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Jethro Tull - J-Tull Dot Com CD (album) cover

J-TULL DOT COM

Jethro Tull

 

Prog Folk

3.03 | 299 ratings

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clarke2001
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Now what?

It would be too much to except the same level as on "Roots To Branches" which just coincidentally (or not?) happened in the 90's, but however, the man is hoping all his life..so I had high expectations for "J-Tull Dot Com" , especially following all that announcements on the Internet...but what's going on, what kind of name is that? Another digital experiment? Hm...I half-expected some sort of a soundtrack for a some Matrix or Mission Impossible-like type of movie, imagining Larry Mullen, pumping bass and techno rhythm. With Ian's sore throat and hollow bamboo flute. Ian jumping around dressed up as a tramp in a decor of virtual reality, surrounded by 3D-Matrix of neon-green Chinese ideograms.

Luckily, no, it's just a regular studio album, but unfortunately, it's just...a regular studio album. I have some sort of impression about a loose concept (or rather theme) of this album: the globalisation, the world as a global village, more than ever now when we have Internet.

OK, that was just a thought, I won't mention it again, we all know what he thinks about concept albums.

However, the album holds 50:50 ratio of good and mediocre songs, for example, "Dot Com" is a good one, with Najma Akthar (God! What is she doing here?) on backing vocals and a lovely synth and bass background, producing some sort of early 80's nightdriving mood, reminding me a lot of Paul YOUNG circa "No Parlez" period. Yes, that's a compliment.

(On a side note, this is not the first time TULL engaged a female backing vocals; they did it in the seventies. But just for live performances. It seems that those girls were quite ugly, and Ian wasn't trying to start anything with them in-between gigs, but John Evan was quite horny which led to...but I'm way off topic now.)

Other examples of good tracks here are "Nothing @ All" (not to be confused with the song with almost identical title from "Minstrel"). It's only an intro for "Wicked Windows", but it's awesome. The only track written by Giddins.

"Hunt By Numbers" and "El Nino" are both very heavy, perhaps the heaviest songs from the band's catalogue, and both very enjoyable, too.

"Dog-Ear Years" an "A Gift Of Roses" are nice too, both more acoustic oriented, in the more "traditional" TULL style. The same goes for non-credited bonus track, which is actually a song from announced Ian's solo album. And it's good song too, which makes me think, perhaps Ian "saved" the better songs for his solo effort? Because other tracks here are not top notch songwriting (if you don't count the lyrics which are always interesting to say the least).

After this one, no-one is sure which path will TULL take in the future: another masterpiece or another fiasco? Even now when I'm writing this, 8 years (!) after the release, and after some other releases in the meantime, we are all still expecting something more...

clarke2001 | 3/5 |

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