Review: Someone, Not Just Anyone, Revisits the Music of Todd Rundgren

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Fernando Perdomo and Various Artists | Someone/Anyone? | Ferdomo Perdomo Music
Four out of Five Stars

Over the course of his relatively brief career, producer/musician Fernando Perdomo has proven that there’s nothing beyond his creative sphere. He’s worked with any number of legends, organizing a tribute to the late Greg Lake on the prog oriented Cruise to the Edge, to working as a core member of the Echo in the Canyon documentary house band, organizing a 50th-anniversary tribute to Paul McCartney’s Ram album, collaborations with drummer Carmine Appice, Harry Nilsson’s son Zak Nilsson and a number of albums under his own aegis. His output has been spectacular, even as it takes an array of ever-ambitious projects.

His latest, a salute to Todd Rundgren’s 1972 opus of sorts, Something/Anything? may be his boldest effort yet. Perdomo’s gathered a remarkable array of Rundgren disciples to salute an album that had a lingering influence on practically every power pop outing that appeared in its wake and remains a standard for excellence and imagination to this day. The array of songs gleaned over the course of the double-disc asserts that fact—“I See the Light,” “It Wouldn’t Have Made Any Difference,” “Black Maria,” and most notably, “Hello It’s Me,” the latter originally recorded by his band Nazz and then reconfigured in a more stripped-down setting. 

Someone/Anyone? retraces all those tracks and adds several Rundgren-related bonus tracks as well, all of which are revisited and rebooted by an impressive array of collaborators that includes Louise Goffin, Ken Sharp, Robyn Gregory of the Brian Wilson band, Rungren’s ever-faithful sidekick Kasim Sulton, Victor Wainwright, Marshall Crenshaw, Jordan Rudess of Dream Theater, The Smithereens’ Dennis Diken, Stan Lynch, Brent Bourgeois, and bluesman Albert Castiglia. Each artist does a faultless job of sharing his or her assignment, choosing, for the most part, to stay true to the original arrangements.

It’s a wise move; it would be difficult to improve on Rundgren’s original template. Yet the fact that Perdomo had the foresight to envision this effort, to begin with, speaks as much to his ingenuity and imagination as it does to the source of the songs himself. To borrow another Todd title, Perdomo has clearly earned the right to be called a wizard, a true star as well.

Photo by Scott Dudelson/Getty Images

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