Whoa, this is dark. In the light of recent events, Mr Rundgren casts his eye over the State of the Union and finds that it sucks. Tailoring its diatribe to a cast of heavyweights, White Knight is as coruscating lyrically as it is deceptively soothing. Starting from the viewpoint that ‘there is no freedom, we are not free, we all reach the boundary eventually’ on Come, the outlook gets grimmer, even on the comic Tin Foil Hat, where Donald Fagen addresses the man in the White House.
Trent Reznor comes to the party for Deaf Ears and there are stabs of hip-hop on the star-crushing Look At Me (featuring Michael Holman).
It isn’t just doom and gloom. The old-school Philly soul Chance For Us is nostalgic – Daryl Hall posing the question of artistic relevance – while Moe Berg joins the dots on the wildly inventive Let’s Do This.
Rundgren tricks abound in the sonics – he’s a master of the synth and the Beach Boys chorus, but the overall mood is on point. Checkmate, and don’t press the red button.