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Jethro Tull - Benefit CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

3.91 | 958 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Given the sheer glut of Tull material out there, the band has a tendency to sound "samey" over time. However, even though their sound is not terribly different from Aqualung, there are some nice diamonds in the rough to be found on Benefit.

This was one of those random albums that I had on vinyl while growing up, so in full disclosure I admit that it does have a special place in my heart. Who knows why I had this and not Thick as a Brick, but I suppose sometimes it's OK to save the best for last, even if it happens unwittingly.

Highlights: With You There to Help Me, Nothing to Say, Teacher, Sossity. Although there are no bad moments on this album, I often get the feeling that I'm listening to some variations of a common theme. Not so with these select highlights, which each offer something interesting and rewarding. The opener is a real keeper, with a nice chanting verse punctuated by flute runs, leading to a good rocking chorus melody. Nothing to Say is not complex, but an effective bluesy rocker with plenty of guitar harmonies. Teacher is a very catchy "single" and even--rightfully so--gets decent airtime on the radio. Sossity works great as the album closer, and is a nice somber number. The organ and acoustic guitar are quite haunting, and the addition of flute and tambourine later is really done to nice effect.

Overall, a good number of very solid songs, yet the truly progressive aspects would need to percolate just a bit longer. I do often come back to this album, but in retrospect the band did need to evolve, because even a quality effort like Benefit can come to sound a bit bland in places.

Flucktrot | 3/5 |


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