Friday, March 11, 2011

Rick Springfield - Tao (1985)

Forget 'Jessie's Girl' and General Hospital boys and girls: singer/songwriter Rick Springfield is a man who is capable of far more interesting things than most would believe...including this strange, dissonant excursion circa 1985 into the realm of caustic/industrial pop. Dissonant synths, unusual rhythms that border on the robotic and exotic alike, extensive overdubs galore on Rick's strong vocal almost seems like something Talking Heads would have done given a little less funk and a little more AOR.

Moving away from lovelorn fleets of fancy, Mr. Springfield's Tao explores a much wider range of subject matter with a newfound passion to match -- the death of the planet from a mankind borne holocaust ('Walking On The Edge'), a dark-tinged little dance number ('Dancing The World Away), social revolution ('Celebrate Youth') and the search for spiritual truth ('The Tao Of Heaven') -- these are the headlines that possess these songs and give them relevance and personality beyond typical pop star norms, though that ever prevalent subject known as love still finds the time to occasionally rear it's head ('The Power Of Love').

At the end of the day though, Tao is ultimately just a real rippin' pop record, and in my opinion the single most interesting set of songs that Springfield ever put to tape next to 1983's Living In Oz. Catchy food for thought seem to have been in abundance twenty some years ago, and its records like this one that can really make us believe that fact.

Listen Here - "Walking On The Edge"

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