One Long Wait

Review by Ed Grieze (Switch to

The Pony Express finally delivered _One Long Year_ to Colorado, though only a single copy found at Best Buy. And that wasn't due to demand. Listened to this gathering of songs for the first time last night, mostly a collection of Todd's doings over the internet during the past two years. Couldn't resist listening twice.

"I Hate My Frickin ISP" - A guitar rocker that beckons all the way back to the Nazz, though more recently "If Not Now, When?" The mix and recording somehow sound compressed. But I liked this song from the first time I heard the chorus line. It becomes the album's immediate favorite. Such current lyrics, but Todd has had much more to say through earlier material.

"Buffalo Grass" - Sounds exactly like a mid- to slow tempo Utopia song. Easy to imagine Kasim's vocals on it. It's copyright 2000 so perhaps Todd wrote it knowing he would be touring with Kasim this year. They have been performing it live. Somewhat nice, but also somewhat uneventful. There's a rumor note on Roger's site that this may be Todd's last tour.

"Jerk" - This one sounds like "Day Job." Did we really have to go there again? I'm not a big Don Henley fan, but I read a recent interview as his tour came by here. He had a good line when answering about not putting out an album in 11 years; "I'm not one who feels I have to dance every dance."

"Bang the Ukulele Daily" - A humorous Hawaiian take on the novelty hit. Todd often did one humor song per album. It's fun, but of no notable musical value.

"Where Does the Time Go?" - The poppy keyboards are reminiscent of Runt. This is the new song for the old time Todd fans. The last song he did along these lines was "Izzat Love?"

"Love of the Common Man" - From the _With a Twist_ sessions. You can hear why it didn't make that release, it just doesn't click as well as the others. But when you're making that Twist tape for your parents, here is one more you can add to it.

"Mary and the Holy Ghost" - An instrumental with a _No World Order_ shuffle and an overlay of "Miracle at the Bazaar." But haven't discovered that it's much else. One almost wants to beg Todd to do an instrumental that the light jazz/new age stations might spin. This arrangement almost comes off as a bit indulgent.

"Yer Fast (And I Like It)" - Reminds of "Cast the First Stone." Perhaps Todd's kid is still into Nine Inch Nails and Todd wanted to do another Trent Reznor like cut for him. Argh.

"Hit Me Like a Train" - From the _Nearly Human_ period, though not recorded with the full band. Read a while ago that Todd wrote this for Al Green to record, which never happened. The song structure definitely falls right in with the _Nearly Human_ material.

"The Surf Talks" - Probably the most single-like song on this CD. Todd is always openly influenced by what is going on around him. When he launched his internet site he was teaming with Thomas Dolby. This electronically oriented song sounds just like a Thomas Dolby cut, particularly the lead riff taken on keyboards.

Overall this collection of songs cannot escape the leftover feel. The pieced together album doesn't really carry any theme, so unlike Todd, which makes this Todd album seem very incomplete. This initial release would more appropriately be priced something like $11.99, less than a full price CD. Something _One Long Year_ does do, similar to "The Individualist_, is pull from throughout Todd's career. But many of us would say it pulls too much from the 90's. And the recordings are far less than Steely Danish. Still... for someone that has the rest of Todd's catalogue, how can they not add this piece?

- ED

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