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Jethro Tull - Under Wraps  CD (album) cover

UNDER WRAPS

Jethro Tull

 

Prog Folk

2.21 | 345 ratings

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febus
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam
1 stars IAN ANDERSON, THE NEW SIMON LEBON!

I don't think to compare these 2 guys would be fair to .......SIMON LeBON as he is a product of his time and was doing what he was supposed to with better talent and success with DURAN DURAN than IAN ANDERSON did with UNDER WRAPS. This album came 2 years after the sublime BROADSWORD AND THE BEAST, and what a difference 2 years can make!! This is not JETHRO TULL of good old sake times, the one we used to like.

This is synthetic plastic JETHRO TULL with no real drummer, using only a synthetised drum machine and galore of 80s outdated sounding keyboards. For the first time, IAN ANDERSON share writing credits with PETER VETTESE on 8, yes 8 out of the 15 tracks of this album. This is easy to blame the keyboardist for all evil, but the ultimate responsability lays on the shoulders of IAN ANDERSON. JETHRO TULL is his own personal ship and as the captain, it's up to him to decide on the final course.

Another downside with UNDER WRAPS is the voice of his leader that has lost any strength and personality which was particular of the JT sound. Anderson is really trying hard, but it can't no more. We all know that JETHRO TULL would take a break in order for ANDERSON to rest and fix his voice.

The most dumbfounding part is when i read the leader comments concerning UNDER WRAPS in the booklet of the CD.He clearly likes this album, would even like to re-record it with real drums and better keyboards. In a way, it can only better especially if his voice is back now to his old strength. But i don't think the quality of the songwriting, or lack of it,would necessarily improve the album. Also what is amazing is that IAN says that his voice is as good as ever at the time.No, he is really forcing his very limited range; Nothing to worry SIMON LeBON about losing his beautiful groupies to IAN.

The ''king'' of this album is of course, keyboardist PETER-JOHN VETTESE who is all over the place with his new-wave synths that sound horrible now to modern ears. MARTIN LANCELOT BARRE do some licks , afew riffs here and there but all mixed with the rest of the keyboards. Also don't try to learn ANDERSON flute playing style , UNDER WRAPS is not the album for that. Of course, you already have understand that mandolin, lute and other medieval string quartet are not part of this package.

I am not going into details about each song, as they all sound quite the same; mid-tempo rockers.Only NOBODY'S CAR can remind me of an old JT rocker but that's it and this not even close. Oh! yes there is ONE acoustic track, the very short UNDERWRAPS#2, but nothing to jump to the ceiling! The lyrics are also kind of strange: it's all about spies, cold war, radio Moscow, sabotage ,credit cards and ''automotive engineering''. A very modern JETHRO TULL indeed!! no minstrel lost in the gallery, no hunting girl in the vicinity!

I wouldn't say IAN ANDERSON was trying to sell out, as he knew 15 years girls would still prefer the bodies of SIMON LEBON or DAVE GAHAN than his.Let just say, JT tried something new and they fall flat, hard on the floor. I own this album for JT discography collection purpose, listened to it again today twice for this review, but i don't think will be a next one.

1 STAR!

febus | 1/5 |

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