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Jethro Tull - Catfish Rising CD (album) cover

CATFISH RISING

Jethro Tull

 

Prog Folk

2.58 | 280 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Money for nothing?

Although this album dates from 1991, it is one of Tull's most recent albums. By this time, their days of being a folk progressive rock band were behind them, their albums consisting of short tracks with much simpler structures. Indeed, it seems unlikely that they will ever make another "Thick as a brick" or indeed "A passion play", and we must assume their days as a prog band are behind them forever.

What we have here then is an album which often sounds similar to DIRE STRAITS. The opening track, "This is not love", which was released as a single, only needs Mark Knopfler's voice in front of the distinctive guitar sound to complete the transformation. The similarities continue on "Occasional demons", which is also lyrically similar to Dire Straits "Money for nothing". It refers to "apartments with appliances and CD", and "We're gonna leave your stereo but we'll have your soul for tea" ("Money for nothing and your chicks for free??!").

All this may seem a bit unfair, especially as it is good to see Tull exploring different styles and sounds. Anderson's flute for example is used much more sparingly here than on most Tull albums. While (for me at least) the Dire Strait's similarity is undeniable, there's no question of plagiarism or even "borrowing". Anderson's vocals are as distinctive as ever, and the music has variety while retaining a strong emphasis on melody.

Of the other tracks, while "Sparrow on the schoolyard wall" again continues the Dire Straits sound, "Thinking round corners" is delightfully different with unique vocals. "Still loving you tonight" is a softer piece, with some excellent guitar work. Here, there are similarities both in the title, and the track itself with Thin Lizzy's "Still in love with you".

Anderson of course dominates the album, writing all the tracks, and even providing the recording studio. "Catfish rising" is a pleasant album of well written and performed songs, but don't look far anything particularly "progressive".

Easy Livin | 3/5 |

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