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Jethro Tull - A Passion Play CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

4.05 | 1663 ratings

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4 stars Inventive and Original. But takes Effort.

Carrying on with the same 'formula' as Thick as a Brick (ironic and intellectual humourous lyrics, over a longer single-piece prog-rock epic), 'A Passion Play' takes a few more liberties with the music, and adds in a few detours (like the story of the hare who lost his spectacles). This album was panned by many critics as going too far, and even today there are many detractors who point to it (and Thick as a Brick) as an example of the excesses of progressive rock. This is, of course, ironic given that both albums are partly meant as parodies of the excesses of progressive rock. But there a bit more truth to these claims in the case of A Passion Play, not only because the lyrics DO come across as more pretentious, but also because the music does not come as naturally but instead assumes the listener is willing to sit through sections that clearly were not written primarily to be musical but instead to fit the overall story. The result is that it takes a lot more effort to listen to this the whole way through, and it gets more tiring on multiple listens. It is, quite simply, not as musical as Thick as a Brick. Saying this, it is in the same vein, and is like Brick both intellectual and humourous, highly original and inventive. And many of the themes ARE musical. So, while not on the same plain as Brick, I have a lot or respect for this album. I place it in second spot. I give it 8.5 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to 4 PA stars.

Walkscore | 4/5 |


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