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Jethro Tull - A Passion Play  CD (album) cover

A PASSION PLAY

Jethro Tull

 

Prog Folk

4.01 | 969 ratings

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npjnpj
5 stars As the circumstances surrounding the recording of this album are well known, I'll skip that bit and concentrate on not describing the music.

Pause.

OK, so how about the fact that there are two songs here that are split over...

Boring!

Well, let me mainly draw comparisons between Passion Play and Thick as a Brick, a bit of a no-brainer considering the similar structure then.

What always gets to me is how people tend to rave over TAAB and diss this one, haven't they listened to it? I can only imagine that the problem is that this one is initially more difficult (quite difficult, actually) to get into, but once the melodies and flow of the album have settled into your ears, it's not only on par with TAAB, but perhaps even slightly above it in quality (at least in parts).

After a few listens it sounds even more 'together', the individual sections flow more seamlessly into one another and in parts seem to point accusingly at TAAB and say: 'Oy, you should have done that the way I'm doing it here!'

Granted, the melodies are less whimsical and even IA admitted that it was missing the light- heartedness that were prominent on other JT albums, but does that play a role in how such a magnificent piece of music should be judged? I believe not. These melodies are always interesting, never repetitive, and range from dark brooding passages to soaring sections.

The playing is flawless and the instrumentation and arrangement are as perfect as you could wish for. It has to be for the result, this was no era for studio wizardry.

And IA plays saxophone, in a strange plaintive sort of way that seems to have more echo than body. Weird and very suited to the music.

The middle section, the famous 'Hare and Spectacles' intermission thingy is wonderfully strange. Is there something like it on TAAB? I think: Yes; There's the atonal sequence there that here has been replaced by this aural stage play. It's as if JT had been wondering how to do something similar and different at the same time and came up with this. And it works.

How can music like this be described? I really don't know, it's not like anything I've heard before (or after); It's unique JT without actually being TOO JT in some weird way.

It is one of those albums that get to you and don't let go, but only after you've listened to it loads of times. If you don't, you'll land with the fraction of listeners disliking this album, which is a shame. They don't know what a wonderful experience they're missing.

I don't think that I prefer one album to the other, and because I rated TAAB 5 stars, I'll have to do the same here. I don't even have to think about it.

npjnpj | 5/5 |

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