Home Read Classic Album Review: Todd Rundgren | Liars

Classic Album Review: Todd Rundgren | Liars

The pop-rock veteran pens a poison pen letter to the dishonestly plaguing us all.

This came out in 2004 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Romantic betrayal. Religious hypocrisy. False (American) idols.

They’re some of the symptoms of the epidemic of dishonesty plaguing society, according to pop innovator Todd Rundgren, who pens a poison pen letter to all of them on his latest solo disc Liars. I’m not sure what’s turned Todd so bitter — the lyrics suggest love gone wrong — but whatever it was, it hasn’t dulled his songwriting edge. Numbers like the Joe Jacksonish Happy Anniversary (“Men are stupid, women are evil”), the XTC-like Stood Up and the Idol-trashing Soul Brother (“If you want to be a star, just grab your crotch and squeeze it hard”) are some of the sharpest barbs he’s hurled in years. One quibble: Most of these immaculately produced synth-rock cuts suffer from the freeze-dried textures and soulless grooves of computerized recording. If authenticity is what Todd is after, he could start by hiring a real band.