By 1974 Todd Rundgren was so intent on moving beyond conventional pop music that he battled his own record label in order to prevent the release of “Izzat Love?” as the leadoff single for Todd. The song epitomizes the kind of gleaming, fleet-footed piano pop that Rundgren perfected on his early solo albums, but Todd proved the artist was less interested in chart success than in pushing the boundaries of the medium. “Drunken Blue Rooster,” “A Dream Goes On Forever” and “Useless Begging” show Rundgren’s own brand of loopy carnival music. Other songs, including “The Spark of Life,” “Sidewalk Café” and “Don’t You Ever Learn?” formulate a circus-like rejoinder to the astral soundscapes of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. “No. 1 Lower Common Demoninator” is heavy and spacey and epic, but its vision of hormonal frustration is hilariously surreal. As always, Rundgren appears to be having as much fun as a kid in a candy store, and he obviously wants to share his amusement with the listener. At the same time, Todd contains some of his most beautiful bleak moments, especially loner anthem “The Last Ride.”

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