Utopia

Redux 1992: Live in Japan

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Following the commercial disappointment of 2nd Wind, Todd Rundgren decided to reunite Utopia in 1992 for a brief tour of Japan, releasing Redux '92: Live in Japan as a souvenir that very year. Although it had been nearly seven years since the band had played live, they sound tight and professional throughout the record. As a matter of fact, judging from the group's performance, it sounds like the performance could have been from 1985, since it is utterly unaffected by contemporary trends. That actually makes for a bit of a bizarre listen, since it's a time capsule out of time, but most diehard fans should be pleased with the performance, especially it balances crowd pleasers ("Love in Action," "Love Is the Answer," "One World," "Just One Victory") with cult favorites ("Fix Your Gaze," "Princess of the Universe," "Hammer in My Heart," the ridiculous "Hiroshima," presumably revived because the band was in Japan). Not all hardcore followers will need it -- unlike Back to the Bars, it doesn't capture either Rundgren or Utopia in their prime -- but it's an interesting footnote nonetheless.

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