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Jethro Tull - Benefit CD (album) cover

BENEFIT

Jethro Tull

 

Prog Folk

3.90 | 691 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Man With Hat
3 stars Benefit, Tull's darkest album to date. Not that the light doesn't shine through in various points, but this is the overall mood I get from this album. The guitar and sometimes the piano give this music a sinister feel and when combined with the lyrics and vocals, one can get a sarcastic feel. Being a lover of darker music, this is a plus for me. Before going into the core of this review, it is necessary to point out that the musicians are certainly coming into their own here and are even tighter than on previous releases. The songs are structured well, and when they fully get going its fantastic.

However, when they aren't "going" things can get a bit arduous. Especially in the middle of the album. The songs themselves are alright, but to me they lack the necessary materials to keep the interest up. Another thing, is the similar sound of these songs. A little more variation here would have certainly improved it. But of course, this has its upsides as well. If this sound (mostly a hard blues rock sound, with folky acusticness and a healthy dose of flute) is what you prefer about Jethro Tull, then you should enjoy it alot more. But the main reason for a three star rating, is that I feel this is a step backwards for the Tull. To my ears, Stand Up was progressive and varied (and the same could be argued for the debut). As I said eariler, this album is much more in the hard blues-rock vein. Thus, thinking strictly for a progressive collection this album is by no need essential.

Though there are high points with this album. With You There To Help Me, Nothing To Say, and Alive And Well And Living In are all classic JT songs. To Cry You A Song, Teacher, and Inside are all very good songs as well, although I wouldn't call them classics. There is also great guitar and solid flute work present throughout most of the album, and for fans of the hard blues age there are a few bluesy jams thrown in as well. But, overall, this falls a bit flat, especially comparatively.

All in all, Benefit is a decent album. This will appeal more to fans of early Tull then to fans of progressive Tull, folky tull, or late Tull. The Blues sound is certainly dominent here at the cost of the progressive side of things. Not a complete bust however, and I believe every fan of JT will find something enjoyable about this album. Also, not the best starting point in JT's extensive discography. Three stars, good, but not essential.

Man With Hat | 3/5 |

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