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martes, 10 de marzo de 2015

Todd Rundgren - A Wizard, a True Star (1973)


Artista: Todd Rundgren
Álbum: A Wizard, a True Star
Año: 1973
Género: Crossover Prog / Psicodélico Experimental
Duración: 55:56
Nacionalidad: EEUU


Lista de Temas:
1. International Feel
2. Never Never Land
3. Tic Tic Tic, It Wears Off
4. You Need Your Head
5. Rock & Roll Pussy
6. Dogfight Giggle
7. You Don't Have to Camp Around
8. Flamingo
9. Zen Archer
10. Just Another Onionhead/Dada Dali
11. When the Shit Hits the Fan/Sunset Blvd
12. Le Feel Internacìonále
13. Sometimes I Don't Know What to Feel
14. Does Anybody Love You?
15. Medley: I'm So Proud / Ooh Baby Baby / La La Means I Love You / Cool Jerk
16. Hungry for Love
17. I Don't Want to Tie You Down
18. Is It My Name?
19. Just One Victory

Alineación:
- Todd Rundgren / Guitar, Composer, Vocals, Producer
- Michael Brecker / Horn
- Randy Brecker / Horn
- Rick Derringer / Guitar
- Mark Moogy Klingman / Keyboards
- M. Frog Labat / Synthesizer
- Barry Rogers / Trombone
- David Sanborn / Horn, Saxophone
- Ralph Schuckett / Bass
- John Siegler / Bass, Cello
- John Siomos / Drums


Alberto tiene muchos contactos y muchos discos, y además un alma caritativa, por eso cuando alguien pide algo clásico en el chat cabezón es muy probable que él lo tenga y lo comparta. Yo a Todd Rundgren (cantante, compositor, guitarrista, multiinstrumentista y productor de grabación) no lo tenía, y todos los comentarios del disco son halagadores, así que prepárense a conocer otro gran disco si es que no lo conocian. Yo al menos me voy preparando para ello.
Y aclaro que no tiene nada que ver con el actor Dolph Lundgren!, aunque Todd Rundgren es parecido pero más flaco...





Bueno, me dejo de pavadas y les copio un buen comentario del disco:

A Wizard, A True Star es el cuarto (o segundo, según quienes dicen que los primeros discos de este artista fueron de un trío llamado "Runt") álbum de estudio de rock progresivo del cantautor estadounidense Todd Rundgren, estrenado en 1973.
El álbum, en especial el Lado-A de la grabación en vinilo (es decir, desde el track 1 hasta el 12), es un medley extendido luego de la moda de las últimas grabaciones de "The Beatles; en fin las canciones están adjuntas unas dentro de otras, y las letras son frecuentemente graciosas o alucinantes. El Lado-A comienza con el hard rock/heavy metal "International Feel" seguido de la primera versión cover de "Never Never Land" de la versión de Broadway de Peter Pan, continuado de "Tic Tic tic, It Wears Of", un intrumental obviamente basado en el cocodrilo de Peter Pan, por otro lado le sigue el heavy metal "You Need Your Head" y su especie de hermano "Rock And Roll Pussy", y a continuación la extraña "Dogfight Giggle" que pareciera haber sido sacada de una película de ciencia ficción, y a esta le sigue la balada "You Don't Have To Camp Around que es continuada por el instrumental "Flamingo" el cual comienza la obra maestra "Zen Archer" la cual contiene una melodía similar a la de un organillero, que es continuada por latracción de canciones "Just Another Onionhead"/"DAda Dali" seguida por "When The Shit Hits The Fan/ Sunset BLVD" finalizando con la versión menos heavy metal de "International Feel", "Le Feel Internationale". En tanto, el Lado-B (del track 13 al 19) contiene el single "Sometimes I Don't Know What To Feel" un cautivante jazz, seguido por su Lado-B del single "Does Anybody Love You?", y luego un emocionante medley de "I'm So Proud" escrita por Mayfield, "Ooh Baby Baby" de Robinson, Claveland y Benson, "La La Means I Love You" por Hart y Bell, finalizado con "Cool Jerk" escrita por Stroball, luego de este medley viene el hard rock "Hungry For Love", y posteriormente la balada "I Don't Wanna Tie You Down" un hermosa composición de Rundgren, continuado del heavy metal "Is It My Name?" finalizando el lado y el álbum con el éxito más promovido por Utopia, "Just One Victory". El álbum en total dura 55 minutos con 56 segundos, puestos con el límite de un LP; como resultado la calidad sonora de este LP es generalmente menor a la estelar, sin embargo el CD no incluye estas dificultades.
La carátula fue hecha por Arthur Wood, que es una curiosa obra de pintura hecha en las grabaciones originales
Primero el LP de vinilo incluía una "banda de auxilio" poema escrito por Patti Smith, un estilo de historia sobre el álbum.
Wikipedia


El disco es muy experimental y loco, lleno de inmersiones ácidas, aglutinando estilos en un pop-rock psicodélico casi atenporal porque su música es inaccesible a las modas, lo estoy escuchando ahora y les dejo el disco entero el video al final de este post, pero no voy a hacer un comentario porque es la primera vez que lo escucho. Vamos, en cambio, a ver qué es lo que dice otra gente sobre este artista y esta obra:

Todd Rundgren es una rara avis dentro del rock, un músico experimentador y libre que se la pasa saltando de un estilo a otro, para no aburrirse. Además se especializa en magnetizar adjetivos, ideas opuestas, habilidades, calidades y virtuosismos. Su persona es la encarnación de locuras de diverso calibre, casi todas posibles. A lo largo de su carrera, hizo de todo: Compositor, multiintrumentista, exitoso productor y/o ingeniero de sonido (de Janis Joplin, the Band, Ramones, XTC, New York Dolls, Meat Loaf, Gran Funk Railroad, Badfinger, Cheap Trick, Patti Smith, Hall & Oates y Alice Cooper; entre varios etcétera), realizador audiovisual y hasta programador de videojuegos. Rundgren es una figura que derriba murallas con el soplo de su imaginación.
En sus discos desafía los esquemas del rock como género, hasta casi negarlo, creando sonidos innovadores y adictivos. Por eso no es casualidad que su disco de 1973, A Wizard, a True Star, se llame así. Con ese título Rundgren nos muestra sus dos caras, como diciendo: "Ok, puedo ser una estrella de rock, pero soy un brujo... No lo olviden". Ya en su extraordinario álbum doble Something/Anything? (1972) había empezado a escribir canciones que daban a entender (a aquellos que leyeran el mensaje escondido entre líneas) que nunca estaría satisfecho con ser un mero cantautor de rock y pop comercial. Con A Wizard, A True Star re dobló la apuesta, revelando una gama de excentricidades y excesos musicales arrolladores. Debido a que Something/Anything? había traído "I Saw the Light" y "Hello It's Me", dos de los singles más exitosos de la carrera de Rundgren; gran parte de su audiencia esperaba que seguiría esa línea musical en su siguiente producción. Nada de eso ocurrió porque, dicho mal y pronto, el músico mandó todo al carajo.
En A Wizard, a True Star, Rundgren se despacha, sobre todo en su primera mitad, con un colorido muestrario de canciones psicodélicas, llegando a extremos casi místicos. Estilísticamente, no hay demasiadas cosas nuevas a lo mostrado en su disco anterior. Sin embargo, lo mejor de A Wizard... radica en que es un disco con ideas musicales más sintéticas y enfocadas. Rundgren se desarrolla como compositor, más allá de su labor como ingeniero de sonido y productor que sigue siendo excelente. Sus canciones suenan atemporales, anticipándose incluso a nuestro presente digital. Porque, aunque parezca increíble, A Wizard... suena tan moderno como los temas de MGMT, aunque el disco de Rundgren haya sido grabado casi cuarenta años antes... En A Wizard... algunas canciones crispan los nervios y otras enamoran. Un anarquismo musical que genera disturbios en los sentidos del público. El humor de Rundgren se muestra bizarro, tanto en sus letras como en los intrincados despliegues rítmicos. Esto hace que el oyente deba hacer un gran esfuerzo, prestando suma atención. Ni siquiera en sus temas más dulces se empeña en agradar, ni sonar convencional. Por eso con A Wizard... estamos, sin dudas, en presencia de un álbum impredecible y difícil. Incluso su cierre con "Just One Victory" (una canción que es casi un himno) está lleno de sobre grabaciones que dificultan la escucha de su atractiva melodía. Definitivamente, A Wizard, a True Star es uno de esos raros discos de rock que demanda una atención plena por parte del oyente.
Como ya dijimos, la primera mitad del disco contiene una suite psicodélica de temas enganchados, que arranca con “International Feel”, y es continuada por “Never Never Land”, “Tic Tic Tic, It Wears Off”, “You Need Your Head”, “Rock & Roll Pussy” y “Dogfight Giggle”, una seguidilla desbocada de canciones cortas inclasificables; en especial la última, armada a través de sonidos sintetizados y efectos que simulan una pelea de perros monstruosos venidos del espacio exterior. “You Don't Have to Camp Around”, es una dulce canción casi soul que antecede al extraordinario instrumental “Flamingo”, un increíble tema en la veta progresiva. “Zen Archer” está repleta de ideas y cambios rítmicos, como si fuera una canción tirolesa empapada con ácido lisérgico... “Just Another Onionhead, da da Dali” es un alocado paseo circense, lleno de humor, que homenajea al gran pintor catalán. Por su parte, “When the Shit Hits the Fan/Sunset Blvd” es (en ritmo y melodía) más variada que cien canciones juntas. En este punto es inevitable pensar que estamos en presencia de un genio de la música rock. “Le Feel Internacionale” se encarga de repetir la melodía del primer tema, como para dar un cierre conceptual a esta primera parte. Luego, con “Sometimes I Don't Know What to Feel”, comienza otro álbum. Es éste un extraordinario tema lleno de feeling y cadencia soul. “Does Anybody Love You” es una hermosa cancioncita encantadora, casi un jingle publicitario. Así llegamos al enganchado de “I'm So Proud: Ooh Baby Baby/La la Means I Love You/Cool Jerk”, todas canciones soul compuestas por Benson, Cleveland, Mayfield, Robinson y Stroball e impecablemente interpretados por Rundgren, quién se destaca por hacer uso de su famoso falsete que suena femenino y nos recuerda a Carole King. Por el contrario, “Hungry for Love” es una canción humorística y salvaje, llena de ironía. La sigue “I Don't Want to Tie You Down” una hermosa balada, pero con letras muy sardónicas. Nada que ver con “Is It My Name?”, un rock salvaje, que recuerda a the Who. Para luego desembocar en la ya mencionada “Just One Victory”, el cierre de este álbum arrollador y desesperante.
Un disco cinco estrellas al que no hay que pasar por alto. Muy recomendable.
Emiliano Acevedo


First off I'm hyped about Todd Rundgren's addition to Prog Archives that I support completely!
Don't really know how to start things off so I'll play my hand straight...I just love this album! It's so different from anything else that Rundgren has ever done and in some instances it even surpasses the most progressive material of that same year. There must have been something in the water since this is the only such progressive deviation that I believe Todd Rundgren has done in his career.
The album begins with a multi-part song medley which basically takes up the whole first side of the release. It is here that the progressive tendencies begin to show and have this material actually created a prog suite I would have easily added it among the best in that category. The only weak track is the short but somewhat annoying Hungry For Love, but it's safe to say that the rest of the material makes up for that tiny error.
If you like your pop music with a twist of psychedelic-prog then, by all means, pick this album up and keep spinnin' it til' you can sing along to these crazy compositions even when you're fast asleep in the comfort of your bed.... Don't you think of anything but sex?!?
Alexander Peterson

A star is born
By 1973, Todd Rundgren was at the peak of his creative inspiration, releasing a succession of fine albums which were jammed full of exciting and innovative songs. While he reverted to the single LP format for this release (which was sandwiched between two double albums), Todd manages to pack no less than 56 minutes and 19 songs into this album. Unlike the previous "Something/anything", here Todd is happy to bring is as many supporting musicians as are required, including a brass section plus future Utopian Moogy Klingman.
The first side alone has 12 mostly brief numbers which have been sewn together in the way of "Supper's ready" or "Abbey road". The ride through that first side is a crazy, breathless affair where Todd challenges the listener to keep up with him as he jumps from idea to idea. The music ranges from the delicate cover of "Never never land" (From the "Peter Pan" musical) to the delightfully incoherent madness of "Dogfight giggle". The highlight of the side is the anthem "Zen Archer" which also happens to be the longest track. While fitting in perfectly in its place in the suite, the song also stands alone as one of Todd's finest compositions.
As a whole, side one of the album is a 26 minute prog epic; indeed had Todd decided to give the piece an overall title we may well be hailing it now as one of the major works of prog.
The second side of the album is slightly more conventional, but retains the fine diversity of the first. Here we have three four minute songs, a hat trick of shorter piece similar to those on side one, and a 10½ minute medley of four old American pop songs. "Sometimes I don't know what to feel", which opens the side, has a Motown soul feel, the brass accompaniment adding a retro mood to this emotionally charged and at times dramatic piece.
The medley seems to me to be a little indulgent, but perhaps my remoteness from the source music clouds my judgement here. In any event, the Delfonics' classic "La la la means I love you" is always worth hearing. The album closes on a real high though with the wonderful "Just one victory". If ever a track summed up an album this is the finest example of that. The intricate vocal melodies of the first part of the track lead towards the crowd pleasing refrain which brings the album to a close. This is Todd at his absolute best.
"A wizard, a true star" is where Todd discovered his prog credentials. The simplicity of the brief songs can be misleading if taken is isolation. This album demands a full hour of your time to be fully appreciated, and even then it will take many, many listens before it even begins to reveal its true glory.
Bob McBeath

He is answering in the following interview. 「The torrent of the consideration of the seed that was this album was made a table so. It started putting out the feeling that existed exactly in the whirl of music. 」This album might succeed if Rundgren exactly expresses the torrent of consideration. "Something/Anything?" that had been announced in 1972 was a work that splendidly exactly demonstrated the ability and the creation of his composition.
And, it is guessed that expanding the directionality of his music further by thinking that it will express music where he whirls by this album resulted. The tune that Rundgren invents overflows really in originality and all music and the cultures also have taken it. "It was necessary to think the album is what kind of work it was further" His of this remark became a work by which it became the result of expanding the sense that Rundgren originally exactly had to the outside, it appeared in music, and the expression method also stimulated visually and aural. The respect to his humour and music is paid enough of course.
He disliked making a usual love song. It challenges a free expression and an experimental sound in this album so that he may really achieve the torrent. The composition of the quotation of the collage of the sound and the tune from the musical and the flowing tunes is splendidly expressed. Philadelphia Soul and the medley of Motown Detroit will have been a natural flows for him. The album progresses quite naturally.
It is true that Rundgren was at the center of the torrent. And, the torrent of his consideration is continuing now. His sense is digested splendidly and expressed even though expresses what music character. The utopia that gathered by the musician who participated in this album and had been formed might have been in the torrent of Rundgren, too. Rundgren exactly receives one the top with this album.
Kazuhiro Kojima

This is Todd's most experimental album, but it is not his best by any means.
The first side is a kaleidoscope of short tracks bookended by the International Feel theme. There is some interesting stuff in here. The weird choice of a cover of Never Never Land works, Tic Tic Tic is a nice instrumental, as is Flamingo, and Rock and Roll Pussy will be forever remembered as Todd's challenge to John Lennon. Just Another Onionhead is a cogent attack against an approach to art, while When The Shit Hits the Fan is a great song. That's the first half of the album. There's some great stuff here, but there's also an awful lot that is less than great. I've heard the first half of this referred to as one epic piece due to the bookending of International Feel, but it's not that coherent. The first half is hit or miss.
The second half starts out well with Sometimes I Don't Know What To Feel and continues in the same vein with Does Anybody Love You? The medley that follows this is ok but not great, while Hungry For Love really btrings things down. I Don't Want To Tie You Down is probably one of the best short slow songs that Todd ever recorded, but it's so short. It's not really a detriment mind you. This song definitely doesn't outstay it's welcome. It's just that it is so short that it can't affect my rating so much. After that, we get the rocker Is It My Name?, which doesn't add anything to the album except for energy. It's well placed in the album, but it's not a great song, The album caps off with One More Victory, which is one of Todd's best anthems. It's inspiring and well worth the listen.
This is the middle in Todd's series of three double LP albums, and in my opinion the weakest. A Wizard, a True Star doesn't really know what kind of album it wants to be. In some places it wants to be an experimental masterpiece, in some places it wants to be a pop album, and in some places it wants to be trite and offensive.
I'll give this three stars. It's good, but there is very little here that is compelling.
Phillip

Although this album is often regarded as Todd's most creative, I can't really be very enthusiast about the first side of the original album which is a collection of very short tunes with no related item to cement them.
At times the music sounds funny as well as innovative. But I could never be truly impressed. To consider this bunch of short pieces put together like a prog epic as "Supper's Ready" is an exercise I can't not endorse, even if some parts are quite OK ("Zen Archer").
Production is of course excellent and for the occasion, Todd is also being supported by several musicians. There is also a definite "10CC" feel ("Just Another Onionhead") which is of course not to dislike me. The whole of this piece ends like it all started: The closing "Le Feel Internacionale" being the counterpart of the opening track.
The second leg of this album is more melodic and to some extent more attractive even if some pop-rock angle is not alien. It combines some fine rock melodies and ballads (as usual). But I'm still perplexed to see a medley of more than ten minutes featured on a studio album. Quite fine while playing live (like the Heep for instance), I believe that the exercise is not very useful in the studio.
The evidence is that this "Wizzard" thing is not a masterpiece IMHHO. But a good album with some crazy feel and definite unconventional approach.
ZowieZiggy

It took Rundgren gonads of steel to put out an album like this after the critical and commercial success of Something/Anything? Here he experiments and the results are very consistent. On the next two solo albums and the first two Utopia albums he experiments even more but the end results are not as consistent. On A Wizard, A True Star he starts to really use synthesizers more. But by the time of Initiation he went overboard with the synths. "Flamingo" is an instrumental that is almost entirely done on synthesizers; this must have seemed way ahead of it's time in 1973. I love the sound and production here. Todd went out of his way here to modify almost every instrument except the synths and majority of the vocals. There are little oddball sound effects here and there which add to the songs.
All the songs on what was originally Side 1 are segued together but the overall effect is not really of an epic suite. Rather it is closer in feel to the 'Long Medley' of Abbey Road than say, "Supper's Ready". I really like how it starts with "International Feel" and ends with "Le Feel Internacionale", similar songs which bookend the first side of the album. On the latter Todd even sings: "Wait another year/Utopia is here". I'm sure no one in 1973 understood what he was talking about. Other highlights of the first half include "Zen Archer" and "When The Sh*t Hits The Fan/Sunset Blvd". The second half of this album is generally less 'proggy' if you will than what came before. The "Medley" of '60s R&B songs here is a real head-scratcher. Not horrible per se, but it does ruin the flow of the album. I'm not exactly familiar with all the originals but I think "Ooh Baby Baby" sounds pretty close to the Miracles tune. Rundgren was a guy who loved Yes as much as he loved Motown.
"Hungry For Love" is probably the worst song here(if your not counting the sound effects piece "Dogfight Giggle" on side one). But even this song has it's charms. "I Don't Want To Tie You Down" is a lovely song that is way too short. I find this song stuck in my head sometimes. The people who audition for American Idol should really listen to this song to hear a great example of emotional pop music. "Is It My Name?" is the most rocking song on the album. It includes one of my favourite lines from any song: "There is cause and effect/There's a reason I'm so erect". It also includes the completely '70s and un-PC line: "My voice goes so high you would think I was gay". The album ends with the great "Just One Victory" which he has apperently finished every concert with since this album came out. 4 stars.
Darryl

If you stick with the same old stuff, no matter how wild it is, sometimes it feels like you've heard everything there is to hear. Luckily, if stick with prog you'll eventually get completely blindsided by something you never saw coming. That's what just happened to me with Todd Rundgren's A Wizard, A True Star. Well, the first half at any rate.
The first half, bookended by International Feel and Le Feel Internacional is a stunningly complex and sprawling pop-prog cascade. Parts of it are reminiscent of the better clips of Tales from Topographic Oceans (released the following year I'll have you note) and the primal utterances of Tubular Bells, but for the most part it is a uniquely manic and ecstatic musical expression. Todd himself admitted that he was experimenting with drugs and wanted to replicate the experience on album, thus accounting for the unpredictability. Todd is clearly unhinged on this album and I love it. It unfortunately slows to a crawl through the middle section generic 60s/70s pop middle section, but is unexpectedly revived with an embedded cover of Cool Jerk by the Capitals part way through another track. From there it doesn't quite veer back to the frenetic joy of the first half, but Todd does manage some more excitement before the end of the album, particularly on Is It My Name.
In essence, this album is almost 40 years old and it's still one of the freshest things I've yet heard. I'm shocked only 36 people prior to me managed to review it. It isn't perfect, but damn is it close. I highly recommend it at 4 stars and am looking forward to the allegedly even more progressive follow up Todd.
As a slight aside, I recently posted in the forum bemoaning the lack of upbeat prog rock, anybody looking for the same should check this out.
Ian Pitman

An essential of any collection, here Todd expresses his his pop-prog roots with this masterpiece (before spiraling into the 80's fever). Todd is a man with many voices; sweet, serious, and silly. We have a little of each in this album. The album kicks off with Todd's swansong, 3 songs that tie together so perfectly, International/Never Never/Tic Tic. Each of these are on the same wavelength of beauty this album withholds. It quickly (almost too soon) transitions to to Head/P***y/Dogfight in which the silliness takes over, but without ever leaving the psychedelic-prog sound. Compared to the somewhat-resembling instrumentals of Sidewank Cafe (of Todd's future release) and Flamingo, Flamingo seems to have a bit more variety so it takes the win (though they're both catalog classics of Todd's). But the 'True Star' here is Zen Archer, a far underrated tune (as I've never heard it on the radio) possibly my favorite song on the entire album. The I'm So Proud suite is lovey-dovey Todd, taking classics and making them his own while still fitting the mood of the album as a whole. The tone of the whole thing is very addictive. Perhaps compared to Todd Rundgren's Utopia, this won't appeal to some people (especially due to the ratings on this album) but these 2 albums are in different galaxies. Both essentials. How can't you love Todd's voice? If you don't like this album at first, let it build on you and you'll enjoy every second of this epic. The highest recommendation, 5 stars.
Brandon

Todd Rundgrens best album, and one of my favorite albums ever! This album is amazing it sounds like The beatles Abbey road album, like if you whuld take the suit of short songs on the second side of that album and make an whole album of it 60min of musical blizz, prog pop at its best, this was my first Rundgren album at it remain my favorite by far, this album is a must for any collection, sure at first i was a bit anoyed by all the love songs, but since i got older some love songs here and there dont bother me and there is lot of cool experimentation too, nice keyboard playing and effects, the music is as colorfull as the artwork, a prog pop/rock masterpice no one shuld live without, get it you whont regret it! 5 glowing golden stars!
Tomas

Aunque les comento que más allá de los comentarios que traje, he leído algunos comentarios de la época de prestigiosos críticos que tiraban abao, muy abajo a este disco. En realidad lo debemos ver como a esas obras tan personales y raras que no producen sensaciones intermedias, o lo odias o lo amas.
En definitiva, un disco con altas dosis psicodélicas y experimetantales que los invitamos a conocer mientras ampliamos nuestra cultura musical nosotros también. Y más allá de eso, esto es totalmente inconseguible y descatalogado, por si hace falta que les diga. Y ojo que creo que Alberto tiene otro disco más de este tipo.




3 comentarios:

  1. Download: (Flac + m3u - No CUE No Log + Scans)
    http://pastebin.com/C4LaaDXA

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  2. Nunca tuve tiempo para escucharlo detenidamente, pero siempre escuché buenas cosas de su música. Una de las grandes influencias de Charly García, que hizo su versión del tema de Todd, "Influenza". Además "Promesas sobre el bidet" siempre me recordó a "I saw the light".
    En fin, se agradece un montón el aporte; son unos genios. Saludos

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  3. Ademas de Something/Anything (gran disco) tiene otro muy bueno que se llama Hermit of Mink Hollow. Incluye Can We Still Be Friends, que está versionada en Sinfonía Para Adolescentes de Sui Generis.

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