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Ian Anderson - Homo Erraticus CD (album) cover


Ian Anderson


Prog Folk

3.59 | 197 ratings

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Symphonic Team
4 stars "Homo Erraticus" is the triumphant return of prog legend Ian Anderson on the crest of a soundwave, based ambivalently on a concept segmented in three sections; Part 1: Chronicles, Part 2: Prophecies, and Part 3: Revelations. Following the bold "Thick As A Brick 2", that received mixed reactions, is no easy task, but Anderson has done so with admirable flair. The progger is now 66 years old but still sounds refreshing with his inimitable style, some may say too similar in style to Jethro Tull with his storytelling vocals. The flute is here; man, is the flute ever here! It is a constant presence and played brilliantly. Feast your ears on the mesmirising flute on the dark atmospheric 'Puer Ferox Adventus' and 'Tripudium Ad Bellum' that absolutely flourishes with quirky exuberance and dynamic flutters as only one- legged Anderson can perform. He is a masterful musician but his vocals still endear and he captures some beautiful emotive moments such as on 'After These Wars'. His voice is easy on the ears and relaxing these days, mainly straight forward rather than layered or with reverberations.

The album features some glorious Tull throwbacks such as on heavy handed killer opener 'Doggerland' and the divine showstopper 'The Turnpike Inn'. Martine Barre is a thing of the past nowadays but I still love the lead work by Florian Opahle such as on 'After These Wars'. The Hammond is given a workout by John O'Hara augmenting a 70s sound to the musicscapes as on 'New Blood, Old Veins'. There are some ironic moments such as on 'Heavy Metals' where there are folk acoustics and not a shred of distorted metal. 'Enter The Uninvited' has beautiful harmonics sounding similar to Sigur Ros' 'Staralfur' in the intro. The flute is lilting and the time sig is fractured, with some of Anderson's more aggressive vocals and an endearing melody follows on this definitive highlight. I like the clever lyrics referring to many familiar pop culture icons such as Burger King, GI Joe, Elvis hips, bubble gum, facebook, Apple Mac, Star Trek, Baywatch, Friends, West Wing and Walking Dead.

The album features some transition points with very short musical breaks like 'In For A Pound', but that works as a kind of evolving storyline. 'The Browning Of The Green' has a more distinct rock feel and some wonderful keyboard work over a riffing guitar distortion, and I love the flute and guitar break. The music is often laced with pompous medievalism, even lapsing into dialogues and off kilter effects such as with 'Per Errationes Ad Astra', but it captivates, growing on the ear with every listen. 'Cold Dead Reckoning' is one track that really stayed with me with its atmospheric melodies and pounding rhythms.

I found this latest Anderson release to be a very enjoyable album musically and conceptually. I admire the man for continuing to create the music he has become known for without compromise or remorse. Anderson does what he does and he does it well, so if you are a fan you need look no further as you know what to expect, flutes storytelling and catchy melodies; there are no surprises. This is a throwback to the Tull years and it is very welcome as far as this reviewer is concerned.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 4/5 |


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