In the beginning the Red Cars are after him, and in the end the Japanese take over. Roy Wood immediately flies off the handle on the paranoid Starting Up, a typical wild ride from the atypical wild guru. Swathed in jarring 80's production which avoids the human touch, the similarities between Starting Up and The Doctor, by Wood protege Cheap Trick, are numerous (No, Virginia, "On Top of the World" is not a remake, and unfortunately the wonderful Trick/Wood collaboration "Money Is the Route of All Fun" remains tucked away on the Sex, America, Cheap Trick box set). Anyway, the always frustrating brilliance of this warped wizard just doesn't yield the memorable sparks he once fired off so proficiently. "Raining in the City" captures some of the beautiful melancholy of "Any Old Time Will Do," but also oddly recalls Billy Joel's "Moving Out." Such is the way of this most strange work. If you're a Wood completist (Why else would you be reading?), know some of these cuts are quite rare; if you like pop genius gone haywire (ala Rundgren), you'll find something of interest in these grooves. Everyone else should probably play it safe and stick to the Move.
-STONE, Cheap Trash NYC