It's hard to say exactly why Another Live
works better than either Todd Rundgren's Utopia
or Initiation, Rundgren's two previous excursions into synth-heavy prog-rock. It's not that the music is more energetic or focused, since it isn't. Neither is the music more challenging or ambitious -- it's simply better. It's true that the second half is devoted to covers (West Side Story's "Something's Coming," the Move's "Do Ya") or Rundgren
classics ("Heavy Metal Kids," "Just One Victory"), all of which are more song-oriented than anything on the first half, or anything on either TR's Utopia or Initiation. That said, the prog-rock epics that comprise the first half of the album cut deeper than before, possibly because the band has worked out the kinks in its style, developing a unified, provocative sound. It still tends to be a little excessive and impenetrable, but intriguing moments float to the surface alarmingly often. Too bad the hideous cover will prevent anyone but the most devoted Rundgren
fan from discovering that...