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Jethro Tull - Benefit CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

3.91 | 1083 ratings

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3 stars Benefit - Jethro Tull (3.21 stars) Original Release: 04/20/1970


With You There to Help Me (3 stars) This song has an ominous tone which peaks in an interesting pair of instrumental and vocal chorus'. I'm not able to discern the meaning of the lyrics. The song has good energy but doesn't interest me as much as I would like it to.

Nothing To Say (3 stars) This song first features that distinctive early Tull guitar sound which has a mildly baroque, staccato, hard rock anthem quality to it (for lack of a better description). The lyrics describe a negative mysticism, a wisdom of the rejection of the world. The guitar peaks with a exuberant melancholy that is evocative when the lyrics reach their brief chorus.

Alive and Well and Living In (4 stars) This song brings a slightly more richly textured instrumentation. The song moves from a bass and piano sectin to a flute and guitar section and back down (in intensity) again. The lyrics describe the unwitnessed choices of a woman who gives without expectation of return. Very enjoyable song that ends a little soon.

Son (3 stars) This song depicts a sarcastic conversation between father and son. The character of the father is painted with hypocracy. The song switches tone from hard rock to acoustic guitar in the middle presumably to change the perspective from father to son. Then it switches back again to complete this short song. This song and the previous one present some brief character sketches.

For Michael Collins, Jeffrey and Me (4 stars) This song starts with a sweet acoustic guitar and lilting vocals. I don't get the lyrics meaning. The sweet melancholy picks up a joyful pitch in the chorus. Interesting, beautiful song.

To Cry You a Song (3 stars) That early Tull guitar sound is back and after the chorus the guitar breaks out into a skywards fanfare. Then the instrumental section descends back down in stages to the vocals again. The lyrics speak of the travelling musician/singer flying to London to perform (cry = sing); he has his cigarettes and alcohol.

A Time for Everything? (3 stars) Piano, guitar, flute start off this song, then, without having realized it there is some of that great aggressive flute playing that until now hasn't been present or noticable anywhere earlier on this album. The song has a reflective and anticipatory feeling. I wanted this song to kick off into more aggressive flute playing. Somehow the song seemed poised to take off but it doesn't quite make it.

Inside (3 stars) Lyrics suggest an almost giddy man with nothing in his pockets now but success assured in the near future. A growing fame already presents privacy issues, perhaps, but the protagonist finds moments to be real with true friends. The music is also happy and breaks out into a higher joy/faster pace. A second pass at that higher joy is never made as the remainder of the song seems to stall at the song's initial level of reverie which is somewhat anti-climatic.

Play in Time (3 stars) An aggressive flute and guitar again! Interesting organ work as well. The lyrics seem to be about performing the music that is within the musician and some of the challenges in doing that. Interesting "edit room" effects wind up the energy in places in this song.

Sossity; You're a Woman (4 stars) Expose about an older woman who thought she was getting her kicks from a younger man but it seems such relationships only ends in bitter disappointment. The chorus suggests that this older woman and society are interchangable ideas. The organ and acoustic guitar make a melancholy joy and the serene chorus is haunting as is the final guitar chord.

Singing All Day (2 stars) Straight-forward song about the happy anticipation of seeing a particular woman; short dreamy mid-section adds only slight interest to this song.

Witch's Promise (4 stars) Acoustic guitar and flute instrument this anima song. The mood picks up a notch and mellotrons come in. The song builds as it goes forward more effectively than most of Tull's songs to date that I have reviewed.

Just Trying to Be (3 stars) A xylophone or well tuned toy piano and acoustic guitar play on this quiet and extremely short song with evocative lyrics about how personal identity is confused by parental over- guiding of the play of their children.

Teacher [Original UK Mix] (3 stars) Funky version of that early Tull guitar sound. The lyrics describe a "teacher" who recommends not getting stuck in things and getting out and experiencing the world while the listener humorously seems to miss the point. But this whole exchange seems to occur in the bright morning of a day inside the protagonist's head; a waking dream of inspiration soon lost.


That familiar guitar sound heard on some of Tull's most popular classic rock songs appears on this album for the first time. The album is a collection of songs with some more musically interesting that others. I wouldn't quite call them a progressive rock band at this point although they are widely appreciated by fans of the genre; Tull's songs are not slaves to the standard chorus, but they have only a few, well-developed instrumental sections.

MP3 recommendation:

Four stars (4 stars) 1. Alive and Well and Living In (4 stars) 2. For Michael Collins, Jeffrey and Me (4 stars) 3. Sossity; You're a Woman (4 stars) 4. Witch's Promise (4 stars)

sealchan | 3/5 |


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