powerful, fuzzy chorus. Its somewhat clichéd subject matter led me to expect disliking it. I was wrong.

"Angry Bird" is the comedy track Todd always throws in. Very heavy techno sound. It's clever and has some cool passages in it, but I suspect it'll get skipped more often than not.

"Smoke" is a stellar track. It reminds me of something Everything But the Girl might do. It would fit nicely on the Liars album.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By G. Struijker Boudier on April 9, 2013
Format: Audio CD
As fans we've been through the process of reinventing our relationship with Todd's creations many times. And I love that process! It's inspiring to 'reset' that relationship over and over again. Every time that happens it adds another layer.
When I listened to the album the first time it only struck a chord a few times. But as I listened to it multiple times it started to grow on me. I discovered many turns and twists, both musically and lyrically. It's very rich in sound, nuances and complexities.
It feels like he's thinking out loud, and I like it.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Eric Lund on April 15, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Ok- here we go again... I'm one of those 40+ year Todd fans who is disappointed with State. I'm not looking for a return to "Hello it's me"... but I am looking for Todd to get back to being himself (The Individualist) from a creative standpoint. This album reeks of trying to mimic a contemporary sound while I'd be happy with Todd creating his own new sound. Sort of like Side 1 of "Faithful"- yeah I was impressed but eventually it comes off as a novelty and I always just stick to side 2 of that album.

Always one to play with all the latest technology, TR occassionally starts slipping into areas where the technology takes over and, instead of enhancing the work, buries it. I sense some great songs buried underneath all the noodling and noise on this album- while about half just aren't up to his usual level of songwriting. I think everyone agrees that "Liars" was a benchmark and source of optimism for most of the hardcore fans- State is his 4th album since and just isn't up to those high standards. The good news is Todd never stays in one place very long so I expect his next body of work to be a radical departure- one can only hope.

By the way- the concert recording with the Metropole orchestra from Nov 2012 is magnificent. If this is indeed a limited edition- I encourage everyone to buy it now while still available.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By cordell jeffries on April 10, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
first and foremost, the 2-cd edition of STATE with the Metropole Orchestra Show from November 2012 is the best way to go. talk about a "bonus disc"...!!!

now, about that Disc One. STATE comes a little off like TR's making a musical inside joke with his longtime fans, of which i happily consider myself one.

it's like he wants to prove that he C O U L D make songs with bona fide radio hit potential, if he wanted to (a long-established, familiar TR theme). but instead, he flirts with multiple genres of the day and ultimately comes up short, resulting in another TR album that's pretty much for fans only.

speaking of album, if all of us can pretend STATE came out on vinyl, then i'll just characterize "Side 1" as Todd channeling a variety of contemporary influences (and Black Sabbath) with primarily so-so results. (the notable exception would be In My Mouth, which holds its own as a well-crafted, cleverly romantic and romantically clever mid tempo tune.)

on the bright side, perhaps you'll enjoy "Side 2" as much as i do. STATE's second side begins with the song Smoke, a big-sounding song that harkens back to LIARS a little in a good way. after that, comes Collide-A-Scope, which is an excellent example of TR proving he can make relevant contemporary music, even if there are no new fans there to hear it.

the final 3 tracks continue STATE's upward trajectory, IMHO. Something From Nothing feels a bit like the musical sequel to God Said (another LIARS gem); forgiving the pun, Sir Reality is a solid closer that offers listeners -- never mind Americans in general -- some food for thought.
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