In 2019, with a memoir to promote and a career to celebrate, Todd Rundgren set out on a look-back tour. 

Nearly four years later, The Individualist, A True Star is a an accurate representation of that trek. It finds Rundgren supported by a cast of longtime compatriots – guitarist Jesse Gress, Utopia bassist Kasim Sulton, former Tubes drummer Prairie Prince, keyboardist Gil Assayas and horn blower Bobby Strickland – going as far back as the Nazz in 1968 on “Open My Eyes” and coming as far forward as 2000’s “Buffalo Grass.”

Well-versed in the material and as versatile as the frontman, the band makes the songs come alive on stage. Close to the studio versions on the one hand, yet at no risk of sounding rote or stale. It’s Rundgren’s unique brand of music – piano ballads, guitar-based rock, a cappella tracks, prog and a bit of rapping – writ live. 

Most of the hits are played relatively straightforward. And while the presence of “Hello it’s Me,” “We Gotta Get You a Woman,” “I Saw the Light” and “Can We Still be Friends” might lure casual listeners to a gig, those who didn’t attend the tour might want to stay away from this album, as Rundgren’s voice has deepened considerably over the decades. Yet for the hard-cores who get more excited by titles like “Black Maria,” “Too Far Gone,” “The Death of Rock and Roll,” “Honest Work” and “Tiny Demons,” The Individualist, A True Star is a treat.