Review by Noble K. "Toby" Thomas (Switch to

Stuck the Rhino Runt CD in my car trunk's multi-disc CD player the other day. Been playing the sucker so loud and so often there's probably a trail of icy defrosted water trickling from the back of my frozen maxima as I skid down snowy roads. You know, Todd must be an old soul (if you believe in those sorts of things). To be writing music like Birthday Carol and Once Burned at such a young age is quite striking. Like many of you, I never really cared as much for this recording (it was one of the last I had heard up to '75 when I first started indulging) but now that I have MATURED to 35 perhaps I have finally caught up with TRs early maturation (and I just started shaving too!). As for the songs...

Broke Down and Busted, as Todd's first song on his first solo record, clearly reflects his upbringing in the blues. Believe In Me, a nice companion piece to Brian Wilson's song and a complete juxtaposition to BD&B, has a personal meaning to me to this day as way back in the late 70s one night (completely outa nowhere) my wife-to-be began singing along with Todd. To this day I beg her to sing it-- her a cappella rendition would be far more convincing than the disappointing and uninspired version on the last tribute recording. Who's That Man - - perhaps my least favorite TR tune of all time now appears to me to be a song written and performed as a tribute to the early Beatles. Once Burned... all I can say is revive this one on solo piano now! I ALWAYS have to listen to this one twice before I can let it go. Devil's Bite - TR's first allusion to mankinds fight between good and evil. Rock on and satan scram! There Are No Words, as already mentioned, a direct link to TR's IMHO greatest song-- Pretending To Care. Oh hell, enough of the individual song critiques, suffice it to say that the young pup convincingly delivered a commercial yet experimental record that offered more than a glimpse at the brilliance yet to come. Check it out... again!



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