Truth: A good opening positive vibe. Bright and futuristic, the very definition of utopian vision. Todd successfully adds classic song style and melody to the notoriously empty techno style. Hit single potential: B+ (higher in non-U.S. markets, where techno music is more popular)
Sweet: Hit single potential: A This song has it all: groove, tune, chorus. It will be sweet to hear this on the radio.
Happy Anniversary: Good chorus with a thumping beat, interesting comic twist on male/female archetypes, but flawed by an irregular and difficult verse rhythm. Hit single potential: C. Who knows, maybe "men are stupid, women are evil" will become the new catchphrase.
Soul Brother: Excellent message, good blues feel. The song's message is somewhat buried by low vocal volume and Todd's laidback delivery. Hit single potential: B.
Stood up: A general admonishment against letting your ego convince you that you're the shit. Hit single potential: B. Good melody and production. I love the line "it's easy to be smart, but harder to be wise.", and the goofy backup singing of "dragging my knuckles along the ground".
Mammon: Hit single potential: none. I can't get into the production on this song. Perhaps it there were no synthetic strings or keyboards ... just crunchy, crankin' guitar, with a lot of anger in the lead vocal, for the heavy metal kidz ... then it would work for me.
Future: Hit single potential: A. Wow. Todd's answer to Kraftwerk's "Trans Europe Express" and Donald Fagen's "I.G.Y." I'm going to believe that Todd was influenced by "ultra_futura" from my "I used to live where it snows" CD, despite having no evidence to support that belief.
Past. Yes yes oh my god yes. Hit single potential: A. The new soul, an in-your-face lesson to the current hole-in-their-soul-brothers. It hits so deep, but hurts so good.
The wondering: Hit single potential: B. The cheezy home-organ percussion reminds me of S/A's Breathless. Good groove, great "life is always strange" lyric, fascinating flanged chorus, intriguing melody twists.
Flaw: A curious exploration of Prince's style and modern A Capella R&B singers, but it doesn't work for me. Thankfully this will never be a single, thanks to the obscenity. I wonder if Todd wrote this after Bebe's book was published? :)
Afterlife: Hit potential: B, but could be the sleeper hit of this CD. Good production. Reminds me of some boy band songs, but with advanced lyric content. Lyrically, a throwback to "Fade Away" from Hermit.
Living: Great yearning vocal melody, but too buried in the mix. A great groove, but so sonically full that individual parts are buried and the overall effect is lesseneed; this song might have had a more driving feel if less chorus/reverb or fewer parts were used. Hit potential: B.
God Said: Hit potential: C. So earnest it's borderline embarassing. Perhaps I'll warm up to it over time. It seems that every Todd recording has one "I had to get this off my chest" song, and this is it.
Liar: The Middle East version of Nine Inch Nails. An extremely thick production, like Utopia's "Monument", but the vocals are so buried in the mix that it's hard to understand the lyrics ... which is a shame because the lyrics are so meaningful. Hit potential: C.