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Ian Anderson - Thick As A Brick 2 [Aka: TAAB2] CD (album) cover

THICK AS A BRICK 2 [AKA: TAAB2]

Ian Anderson

 

Prog Folk

3.74 | 415 ratings

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Progulator
Prog Reviewer
3 stars The question of the level of awesomeness of Jethro Tull's Thick as a Brick 2, unfortunately, and perhaps unjustly has much more to do with the choice of the album title than with the actual quality of the music itself. In other words, the choice of the name Thick as a Brick 2 begs the listener to listen to it in reference to Thick as a Brick, which inevitably forces the comparison between the albums. The result inevitably becomes a matter of, "Is Thick as a Brick 2 worthy of the title, regardless of the thematic connection between the albums?" This is something that each listener will have to figure out on their own.

Honestly, I would love to say that I took this album completely independently of its predecessor. But unfortunately I was not that strong. I could not stop myself from constantly making value judgements on this album based off Thick as a Brick, which I know definitely does not do justice to Thick as a Brick 2. In short, Thick as a Brick 2, in and of itself is good music. It's a chalk full of good Jethro Tull style folk melodies, witty lyrics, and fantastic flute playing. Plus they make fabulous use of cool little bells, which I'm a sucker for. Between tracks there are poetic narrations that introduce parts of the story. While these are well executed, some fans might be turned off by them, but in the end, it was enjoyable for me and it helped solidify continuity between tracks and between the albums.

How does it hold up to Thick as a Brick? In short, it doesn't. All of the energy, dynamic, and magic of Thick as a Brick simply is not present on Thick as a Brick 2. At least I didn't feel it. Thick as a Brick 2, for the most part, felt pretty slowly paced. The compositions were much more relaxed in dynamic, and I never really felt like they were taking me somewhere track by track. Each song seemed pretty self-contained and by the time the next one came around it felt like you were starting over from square 1. On the other hand, the original Thick as a Brick really felt like it was taking you on a journey; there was a certain fierceness and intensity about it, and by the end you felt like you really went on a great ride.

In the end, Thick as a Brick 2 is a solid album by a band that has long since proved itself. Jethro Tull fans should find it enjoyable, as would most prog fans in general. My only suggestion for all bands out there is to be very careful about naming something after one of your utmost classics.

Progulator | 3/5 |

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