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Jethro Tull - Thick As A Brick CD (album) cover

THICK AS A BRICK

Jethro Tull

 

Prog Folk

4.64 | 2241 ratings

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The Ace Face
5 stars Jethro Tull. Thick as a Brick. Ian Anderson. STRANGE BRITISH STAGE ANTICS. These words are well known with in the world of progressive rock as describing some of the greatest music ever to come out of Great Britain. Jethro Tull. Officially classified as Prog-Folk, I think they invented their own sub genre of prog, and that genre is somewhat of a mix of folk, symphonic, heavy, and sentimental. Their albums evoke images of Great Britain as it once was, and a world in which the many characters of Anderson's imagination rove freely, having adventures and growing up and all those good things. this style touches me deeply, its very personal, as Anderson sings about his own life, or one very similar to his own. The other band members combine the perfect mix of organ, acoustic guitars, piano, bells, bass, violin, orchestrations, all of it, to make this lush, beautiful sound like no one had ever heard before.

Anyways, enough about Tull. on to the Brick!. I know there has been enough said on both ends of the spectrum here to provide any new listener with more than enough of an idea of what this album is like, but I will add a little of my own taste. The first half is of course the more well known and more oftenly played on the radio. The mood is sort of an egotistical one, with lines like, "I've come down from the upper class to mend your rotten ways." the protagonist is a teenager at this point and full of himself, even looking down on his own father. Overall, side one has some amazing soloing by Barre and Evans, and Anderson adds some tasteful mandolin and violin, and of course flute, filling the sound out. There are many themes it flows through seamlessly, showing the boy growing into a man. the outro is certainly unsettling.

Side 2 jumps right into to be nearly as avante guarde as the outro of side 1. as opposed to the soft beginning of side 1, side 2 blasts in with heavy riffing and a massive drum solo from Barlow. The general mood of this side is more lamenting, sorrowful, and regretting past actions. the somber reflections on God do more to help this mood. There is a theme about halfway through that I absolutely love as it sounds like Anderson is pouring his heart into singing it, with some epic chord progressions. the musicianship keeps up on this side, with instrumental interludes becoming almost impenetrably convoluted. And of course, the ending, as the protagonist is on his deathbed, he remembers what he was taught as a child, and how Thick as a Brick he really turned out to be. I'm not sure if im interpreting these lyrics right, but I'm just calling what I see in them.

Overall, a masterpiece of prog, possibly my favorite album of all time, standing right up there next to Selling England by the Pound and Red. Anderson and Co. really did a number on their critics with this one.

The Ace Face | 5/5 |

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