History Music / ToddRundgren

22nd Apr '16 3:02:17 PM CassandraLeo
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** And with Utopia, a cover of "Do Ya" by The Move (though better known from Music/ElectricLightOrchestra's version, a rare example of an artist [[CoveredUp Covering Up]] his own song) and "For the Love of Money" by The O'Jays. (Incidentally, the reason ELO re-recorded "Do Ya" is because a music journalist [[CowboyBebopAtHisComputer confused Utopia's version for the original]], so Utopia's version could be considered to have temporarily CoveredUp the song as well).
*** Speaking of artists Covering Up their own songs, ''Something/Anything?'' features Rundgren's hit remake of "Hello, It's Me", which he'd originally done with The Nazz.
** ''A Wizard, A True Star'' has a medley of Motown covers: "I'm So Proud of You", "Ooh Baby Baby", "La-La Means I Love You" and, most interestingly, "Cool Jerk" performed in 7/8 instead of its normal 4/4.

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** And with Utopia, a cover of "Do Ya" by The the Move (though better known from Music/ElectricLightOrchestra's version, a rare example of an artist [[CoveredUp Covering Up]] his own song) and "For the Love of Money" by The the O'Jays. (Incidentally, the reason ELO re-recorded "Do Ya" is because a music journalist [[CowboyBebopAtHisComputer confused Utopia's version for the original]], so Utopia's version could be considered to have temporarily CoveredUp the song as well).
*** Speaking of artists Covering Up their own songs, ''Something/Anything?'' features Rundgren's hit remake of "Hello, "Hello It's Me", which he'd originally done with The Nazz.
** ''A Wizard, A a True Star'' has a medley of Motown Creator/{{Motown}} covers: Music/CurtisMayfield's "I'm So Proud of You", Proud", Smokey Robinson's "Ooh Baby Baby", the Delfonics' "La-La Means I Love You" You", and, most interestingly, the Capitols' "Cool Jerk" performed in 7/8 instead of its normal 4/4.



* DistinctDoubleAlbum: ''Something/Anything?'' cranks this UpToEleven: each of the four LP sides is in a different style, with the fourth being a mini-RockOpera.[[note]]Side one is described in the liner notes as "a bouquet of ear-catching melodies"; side two is "the cerebral side"; side three is "the kid gets heavy"; side four is "Baby Needs a New Pair of Snakeskin Boots (A Pop Operetta)".[[/note]] Furthermore, the only thing that stops ''Initiation'' (running time 67:27) and ''A Wizard, a True Star'' (running time 56:02) from falling under this trope is that they were pressed on one LP each because Rundgren didn't want to break up the continuous song suites he'd built - both albums were long enough to be double LP sets, and indeed Rundgren's album ''Todd'', released in between them, ''was'' a double album shorter than ''Initiation'' at 66:51. Both ''A Wizard'' and ''Initation'' ([[EspeciallyZoidberg especially]] ''[[EspeciallyZoidberg Initiation]]'') display markedly different styles on each side. Rundgren did Distinct Single Albums a lot, actually - ''Faithful'' is another example, with the first side consisting of note-for-note covers of other artists' songs as if they were classical music (hence the album title), and the second consisting of original material. ExecutiveMeddling also forced ''Hermit of Mink Hollow'' into this - initially Rundgren had a different running order (the one on the back cover), but the record company insisted on making the first side "The Easy Side" and the second side "The Difficult Side".

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* DistinctDoubleAlbum: A lot of his albums either exaggerate it or play with it.
**
''Something/Anything?'' cranks this UpToEleven: each of the four LP sides is in a different style, with the fourth being a mini-RockOpera.[[note]]Side one is described in the liner notes as "a bouquet of ear-catching melodies"; side two is "the cerebral side"; side three is "the kid gets heavy"; side four is "Baby Needs a New Pair of Snakeskin Boots (A Pop Operetta)".[[/note]] Furthermore, [[/note]]
** Several of his albums are Distinct Single Albums, despite Rundgren often needing to stretch
the only thing that stops ''Initiation'' (running time 67:27) and limitations of the vinyl format to accomplish this:
***
''A Wizard, a True Star'' (running time 56:02) from falling under this trope 56:02): The first side is that they were pressed on one LP each because devoted to a bizarre psychedelic medley of songs Rundgren didn't want to break up the continuous song suites he'd built - both albums were long enough to be double LP sets, and indeed Rundgren's album ''Todd'', released in between them, ''was'' a double album shorter than constructed. The second was more conventional (but it's still plenty weird).
***
''Initiation'' at 66:51. (running time 67:27): The first side mostly consists of fairly conventional ProgressiveRock (well, as conventional as prog gets, anyway), while the second side is devoted entirely to a lengthy instrumental synthesizer workout. Both ''A Wizard'' sides, at over thirty-two and ''Initation'' ([[EspeciallyZoidberg especially]] ''[[EspeciallyZoidberg Initiation]]'') display markedly different styles on each side. Rundgren did Distinct Single Albums a lot, actually - over thirty-five minutes respectively, are longer than many contemporary full-length albums.
***
''Faithful'' is another example, with the (running time 50:04): The first side consisting consists of note-for-note covers of other artists' songs as if they were classical music (hence the album title), and the second consisting consists of original material. ExecutiveMeddling also forced material.
***
''Hermit of Mink Hollow'' (running time 34:50) was forced by executive meddling into this - initially this. Rundgren had intended a different running order (the one on the back cover), order, but the record company insisted on making the first side "The Easy Side" and the second side "The Difficult Side".Side".
*** Notably, the only thing that stops ''Initiation'' and ''A Wizard, a True Star'' from playing this trope completely straight is that they were pressed on one LP each because Rundgren didn't want to break up the continuous song suites he'd built. Both albums were long enough to be double LP sets, and indeed Rundgren's double album ''Todd'', released in between them, ''was'' shorter than ''Initiation'' at 66:51. However, ''Todd'' does not feature markedly different styles between its two discs, so it is arguably not an example of this trope.



* EpicRocking: Particularly in his work with Utopia. "The Ikon" is Utopia's most extreme example of this, being slightly over thirty minutes long. His solo piece "A Treatise on Cosmic Fire" (from ''Initiation''), at over thirty-five minutes, is even longer. It's worth noting that these pieces were so long they heavily stretched the limitations of the vinyl format, and resulted in the albums being mastered more quietly than normal [=LPs=] (and being easily damaged if played with a worn needle). Rundgren also sped up the material on ''Initation'' to shorten it by two to three minutes. The sleeve notes of ''Initiation'' (which, at sixty-eight minutes in length, is not the longest single LP ever released, but still pretty high on the list) recommended that a person record the album to tape to preserve the sound. Other lengthy Rundgren pieces include "Healing", divided into three movements and spanning almost twenty minutes, and Utopia's "Singring and the Glass Guitar (An Electrified Fairytale)", which exceeds eighteen minutes, but there are plenty more.
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: the album ''A Cappella'', named for an Italian phrase meaning "without instruments," involves no instruments whatever, just Rundgren as a SelfBackingVocalist via lots of overdubbing and sampling.

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* EpicRocking: Particularly in his work with Utopia. Hoo boy.
** Utopia did this a lot to begin with.
"The Ikon" is Utopia's most extreme example of this, example, being slightly over thirty minutes long. long.
**
His solo piece "A Treatise on Cosmic Fire" (from ''Initiation''), at over thirty-five minutes, is even longer. It's worth noting that these pieces longer.
*** These compositions
were so long they heavily stretched the limitations of the vinyl format, and resulted in the albums being mastered more quietly than normal [=LPs=] (and [=LPs=], and being easily damaged if played with a worn needle).needle. Rundgren also sped up the material on ''Initation'' to shorten it by two to three minutes. The sleeve notes of ''Initiation'' (which, at sixty-eight minutes in length, is not the longest single LP ever released, but still pretty high on the list) recommended that a person record the album to tape to preserve the sound. Other lengthy Rundgren pieces include Albums such as ''Todd Rundgren's Utopia'' and ''A Wizard, a True Star'' also suffered from the danger of being easily damaged.
**
"Healing", divided into three movements and spanning almost twenty minutes, and is another noteworthy example.
**
Utopia's "Singring and the Glass Guitar (An Electrified Fairytale)", which exceeds eighteen minutes, but there are plenty more.
is yet another extreme example. However, this is far from being an exhaustive list; on some of his mid-'70s albums, more songs exceeded six minutes than didn't. (On the first Utopia album, only one song was ''less'' than ten minutes long).
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: the album ''A Cappella'', cappella'', named for an Italian phrase meaning "without instruments," involves no instruments whatever, just Rundgren as a SelfBackingVocalist via lots of overdubbing and sampling.



* MindScrew: ''A Wizard, A True Star'' for sure. And ''Todd'' to an extent. It was his psychedelic period!

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* MindScrew: ''A Wizard, A a True Star'' for sure. And ''Todd'' and ''Initiation'' to an extent. It was his psychedelic period!



*** "When I Get My Plane" sounds like it was beamed in from ''[[Music/TheBeatles A Hard Day's Night]]'', specifically imitating "When I Get Home".

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*** "When I Get My Plane" sounds like it was beamed in from ''[[Music/TheBeatles A Hard Day's Night]]'', ''Music/AHardDaysNight'', specifically imitating "When I Get Home".



** "I Saw The Light" is a Music/CaroleKing pastiche.

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** "I Saw The the Light" is a Music/CaroleKing pastiche.



* NeoclassicalPunkZydecoRockabilly: ''A Wizard, A True Star'' is psychedelic without a doubt, but it also breaks free of the constraints of any one genre. He would continue this experimentation on ''Todd'' and ''Initiation'', which also delved head-first into ProgressiveRock.

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* NeoclassicalPunkZydecoRockabilly: ''A Wizard, A a True Star'' is psychedelic without a doubt, but it also breaks free of the constraints of any one genre. He would continue this experimentation on ''Todd'' and ''Initiation'', which also delved head-first into ProgressiveRock.



* TheSomethingSong: "Song of the Viking"
** Torch Song, from the same album.

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* TheSomethingSong: "Song of the Viking"
** Torch Song,
Viking" and "Torch Song", both from the same album.''Music/SomethingAnything''.



* SpokenWordInMusic: He does this often. "Intro" from ''Something/Anything?'', for example, wherein Todd jokingly demonstrates some of the engineering flaws that can affect an [=LP=].

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* SpokenWordInMusic: He does this often. "Intro" from ''Something/Anything?'', ''Music/SomethingAnything'', for example, wherein Todd jokingly demonstrates some of the engineering flaws that can affect an [=LP=].



* TakeThat: "Rock N Roll Pussy" is a shot at Music/JohnLennon, who Rundgren perceived as something of a limousine liberal.

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* TakeThat: "Rock N and Roll Pussy" is a shot at Music/JohnLennon, who whom Rundgren perceived as something of a limousine liberal.



* UncommonTime: "Cool Jerk", "Is It My Name?", "Don't You Ever Learn?", "Freak Parade", "Another Life", "Weakness", amongst countless other examples; the use of 7/8 time and other compound meter signatures is one of Rundgren's compositional hallmarks. "Initiation" is a strange example as it's also influenced by {{disco}} (a style which uses nothing but CommonTime), but nonetheless the meter signature jumps all over the place.
* YeOldeButcheredeEnglishe: In the liner notes to ''Something/Anything?'', several lines of "Song of the Viking" are written with added silent Es, even though Vikings don't originate from the British Isles. Rundgren explicitly states in the liner notes that the song is a tribute to Gilbert & Sullivan, who were most definitely British.

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* UncommonTime: "Cool Jerk", "Is It My Name?", "Don't You Ever Learn?", "Freak Parade", "Another Life", "Weakness", amongst countless other examples; the use of 7/8 time and other compound meter signatures is one of Rundgren's compositional hallmarks. "Initiation" is a strange example as it's also influenced by {{disco}} (a style which almost always uses nothing but CommonTime), CommonTime, with Music/{{Blondie}}'s "Heart of Glass" being one obvious exception), but nonetheless the meter signature jumps all over the place.
* YeOldeButcheredeEnglishe: In the liner notes to ''Something/Anything?'', ''Music/SomethingAnything'', several lines of "Song of the Viking" are written with added silent Es, even though Vikings don't originate from the British Isles. Rundgren explicitly states in the liner notes that the song is a tribute to Gilbert & Sullivan, who were most definitely British.
22nd Apr '16 2:43:19 PM CassandraLeo
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* IAmTheBand: Frequently Rundgren is the only featured performer, as well as being the engineer and producer.

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* IAmTheBand: Frequently Rundgren is the only featured performer, as well as being the engineer and producer. His bands tended to be examples of this as well, to the point where Runt's two solo albums have been released as Rundgren solo albums, Nazz is known today mostly for being Rundgren's first band, and Utopia often performed on Rundgren solo albums as his backing band (see ''Faithful'', ''Todd'', and ''Initiation'' for examples).
24th Mar '16 9:26:01 PM CassandraLeo
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* GenreRoulette: Rundgren has often demonstrated quite a fondness for this, particularly in the stretch of albums recorded from ''Music/SomethingAnything'' through ''Initiation'', which have songs delving into SingerSongwriter, PsychedelicRock, SynthPop, PowerPop, Creator/{{Motown}}-influenced {{Soul}}, {{Disco}}, ProgressiveRock, and even {{opera}}, amongst other genres. However, this has been a staple of his entire career; see the list of associated genres next to his discography above for proof.
24th Mar '16 9:06:13 PM CassandraLeo
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Rundgren returned to the band format through the foundation of Utopia in 1973. In its initial incarnation, Utopia was a six-piece ensemble with Rundgren, Kevin Ellman (percussion), Mark "Moogy" Klingman (keyboards), M. Frog Labat (Jean Yves Labat, synthesizers), Ralph Schukett (keyboards), and John Siegler (bass and cello). Their output was largely formed of [[EpicRocking long]], jammy ProgressiveRock instrumentals that brought a mixed critical reception (however, Utopia's début album, ''Todd Rundgren's Utopia'', was its second-best selling album, only surpassed by ''Adventures in Utopia''). By 1976, Rundgren revamped Utopia and reduced it to a four-piece band consisting of him, Kasim Sulton (bass, vocals), Roger Powell (keyboards, vocals) and Willie Wilcox (drums, vocals). They also switched to a catchy, mainstream pop/HardRock sound, bringing them critical and commercial success. They carried on for a while, leaning increasingly towards Pop and NewWaveMusic, before calling it a day in 1986.

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Rundgren returned to the band format through the foundation of Utopia in 1973. In its initial incarnation, Utopia was a six-piece ensemble with Rundgren, Kevin Ellman (percussion), Mark "Moogy" Klingman (keyboards), M. Frog Labat (Jean Yves Labat, synthesizers), Ralph Schukett (keyboards), and John Siegler (bass and cello). Their output was largely formed of [[EpicRocking long]], jammy ProgressiveRock instrumentals that brought a mixed critical reception (however, Utopia's début album, ''Todd Rundgren's Utopia'', was its second-best selling album, only surpassed by ''Adventures in Utopia'').Utopia'', and is considered by many ProgressiveRock fans to be a CultClassic). By 1976, Rundgren revamped Utopia and reduced it to a four-piece band consisting of him, Kasim Sulton (bass, vocals), Roger Powell (keyboards, vocals) and Willie Wilcox (drums, vocals). They also switched to a catchy, mainstream pop/HardRock sound, bringing them critical and commercial success. They carried on for a while, leaning increasingly towards Pop and NewWaveMusic, before calling it a day in 1986.
17th Mar '16 12:57:36 PM Mdumas43073
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Rundgren started his career as a guitarist/vocalist in the PsychedelicRock band (The) Nazz [[note]]nothing to do with that [[WesternAnimation/EdEddNEddy other Nazz]] - their name comes from "The Nazz Are Blue" by Music/TheYardbirds[[/note]], which he founded in 1967 alongside bassist Carson Van Osten, drummer Thom Mooney and keyboardist/vocalist Robert Antoni. Their first album, ''Nazz'', showcased both his arranging and composing talents and the band's heavily derivative, PromotedFanboy sound - they sounded like a cross between Music/TheBeatles, Music/TheWho, Music/{{Cream}} and Music/TheYardbirds. It spawned a minor hit single, "Hello It's Me", and didn't go much anywhere. A planned double album was shortened to a single LP, ''Nazz Nazz'', and released a year later. ''Nazz Nazz'' showed the band somewhat abandoning its psychedelic trappings and concentrating on catchy, if still not too groundbreaking PowerPop. Rundgren left the band shortly after, as his newfound love of Music/CaroleKing, Music/LauraNyro and soul music and the resulting material he was writing didn't fit with the band's PowerPop sound. The band disintegrated shortly thereafter, and an album of the heavily Nyro-influenced material left over from previous sessions was released, imaginatively titled ''Nazz III''. Antoni and Mooney briefly ended up joining Fuse, an extremely early incarnation of Music/CheapTrick which played throughout the Midwest billed either as "Fuse" or "Nazz", before practically vanishing from the music industry.

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Rundgren started his career as a guitarist/vocalist in the PsychedelicRock band (The) Nazz [[note]]nothing Nazz[[note]]nothing to do with that [[WesternAnimation/EdEddNEddy other Nazz]] - their name comes from "The Nazz Are Blue" by Music/TheYardbirds[[/note]], which he founded in 1967 alongside bassist Carson Van Osten, drummer Thom Mooney and keyboardist/vocalist Robert Antoni. Their first album, ''Nazz'', showcased both his arranging and composing talents and the band's heavily derivative, PromotedFanboy sound - they sounded like a cross between Music/TheBeatles, Music/TheWho, Music/{{Cream}} and Music/TheYardbirds. It spawned a minor hit single, "Hello It's Me", and didn't go much anywhere. A planned double album was shortened to a single LP, ''Nazz Nazz'', and released a year later. ''Nazz Nazz'' showed the band somewhat abandoning its psychedelic trappings and concentrating on catchy, if still not too groundbreaking PowerPop. Rundgren left the band shortly after, as his newfound love of Music/CaroleKing, Music/LauraNyro and soul music and the resulting material he was writing didn't fit with the band's PowerPop sound. The band disintegrated shortly thereafter, and an album of the heavily Nyro-influenced material left over from previous sessions was released, imaginatively titled ''Nazz III''. Antoni and Mooney briefly ended up joining Fuse, an extremely early incarnation of Music/CheapTrick which played throughout the Midwest billed either as "Fuse" or "Nazz", before practically vanishing from the music industry.
16th Mar '16 5:46:51 AM CassandraLeo
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Rundgren officially began his solo career in 1970, and has been going steady ever since then with his musical mashups and quirky lyrics. While PowerPop and HardRock have remained the basic genres he operates in, at various points he's experimented with PsychedelicRock, ProgressiveRock (between 1973-1976 and with his band Utopia), jazz fusion, NewWaveMusic, {{Soul}}, {{Techno}}, ElectronicMusic and others. Predictably, he has a very sizeable {{Fandom}} but only a few, fleeting moments of mainstream success, such as the singles "Hello It's Me" (a 1972 upbeat reworking of the Nazz song), "I Saw the Light", "Can We Still Be Friends" and "Bang the Drum All Day". His massive output, both solo and with his two bands Nazz and Utopia, can be a frequent source of both ArchivePanic and SeasonalRot.

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Rundgren officially began his solo career in 1970, and has been going steady ever since then with his musical mashups and quirky lyrics. While PowerPop and HardRock have remained the basic genres he operates in, at various points he's experimented with PsychedelicRock, ProgressiveRock (between 1973-1976 and with his band Utopia), jazz fusion, NewWaveMusic, {{Soul}}, {{Techno}}, ElectronicMusic and others. Predictably, he has a very sizeable {{Fandom}} but only a few, fleeting moments of mainstream success, such as most notably the singles "Hello It's Me" (a 1972 upbeat reworking of the Nazz song), "I Saw the Light", "Can We Still Be Friends" Friends", "We Gotta Get You a Woman", and "Bang the Drum All Day". His massive output, both solo and with his two bands Nazz and Utopia, can be a frequent source of both ArchivePanic and SeasonalRot.



Alongside his solo career and work with bands, Rundgren is also known as a RecordProducer, having produced albums for such acts as Music/{{Sparks}}, New York Dolls, Badfinger, Music/TheBand, Music/GrandFunkRailroad, Music/MeatLoaf, Bonnie Tyler, Music/PattiSmith, The Tubes, Music/{{XTC}}, Music/BadReligion, Music/CheapTrick, The Psychedelic Furs, Hall and Oates, and so on. Some of the bands have claimed that working with him was difficult and he acted like a JerkAss, most famously XTC, Sparks and Bad Religion. However, for many bands their most successful albums have been produced by him, as is the case with XTC (''Music/{{Skylarking}}''), Grand Funk Railroad (''We're an American Band'') and Meat Loaf (''Music/BatOutOfHell'').

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Alongside his solo career and work with bands, Rundgren is also known as a RecordProducer, having produced albums for such acts as Music/{{Sparks}}, New York Dolls, Music/NewYorkDolls, Badfinger, Music/TheBand, Music/GrandFunkRailroad, Music/MeatLoaf, Bonnie Tyler, Music/PattiSmith, The Tubes, Music/{{XTC}}, Music/BadReligion, Music/CheapTrick, The Psychedelic Furs, Hall and Oates, and so on. Some of the bands have claimed that working with him was difficult and he acted like a JerkAss, most famously XTC, Sparks and Bad Religion. However, for many bands their most successful albums have been produced by him, as is the case with XTC (''Music/{{Skylarking}}''), Grand Funk Railroad (''We're an American Band'') and Meat Loaf (''Music/BatOutOfHell'').
16th Mar '16 5:37:20 AM CassandraLeo
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* MisogynySong[=/=]MisandrySong: "Happy Anniversary" sounds like an example of both tropes on the surface, but it's on a concept album about lies and liars (whose liner notes explicitly say that every song on the album is about "a paucity of truth" even if it initially seems to be about something else) so it's almost certainly intended as a deconstruction. Further evidence for the "deconstruction" interpretation includes the song "Earth Mother" on ''Global'', which expresses sincere praise of activists Rosa Parks and Malala Yousafzai for challenging established power structures.

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* MisogynySong[=/=]MisandrySong: "Happy Anniversary" sounds like an example of both tropes on the surface, but it's on a concept album about lies and liars (whose liner notes explicitly say that every song on the album is about "a paucity of truth" even if it initially seems to be about something else) so it's almost certainly intended as a deconstruction. Further evidence for the "deconstruction" interpretation includes the song "Earth Mother" on ''Global'', which expresses sincere praise of activists Rosa Parks and Malala Yousafzai for challenging established power structures.structures of racism and patriarchy and can therefore be considered an inversion of the Misogyny Song.
16th Mar '16 5:36:08 AM CassandraLeo
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* MisogynySong[=/=]MisandrySong: "Happy Anniversary" sounds like an example of both tropes on the surface, but it's on a concept album about lies and liars (whose liner notes explicitly say that every song on the album is about "a paucity of truth" even if it initially seems to be about something else) so it's almost certainly intended as a deconstruction.

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* MisogynySong[=/=]MisandrySong: "Happy Anniversary" sounds like an example of both tropes on the surface, but it's on a concept album about lies and liars (whose liner notes explicitly say that every song on the album is about "a paucity of truth" even if it initially seems to be about something else) so it's almost certainly intended as a deconstruction. Further evidence for the "deconstruction" interpretation includes the song "Earth Mother" on ''Global'', which expresses sincere praise of activists Rosa Parks and Malala Yousafzai for challenging established power structures.
13th Mar '16 10:42:31 PM MrBadAxe
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* ReligionRantSong: "God Said", "Fascist Christ".

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* ReligionRantSong: "God Said", "Fascist Christ".Christ", "Afterlife", "Mammon"...
13th Mar '16 10:40:42 PM MrBadAxe
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* MinorFlawMajorBreakup: The subject of "Flaw" in ''Liars''.
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