Magazine article The New Yorker

The Truth of the Matter;

Magazine article The New Yorker

The Truth of the Matter;

Article excerpt

The prospect of a good new Todd Rundgren album seems like an impossibility here in 2004, but "Liars" (Sanctuary) is at least good, and maybe even better than that. As rock's resident genius back in the seventies, Rundgren was a one-man wrecking crew who put together a series of stunning avant-pop albums ("Something/Anything?," from 1972, was more pop; "A Wizard, a True Star," from the following year, more avant), produced several groundbreaking works for other artists (everything from the New York Dolls' debut to Meat Loaf's "Bat Out of Hell"), and then ranged all over the pop map, turning up on the charts every once in a while. But in the last fifteen years, despite plenty of forward thinking on such matters as interactivity and Internet distribution, Rundgren became a musical relic, putting out records that were preachy, overly clever, or just plain incoherent.

"Liars" is none of the above. It's an ambitious concept album about the ways people practice deception--toward lovers, toward voters, toward themselves, toward higher forces. …

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