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Jethro Tull - Crest of a Knave CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

3.23 | 608 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Drum machines? Check. Veteran 1960s rockers imitating popular 1980s bands which sported bandanas? Check. Heavy metal? No way!!!

CREST OF A KNAVE is easily the best Jethro Tull album of the eighties, and I've always enjoyed it more than HEAVY HORSES or STORMWATCH (if that sounds like sufficient recommendation). True, at certain moments the music sags. What's the purpose, for example, of recycling one of the main themes of THICK AS A BRICK in 'Mountain Men'? But the comparative sparsity of the band's sound (the liner notes defiantly proclaim: 'Jethro Tull are Ian Anderson, Martin Barre, David Pegg') allows the lead guitar to open up and (almost) dominate proceedings in a way it hadn't done since MINSTREL IN THE GALLERY. As opposed to BROADSWORD AND THE BEAST, where his solos only irritate, Martin Barre now sounds subtle, rough (when required) and inspired throughout. Best of all, Ian Anderson has come up with a range of memorable melodies, e.g. 'Jump Start', 'Farm on the Freeway', 'Budapest' - and never mind that he tries to sing like Mark Knopfler much of the time. Of course, the instrumental variations in the extended middle section of 'Budapest' can't hold a candle to similar passages created when Barriemore Barlow, Jeffrey Hammond-Hammond and John Evans were in the band, but they sound charming all the same. And to my delight, on 'The Waking Edge' Anderson even tries one of the things he does best: singing about heartbreak and desolation.

fuxi | 3/5 |


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