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Jethro Tull - A Passion Play CD (album) cover

A PASSION PLAY

Jethro Tull

 

Prog Folk

4.04 | 1568 ratings

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Dapper~Blueberries
5 stars In the late 1960s, Jethro Tull released their first album, 'This Was'. A folk rock album, not in the vain of Progressive Rock, however some of it's songs have a sort of experimental edge that differentiated them from the folk rock bands at the time. 3 years later, Jethro Tull released 'Aqualung'. A star stunning progressive rock record that both shaped the two worlds of folk and Prog. It was a shining hit with critics and both old and new fans of Jethro Tull. But with being called a Prog rock album, Jethro Tull thought that 'Aqualung' wasn't so much Prog, and more traditional folk rock they have done for so long. With this, they began too work on their next LP, a spoof album on the Progressive rock, poking light fun at the genre. With this they gave us 'Thick As A Brick' a giant suite of a song, split into two parts due to how records work. Like Aqualung, it shaped Prog and folk, and was a massive hit with critics and fans a like. Now full on Prog, the band got together to make their 6th next greatest band, and the 3rd and last album in what I like to call their 'Magnum Opus Trilogy'. A Passion Play, released in 1973.

Similar to Thick as a Brick, it is a 40 minute long song, split into two parts. One of the most noticeable things about this album is the more jazz like sounds on the album. This album strayed a bit away from the folk sounds of the past two records. Despite this change, the album still sounds as true as Jethro Tull could get to themselves. The first part of this suite feels like the fanfare before the play. A welcome speech if you will. This part contains glorious acoustics much like Thick as a Brick plus some cool new jazz instruments like trumpets and saxes. Ian's voice is still as good as ever, though I fear it may be a tad samey too the last albums, but if it ain't broke why fix it you know? The first glorious part ends which leads too part 2, which has the rather interesting story of how the rabbit lost his spectacles. While it begins as a normal kids story, it leads into a weird story about reality. The story reminds me of the rabbit and the tortoise in a way that it tells a narrative with a world wide lesson using animals. After this part, we got more of the same good Jethro Tull music. On the last few minutes, the albums comes back around in such a good way.

Overall this album is the perfect close off to this time of Jethro Tull. An amazing suite by the band with beautiful vocals, drumming, guitars, everything. It's as perfect as their previous albums and is a beautiful work of art. A shame that this is under the shadow of Aqualung and Thick as a Brick. I say this album needs far more recognition than ever, and I think it deserves as much love as those two albums as well, because this was a turning point. Whether this turning point was good or not is not for me too decide, but it definitely turned the band around and created a new world for Jethro Tull, and I think that is beautiful, a beautiful and passionate play.

Dapper~Blueberries | 5/5 |

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