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Jethro Tull - Songs From The Wood CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

4.19 | 1400 ratings

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Prog-Folk Team
4 stars At last an album in which TULL really lives up to its partial folk classification, with a number of tunes that sound like they could have been adapted from the traditional a la STEELEYE SPAN or FAIRPORT CONVENTION. At its best it eclipses the works of those artists, but at its worst it plumbs depths they would never have dreamed of.

On the plus side, tracks like "The Whistler" sport a Celtic whimsy, and both "Hunting Girl" and "Velvet Green" incorporate progressive and other rock instrumentation into sprightly melodies, neither overpowering the other. They represent sequels to the lovely "Third Hurrah" on "War Child". Moreover, Anderson's nasal twang actually suits the material while not smothering it. Shifts are deftly executed, and even the very short "Fire and Midnight" sounds complete if contained.

On the down side, "Pibroch" is a messy behemoth of an epic, simply drowned in heavy excesses and unbecoming the album as a whole. Given the traditional short length of LPs, its inclusion was a serious misstep. "Cup of Wonder" and "Ring Out Solstice Bells" are both spirited but have muted success relative to what FAIRPORT and STEELEYE would have done with the same material, partly because of Anderson's vocal shortcomings. Admittedly his flute provides some welcome and overdue breaks.

One of JETHRO TULL's more authentic sounding disks, "Songs from the Wood" works well within the group's progressive parameters and helped to resurrect their fortunes. This hardy perennial is worth harvesting if you have a penchant for olde Englishe folk music Anderson-style.

kenethlevine | 4/5 |


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