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Jethro Tull - Aqualung CD (album) cover

AQUALUNG

Jethro Tull

 

Prog Folk

4.32 | 1789 ratings

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hdfisch
Prog Reviewer
4 stars This album had been JT's biggest selling and fans' favorite one and certainly it's a much easier accessible work than its ambitious follow-up. As far as I've read on the band's website Ian Anderson did not agree to its tag concept album given by critics considering it rather a compilation of songs. We all know that this fact triggered him to design the concept of "TaaB" which would become the "mother of all concept albums" then. Anyway the lyrics here do have some common topics like social grievance and organized religion and belong undeniably to some of his strongest ones. Musically this one's showing up very well the development of the band's (or shall I say Anderson's) capability of arranging more and more sophisticated and intricate songs. Though those ones here didn't reflect their pinnacle yet IMHO which would be the filigree composition of TaaB this record contains some of their finest work. Apart from the rock classics "Aqualung", "Locomotive Breath" and "Cross-eyed Mary" the band became famous for and being still fun to listen to after all those decades and despite massive airplay there are quite a few more great songs on here. All the compositions are very well balanced between hard rocking sections and acoustic folk-ish or classically inspired ones, a paradigm that should become a kind of trademark for their style later on. Unlike the previous one "Benefit" this is a very versatile album, more similar to "Stand Up" in some way, just more elaborate featuring nice contrasting ingredients like the Mellotron intro of the otherwise rocking "Cross-eyed Mary", the Gregorian-type of choirs in "My God" or the legendary classical beginning for "Locomotive Breath". Other highlights are for sure the few pleasant shorter acoustic pieces "Cheapday return", "Wond"ring aloud" and "Slipstream" as well as the folksy "Mother Goose" or the ballad-esque "Wind Up" with a rocking middle part.

As a conclusion I'd not (yet) consider "Aqualung" a masterpiece from them but certainly one of their finest works and an excellent addition to any collection (****1/2 really)!!

hdfisch | 4/5 |

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