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Jethro Tull - Roots To Branches CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

3.63 | 487 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Tull is back !

That 's definitely what comes to mind when you listen to the superb title track. Hard, rythmy, nice fluting, pace changes. It sounds as we are on track to reach the level of "Crest". Oriental flavours (I would say more Middle-East than anything else) will be investigated in most of the tracks.

"Rare and Precious Chain" has very good, nice percussions and an hypnotic tempo. I guess that if they would have produced a video clip for this one, we surely have had a belly dancer alongside Ian.

A bit of funk with "Out of the Noise" which is one of the weakest track.

"This Free Will" : is a bit harder than average on this album but it is also a weak track : no flavour in particular. "Valley" is one of the longest track on this album. Since it is rather monotonous, it could have been shorter to maintain the listener's interest.

"Dangerous Veils" is catchier : rythmy and with good fluting. The instrumental part though is a bit too jammy for my taste. "Beside Myself" starts smoothly with a nice acoustic part. It is a fresh song, somewhat different from the rest of the album but at the middle of the track, we are heading again towards the East.

This is the first time that the band explores those Oriental roots to such an extent. Quite original and unexpected. The problem is that they insist a bit too much : it leads to the feeling that most of the songs sound pretty similar. I guess Tull has just invented the "Oriental Prog" genre.

"Wounded, Old and Treacherous" has a fabulous opening and closing section : nice and slow at start and furious guitar from Martin and great fluting at the end. One of the most elaborate track here.

Throughout the album, the sound is crystal clear (listen to "At Last, Forever" to be convinced). This folk song seems to come out straight from the Arabian Nights (Sheherazade where are you ?). Superb. Ian performs really well on the vocals. At times (briefly), it sounds like "Beside Myself" like a twin.

The next song "Stuck in the August Rain" is a mellow folk rock little tune. Sweet, candy and na´ve. The closing number "Another Harry's Bar" is a more traditional Tull song : folk rock at its best. Great flute and piano. It's a very melodious and subtle track that ends up in a great finale. It is one of the most emotional song from the Tull EVER.

All in all, "Roots" is a good album but there are no real highlights. Only a few great moments. Three stars.

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |


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