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Jethro Tull - War Child CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

3.30 | 754 ratings

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2 stars After the two ambitious single track epics of Thick As A Brick and A Passion Play Jethro Tull returned to the simpler format of ten shorter songs. Nothing wrong with that in itself but despite a handful of good tracks it turned out to be one of my least favourite Tull album of the decade.

All the essential Tull elements are in place where rock riffs sit alongside the folk and acoustic parts in complex arrangements. It is however, relatively speaking, one of their more straight rock orientated albums where Martin Barre's electric guitar work gets lots of space; but still room for acoustic moments like the excellent Skating Away On The Thin Ice Of A New Day and Only Solitaire. Of course Ian Anderson's instantly recognisable flute playing is present, though now occasionally replaced by his less appealing saxophone which first appeared on A Passion Play. There are occasional orchestral moments too, arranged by David Palmer but it's primarily a rock record, but of course a Tull rock album is never going to be a straightforward heads down, no nonsense mindless boogie approach. The music twists and turns as you would expect but ultimately many of the songs are lacking a strong hook and melody and come across as a little dull and lifeless. There are some better tracks, not least the title track and Back Door Angels brought to life by Barre's powerful guitar work including an excellent solo.

Overall though the highs are too sporadic to make a great Tull album and despite being better than much of what would follow in the eighties and nineties it's a record that doesn't come off the shelf for a spin too often. 2 stars for this average album.

Nightfly | 2/5 |


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