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Jethro Tull - The Broadsword And The Beast CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

3.27 | 603 ratings

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3 stars Since the start of their career, it is the very first time that the Tull waited for two years to release an album (if you do not consider the video "Slipstream" released ,in 1981.

After such a disaster as "A", the Tull could only produce better. The layout of the cover is pretty good far from the clean and medical, cold artwork from "A". Is this an indication ? I hope so.

When you spin it and listen to "Beastie", the opener, you understand immediately that the synth/pop era is (hopefully) gone. This is a good old Tull tune : hard rocking with great guitar from Martin. The good old days are still back with "Clasp" : aerial intro, some synths and medieval flavour, but it is rocking all right. Still a bit remininscent of "A". "Fallen On Hard Times" : is strong and powerful as the Tull can get. "Flying Colours" and "Slow Marching Band" are a pop/rock numbers which are not too bad : mellow at times and rocking at others. A bit too much FM/ synth oriented though to my taste.

"Broadsword" is another good track: great guitar work from Martin, the song is built crescendo and is quite hard and catchy. "Pussy Willow" is one of the tracks I prefer (actually, so far I have not heard a weak track). It is true though that the album seems to be quite formatted : most of the songs are built on the same scheme and might lead to a feeling of repetiveness and boredom.

"Watching Me Watching You" is again a bit reminiscent of "A" with its predominent synth. It is the only weak song here. "Seal Driver" is my favourite song of this album : great melody, nice piano playing and superb guitar solo. What else do we need from the Tull ? Strong rythm ? You get it as well ! Spacey and dark flavour ? There you go ! A great Tull moment again ("A" is definitely forgotten).

"Cheerio" is not really a song. This short track though will close their concerts for quite some time (just to say goodbye).

This album is hard rocking for most of the time (so were "Heavy Horses" and "Stormwatch"). As most of their remastered albums, there are lots of good bonus tracks (almost half an hour here) which are very welcome. Much, much more than fillers or curiosities for the majority of them.

"Jack Frost..."has some Oriental flavour and has a complex structure. The "musical" influence during the last vocal part will partially ruin this song. "Jack A Lynn" (or is it Jacqueline ?) is a mellow acoustic ballad, quite different from the album atmosphere (maybe that's the reason why they decided not to insert it). The last third of the song is INCREDIBLY good (IMO). "Mayhem Maybe" is what I call a medieval Tull song, or countryside or ... Well you have the idea and know my meaning about those ones. I can live without them. "Too Many Too" remind me of Genesis from the weak era (when they were three, you know...). "Overhang" is a heavy song. Middle to slow tempo at start. it shows the all mighty Tull. "Rythm In Gold" is another of the great bonus tracks, really. There were lots of lost jewels from these sessions (IMO). The last two are not so good though : "I Am Your Gun" is quite average and "Down..." is rather poor ("A" oriented which says sufficiently about my feeling). Three stars but, again, I might come back later and upgrade this one as well. Great bonus tracks.

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |


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