“The Road To Utopia” fades in with a hint of space travel, or at least opening credits, but settles into a basic structure. “You Make Me Crazy” could be mistaken for The Cars, and “Second Nature” is even a little disco, but Kasim Sulton got the hit single with “Set Me Free”. At seven minutes, “Caravan” approaches prog, but succeeds on structure and tunefulness, even through the dueling synth and guitar solos.
The mildly overblown “Last Of The New Wave Riders” approaches self-parody, both in performance and lyrical content, and while it seems to be tamed by the low-key intro to “Shot In The Dark”, this too escalates into a Big Number. “The Very Last Time” is another Rundgren kiss-off, balancing between the wistful verses and angry choruses. Then we have “Love Alone”, a cross between Broadway and Queen, with a synth-string backing and a choir of counterparts under the lead vocal. It’s still better than “Rock Love”, another disco tune with a stretched metaphor.
Despite its dated attributes, Adventures In Utopia manages to entertain, with songs that can appeal to more listeners than before. The concept remains elusive.
Utopia Adventures In Utopia (1980)—3