The Individualist

Review by Ed Grieze (Switch to

With The Individualist Todd continued to explore new technology by utilizing the CD+ format. But the music on this album was a throwback to several styles of his long career. "If Not Now, When?" evoked thoughts way back to the Nazz. It's easy to picture the 4-man Utopia performing "Woman's World." "Espresso" is pure Todd pop. And the No World Order rap found its way onto "Tables Will Turn" and "Temporary Sanity." But Todd's rap on these two songs as well as the title cut works much more smoothly than on that predecessor album. The Individualist is a nice coming together of numerous Todd musical styles. The delivery is much more agreeable than the angry notes of No World Order.

Great straight forward content in "If Not Now, When?" This song was deserving of much radio play. The different timing of the Japanese versus U.S. releases caused more confusion than any but the truest fans cared to deal with. This contributed to sales being down. Is this really a new single? Is this really a new album? When is he touring on it? Oh, he did already? There were reasons for this. Todd was waiting for the CD+ format to be standardized. But the bottom line was The Individualist got disjointed. The reality became that material worthy of greater exposure went largely unheard.

"Temporary Sanity" is Todd at his best. Even the rap section works well. The "looks just like my youngest" line is one of those that just sends a chill of emotion. It would have been wonderful for this one to find the airwaves as a third single. "Espresso" is catchy and more lighthearted. It strikes me as somewhat of a novelty angle a la "Bang the Drum." "Woman's World" is more pure Todd pop and a could've been single. George aptly described this song as more of an attitude than any trusim.

Others have covered "Beloved Infidel" in great detail. But gosh .. that percussion .. you can't help but think of Phil Collins, which I recall Scott pointed out early on. "Tables Will Turn" carries some industrial sound effects which compliment some of the lines. Its repetitive nature and percussion can almost put one in a daze. Todd gives a nod to a current style with "Cast the First Stone."

"Family Values" struck me as dated at time of release, but as someone pointed out the debate goes on. I really like that underlying piano that comes forth to be featured at the end of the song. It sequences nicely into the piano ballad "The Ultimate Crime" which is reminiscent of "Only Human."

Todd gives an excellent description of himself in the title cut. This was one of those different songs that took a couple listens, but then it quickly grew to be one of my favorites on the album.

The Individualist is an album that merits return visits. It posesses good content which is well presented. Nice artwork too. And most of its songs happen to be good live tour songs. Aloha.

- ED

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