Saturday, June 11, 2016

Track of the Week: Todd Rundgren "The Night The Carousel Burnt Down"

When people put together great classic rock albums lists you never see Todd Rundgren's Something/Anything, which is proof positive that most all-time best albums lists are bullshit. It's one of the few double albums, along with The Clash's London Calling, that manages to have great diversity in sounds while never having any weak points. Some of the songs on it are just perfect pop, like "I Saw The Light," "Hello It's Me," and "It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference." There's garage rock an electronic experimentation and weirdo story songs, too.

My favorite deep cut has got to be "The Night The Carousel Burnt Down." It starts with just some keyboards and Rundgren singing softly over a waltzy rhythm before the percussion, reminiscent of a carousel comes in. In lesser hands it might be a bit too on the nose, but here it works just fine. It's a song of resignation, of having to leave town after the fun has come and gone. Rundgren has a knack for writing songs about what I call "wistful resignation," where the singer is resigned to his suboptimal situation, but wistful over missed opportunities. It's a feeling I know pretty well. I just can't make it sound as pretty as this.

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