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Ian Anderson - Walk Into Light  CD (album) cover

WALK INTO LIGHT

Ian Anderson

 

Prog Folk

2.85 | 94 ratings

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Syzygy
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A bit of an oddity, this, in more ways than one. Ian Anderson's first solo venture saw his collaborator, Peter John Vetesse, sharing the writing credits on half of the songs - Anderson had been Tull's sole songwriter (bar the odd fragment) since Stand Up. A further break with the established Tull prototype was the sheer amount of electronic instrumentation used. The majority of the backing tracks were generated on synths and keyboards - Anderson is credited with playing some conventional instruments, but aside from the odd whisper of flute they're well hidden in the mix. When I first heard it I wondered if it just happened to be by some new performer who shared the same name as Tull's mainman, but it really was old Aqualung, the Minstrel in the Gallery himself in a brand new guise for the 80s.

This is emphatically not a Tull spin off, although there are broad similarities between it and A, originally planned as an Anderson solo venture, and particularly Under Wraps. The sound is very 80s, with all the Linn drums and artificial bass lines that you'd expect. It's not his finest hour, but it's not the disaster some have said it was either. At this point in his career Anderson had matured as a songwriter, and on this collection he penned some superb lyrics dealing with aspects of contemporary life that would probably not have worked as Tull songs. He was also in good voice for these sessions, particularly on Made in England and Trains, and he adapts his singing style to a very different musical setting effectively. It's stood the test of time a lot better than the likes of Howard Jones or Nik Kershaw, who were writing similar material with a broadly similar sound in the early to mid 80s.

It's an album which shows a different side of Anderson's songwriting, and as such is worth a listen if you're a Tull fan with an open mind.

Syzygy | 3/5 |

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