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Jethro Tull - The Jethro Tull Christmas Album CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

3.50 | 388 ratings

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Symphonic Team
2 stars Ring Out, Solstice Bells and Remove the Holly from the Ivy, Jethro Tull misses the mark.

I am a big Tull fan and love most of his albums due to their innovation and sheer audacity of producing something unique and at times outlandish, while at the same time creating incredibly complex and brilliantly played music. 'The Christmas Album' is another one of those curiosity pieces that you may want to pull out at Christmas times in order to hear the relatives exclaim 'what the heck are you playing now?' It goes against the grain of your traditional Christmas album of course and may even go against the grain for Jethro Tull fans in terms of clarity and thematic content. Sadly I am in the latter category.

I did not really take to heart what Tull was attempting to do with this album; it is a silly, nonsensical mix of traditional ideas blended with the bizarre Christmas themes that it is purporting to either make fun of or take seriously. It is a well known fact that Ian Anderson has shunned the church, especially on his 'Aqualung' classic, so why is he bothering with tracks about the traditional church such as God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen? Admittedly, there is a biting satire in all of these tunes, but it soon gets tiring and I long to rip the Cd out and listen to 'Benefit', 'Passion Play' or 'Thick as A Brick', which are among the best of Jethro Tull.

The liner notes are interesting noting that Anderson had these Christmas theme songs for a while, as all fans know, and he was asked to do a full blown Christmas theme album. But for what purpose? It doesnt really have much to offer apart from a couple of great tracks that are found elsewhere in any case in some form. There are some new tracks, Birthday Card At Christmas, Last Man At The Party, First Snow On Brooklin and A Winter Snowscape. The rest are either rehashes or mixes of Tull tracks found elsewhere so it doesnt have much to offer the hard core Tull fan.

It probably seemed like a good idea to package a Christmas album for the festive season, or make fun of Christmas. But I am afraid this is one of Tull's weakest efforts and just did not succeed on either the level of thematic content or Musical virtuosity. This is quite a lull in effort all round and Anderson seems disinterested and lacking ideas. And yet we are so used to Tull being such bright sparks when it comes to innovation. In this case the candle has been snuffed out.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 2/5 |


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