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Jethro Tull - Stand Up CD (album) cover

STAND UP

Jethro Tull

 

Prog Folk

4.03 | 841 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Alitare
4 stars A beautiful precursor to the Jethro Tull progressive era.

In one swift cut, Jethro Tull had made a name for itself with a fine blues oriented album, then they were tasked with the followup. Fortunately for Tull, this so happened to be a grand scaled success.

Beginning with a bluesy guitar assault, A New Day Yesterday is brilliant and rocking. That catchy riff is splendid. This, however, doesn't set up the full tone for Stand Up. No, right after this, we get a soft paced Jeffery Goes To Leicester Square. This song is a more folk oriented affair, and softens the blow of the opening.

Leaping from this softer vantage point brings us to possibly the albums high water mark. Bouree, which is a reworking of Bach's classic is stately in its invigorating intricacies. The flute melody is winding and absolutely stunning. If it weren't for the wide variety and psychedelically winding compulsions of the album as a flowing piece, the surprises might well end there.

Instead, you get another spice of fiery blues rock in Back to the Family, which further implants Ian Anderson as a whimsical and flowering poet, instilling his vivid imagery into each song. Speaking of each song, the all separately offer something special to the listening, and never get boring. It also seems that a small pattern is forming. There is a powerful and fierce rock song followed by a relatively smoother and more altogether atmospheric song after it. Look Into The Sun is as hazy as the name furtively implies. In this haze, it is still allowed to be illustriously pretty.

And one can't discount the fantastic, and fantastically original, flute work dancing amidst the other instruments, making for some elegant melodic segments. Nothing is Easy is another biting rock track that has multiple solo sections where both the flute and guitar get to showcase their interplay.

I actually quite enjoy Fat Man. It shows much intimate personality from the band, in those deep lyrics and double meanings, the originality of composition and instrumentation, with vast folk edges, and the melodic overall nature. While not my favorite, it still manages to capture my attention with the seasonal instrument use. We Used To Know slows up the tempo and allows a folky trot of dream spaces and nostalgia. The singing Ian does on this album lets us see the growth he was capable of as a vocalist. The guitar solo to this song is stirring and reminiscent.

Not content to only embark on a musical journey of half emotion, Reasons For Waiting is a phenomenal uplifting cathedral account. The tripping organ stutters alongside strings and flute pastorals are riveting. Finally, For A Thousand Mothers closes with a sharp and shocking bang. The guitar glistens nect to the sighing flute, and the band waltzes on majestically.

Stand Up featured Jethro Tull at its highest peak in the early stages, and never lets up. From shocker to crooner, dancer to doom, each song has something that makes it shine. Pulling from a vast array of styles and personal influences, the band has crafted their own identity, and did it forcefully. None of the musicians can be cited as being lazy or weak. Everyone contributed dutifully. If but a few real criticisms can be waged they would be on how the band seems to slightly overdo the blues rock, and the flute sections seem a bit repetitive. However, the albums overall ingenuity and versatility, coupled with some truly wondrous melodies makes for a worthy addition to anyone's collection.

Best Song - Bouree, Look Into The Sun, or For A Thousand Mothers

Worst Song - Hard to say, maybe Fat Man.

**** Very strong Stars

Alitare | 4/5 |

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