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

THICK AS A BRICK

Jethro Tull

 

Prog Folk

4.64 | 2285 ratings

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penguindf12
Prog Reviewer
5 stars One listen to this album will not do it justice. At first glance, it is a folksy song about some medieval countryside "war of the roses" type thing, but this is what Anderson wants you to think. Digging deeper, reading the annotations at http://www.cupofwonder.com/thickas2.html, and THINKING about it (as the album instructs) will open new doors.

The album begins with a simple classic guitar and flute reflecting the unthinking listener's inability to understand what he is saying. My brother, a Metallica fan who openly dislikes complex music (minus DREAM THEATER: it's one of the only bands we both enjoy), said it sounds like "hobbit music." That is what this part tries to do: mock the listener who does not truly listen with biting lyrics. When Anderson sings "And the love that I feel...", the perspective switches to that of a brainwashed member of modern society. He wonders how he became "thick as a brick" and "comfortably numb" (so to speak) and explores his own life as the masculine bass charges forth and those who control his life speak: "See there! A son is born, and we pronounce him fit to fight" although he obviously is NOT fit to fight.

Then the complex third part comes with its intense rural imagery (read http://www.cupofwonder.com/thickas2.html and develop opinions for yourselves), and his absent father returns to command the now-grown son in "the whirpool" section of the song. His father is cast off by the independant son, who falls prey to certain ways... and emerges "LATER" as a sort of upper-class lawyer, just like his father. The son has not thought for himself, and is now a mirror of his hated father. He tortures those he sees unfit to exist, judging all. Then the perspective may or may not switch to that of HIS son; it is never specified. But nonetheless, "childhood heroes" are called upon to think for you, and the first part ends...

...and the second opens. Fiercly. A man is born, he is now conformed to society. A quick "that doesn't match!" section with awkward instrumentation and vocals, then the son (or grandson, I don't know...) is now a "wise man," sort of like a celebrity or famous musician which everyone worships (there are a lot of connections between this album and The Wall: guess its just another thick as a brick in the wall... heh heh...) and he rises to power over the neat little conformist hippies who worship him. Then he and a poet join forces to create a new wave and promise a new day, telling those below what to think. A vicious cycle...

But Anderson steps in as the wild man to give us a "final warning." He tells us that if we do not think for ourselves, the sandcastles will always be swept away and the pendulum will continue to swing and utopias will never be built... and then the song retreats behind a door to cry out to the "comic book heroes" to think for us, but they will not respond. The hour of judgement draweth near, but OF COURSE still do not think for ourselves. It is up to you to change this ending and bring about the end of suffering.

Overall, it is one of the best albums I have ever heard. Highly reccommended.

penguindf12 | 5/5 |

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