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Jethro Tull - Heavy Horses CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

4.05 | 1244 ratings

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2 stars I've got mixed feelings about this album. It's utterly dominated by Ian Anderson's vocals, but his voice sounds so rough and gravelly some of the tracks seem little more than a tuneless sludge. "Acres Wild" would be a lovely folk song if it were sung, for example, by Maddy Prior, but the present performance merely grates. "No Lullaby" is even more horrific; it should have been dubbed "No melody". The album's main subjects are equally irritating. In his liner notes Anderson compares HEAVY HORSES to SONGS FROM THE WOOD and smugly remarks: 'The general tenor of the album is the reality, rather than the myth, of country living'. I beg your pardon? Songs about the "Mouse Police", about dragons and beasties are about REALITY? And what's the point of that interminable and dreadfully sentimental ode to traditional Shire Horses? When I see those sleeve pictures of Ian with two of them horsies, and he's all dressed up like an English country gent, I feel this is no more than rock star posturing. Ian has swapped his minstrel suit for tweed. All this has little or nothing to do with 1970s rural England - if you want to know the bitter reality of THAT, read Ted Hughes' MOORTOWN DIARY.

On the other hand, some of the songs on this album (e.g. "Moths", "One Brown Mouse") are so charming that even Ian's voice can't ruin them. He's also right to praise 'the sparkling detail of the original master tapes'. Although instrumental solos are few, all the band's members are perfectly attuned to each other, and you get a lot of aural pleasure just listening to the different guitars, the bass, the violin and the keyboards. "Rover" has delightful parts for pipe organ. The two bonus tracks aren't bad at all. I find myself wavering between two and three stars.

fuxi | 2/5 |


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