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Jethro Tull - Aqualung CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

4.36 | 2707 ratings

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4 stars While certainly not my favorite Jethro Tull album, Aqualung is probably one of the most commercially successful (or at least recognizable) progressive rock albums ever. Two of the songs get frequent radio airplay even today, and for the most part, the rest of the music is straightforward and easy to follow. There is a steady blend of electric guitar riffs and calm acoustic work present here, but I've always preferred the latter when it comes to this group. The acoustic guitar-centered bridges are but a glimpse at the greatness that would be Minstrel in the Gallery. For someone unfamiliar with Jethro Tull, this is probably one of the best records to start with.

"Aqualung" A staple of classic rock music, with that iconic riff, this is one of those songs that serves as a bridge between progressive rock and the radio-listening multitudes. I particularly love the acoustic-based middle section that speeds up, but the whole thing is great.

"Cross-Eyed Mary" Rising Mellotron, thumping bass and flute, joined by thudding drums bring in one of the finest rock songs on the album.

"Cheap Day Return" Gentle acoustic guitar makes for an absolutely brilliant, if terse piece.

"Mother Goose" Probably my favorite song on the album, this one has great acoustic guitar and an amazing but simple flute riff.

"Wond'ring Aloud" I love these little acoustic bridges Ian Anderson comes up with.

"Up to Me" Having a great acoustic riff and an interesting vocal melody, this song fits right in with the rest. The middle section is somewhat different, gentler, and rather mischievous.

"My God" Here's the worst track on the album, mainly because the guitar is so much louder than it needs to be, and because the composition is not nearly as strong the previous songs. The piece is very disjointed, featuring a strange flute "solo" spot with a lot of voices behind it. The song drags, maintaining that repetitive riff, and exists as one of Jethro Tull's weakest moments.

"Hymn 43" A sudden song with a simple piano-based chord progression, this one is fairly good, but not very memorable to me. It also has a good electric guitar riff.

"Slipstream" Here's one more acoustic bridge, and another breath of fresh air.

"Locomotive Breath" The other classic rock hit on the album, and perhaps Jethro Tull's most recognizable song, begins with a piano and electric guitar introduction before getting into the song proper. It boasts a great chord progression and a "breathtaking" flute solo (it sounds like Anderson is suffocating trying to play it).

"Wind Up" A quiet track (at least at first), this has some of Anderson's most cynical words when it comes to religion. It is one of the better tracks, I feel, even if it runs on a bit longer than it really needs to.

Epignosis | 4/5 |


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