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Jethro Tull - Aqualung CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

4.36 | 2782 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars There are three minor problems with AQUALUNG:

(1) Its best-known songs (e.g. the title track and "Locomotive Breath") have become so familiar that this seems to detract from the original album's stature.

(2) On some of the songs (e.g. "My God") Ian Anderson distorts his voice, apparently in order to sound sarcastic. After a couple of spins, this starts to grate.

(3) The 25th anniversary edition offers the reader a superfluous interview and bonus tracks which are available elsewhere, instead of the superb AQUALUNG-related material that has (so far) only appeared on LIVING IN THE PAST. (For more details, please refer to my review of that album.)

With these remarks out of the way, let me point out that AQUALUNG is Jethro Tull at their best, and no prog lover should be without it. To my surprise, some reviewers consider the overwhelmingly boring THICK AS A BRICK as a more "progressive" album. In my opinion, AQUALUNG packs far more punch. Not only does it contain some of Ian's most sensitive ballads (e.g. "Wondering Aloud", the prototype of much later Tull music) and some of his most irresistible folk-rock songs (such as "Mother Goose" and "Up to Me") but also, and especially, Ian would never again display the same righteous anger as on "Hymn 43" and "Wind-Up". If you were brought up in the Christian tradition, as I was, I wonder how your faith will stand up to these. It's comparatively rare for a rock band to deal so eloquently with serious themes. The eloquence even extends to the band's playing : Martin Barre's guitar solo on "Wind-up" is one of his most exciting ever.

fuxi | 4/5 |


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