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Jethro Tull - Songs From The Wood CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

4.18 | 1301 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars I first made the acquaintance of these songs in the premature blush of boyhood -- on an 8-track cassette no less -- and while I enjoyed the effort, it soon found itself in dusty neglect deep within a stereo cabinet that seemed designed for the sole purpose of drawing dust from every corner of the room and collecting it in a single manageable heap. Fast-forward to half a dozen years later, where I find myself in college, girded in chastity and chafing at the sickly smell of privilege with "Songs From The Wood" (now on elpee) among my scant possessions. It was here that my new friends and I explored these woods in earnest, and it's remained one of my favorite albums ever since, as rich an experience as spilled from any speaker. The difference between "Songs From The Wood" and the works before it is not inconsiderable: these songs have a pronounced contrast between light and dark elements, saturated and splendid. Beginning with "Minstrel", TULL's music emanated from a lovely elsewhere to which each song was bound: an Elizabethan allegory laid atop the modern world, a clever caricature of cartoon depravity, and here the magical woods of legend related from a whetted whistle. You don't listen to these albums, you become immersed in their worlds. The festivities of "The Whistler" and "Cup of Wonder" swirl around you, the white ribbon of mist curls around your feet from the damp ground as you traverse "Pibroch (Cap In Hand)", the joint heat of a strong fire and a faithful friend (chasing rabbits remembered in his mind) emanates from "Fire At Midnight".

Mind you, I love nature and the invisible world intimated by its shadows and sounds, so "Songs From The Wood" plays from a place that I call home. Its mix of hard rocks and faerie folk invites closest comparison to "Minstrel" (minus the strings), its twining scents of green blossoms and sweet decay suggest the vibrant cousin of Heavy Horses. No matter where your fancies lie, "Songs From The Wood" deserves a place of prominence in any prog collection (with posthumous apologies to a certain unappreciated eight track lost in a lamentable molting).

daveconn | 5/5 |


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