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Jethro Tull - Roots To Branches CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

3.63 | 481 ratings

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4 stars Middle-age crisis is gone!

I know it sounds like a cliche, and actually it is cliche, but I have to say it; This is A Huge Step Into The Right Direction. Perhaps not a five-star material, but surely very enjoyable album from these oldies. Some good old-fashioned Tull moments are here: of course the ubiquitous flute, witty Ian, folk elements and occasional bursts of hard rock - in this case, very heavy rock, in combination with keyboard layering and Middle East elements it sounds almost like modern metal. Right, Middle Eastern elements are present here, in more than one song. This not a new thing for Tull ( "Uniform", 1980 ), but on this album it's explored more thoroughly and fits the songs just nicely, a listener won't get an impression that the band is repeating the songs and well-known song structures ( because it is not - unlike on some previous albums ) and, finally, it sounds fresh.

Yes, freshness is the major issue why this album sounds so good. Everything is crafted well, everything is artsy of course, and songs are actually able to catch the listeners attention. No wonder since the most horrible elements of 80's Tull are missing here: poor rock background section, like a platform for Ian's lyrics, and melodies being dull, overwritten 1000 times before and not hummable at all. No. This is something else. It's not a certain presence of 70's, no. But it's definitely something positive.

Sound is of course crystal clear, which I don't prefer, but I won't complain neither. The only point that annoys my ears a bit is the sound of Martin's guitar; it's too thin and digital (but this is just occasionally). Ian sometimes inclines to Sprechgesang, and in fact all the songs are actually written and/or adopted to fit his reduced ability of singing. Strangely enough, the products at the end (songs, that is) are just fine. Perhaps Ian realised some things in his life and stopped to think he could sing as well as he used to. Plus, ULTRAVOX years are gone for good. Nineties are here, and Ian squeezed the best possible ingredients of the decade and incorporated them into the tapestries of his own songwriting. Yes, this album deserves to be treated with a poetic approach. Again. Finally.

clarke2001 | 4/5 |


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