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Jethro Tull - Aqualung CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

4.36 | 2707 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Aqualung is one of two masterpieces from the only prog-folk group I thoroughly enjoy, Jethro Tull. Aqualung is semi-conceptual, not in the sense of a story but the original sense where the album is built on a theme (think Zappa's Freak Out and We're Only In It For the Money). Side 1 seems to focus on hypocrisy, while Side 2 is linked lyrically as an organized attack on religion. Every track is gold, especially the venemous title track, Mother Goose, and My God are downright essential listening to fans of rebellious lyrics. Heck, these lyrics wouldn't sound too out of place on a Dead Kennedys release, though the arrangements sure would. Ian's rants against religion are some of the first put to verse. John Lennon, not to mention a host of metal bands, owe a debt to Anderson's pioneering lyrics.

While this album isn't as good as Thick as a Brick, or as progressive, it stands as one of the finest albums ever released. Side 2 is cohesive in its attack, but Side 1 proves that this is not a concept album. There is no unifying thread between the songs on Side 1, and there shouldn't be, as Ian wanted this to be a regular album. Aqualung proves that Jethro Tul is the only prog-folk band that truly knows how to rock. Barre's guitar matches the bite in Ian's vocals, and Anderson's flute is always spell-binding. New bassist Hammond shows that he is Tull's best bassist with his solid work that would only improve on the group's magnum opus. Clive Bunker seems incapable of making a predictable drum pattern; instead he crafts some of the weirdest and coolest kitwork this side of Bill Bruford.Evans is a good rythm pianist, and I don't mind that he doesn't take up the room than symphonic keyboardists like Wakeman and Emerson do. Don't get me wrong, I idolize both of them but sometimes structure is ruined by too much of a good thing.

Grade: A-

1800iareyay | 5/5 |


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