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Jethro Tull - Benefit CD (album) cover

BENEFIT

Jethro Tull

 

Prog Folk

3.90 | 696 ratings

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Tull Freak 94
4 stars 'Blues were my favourite colour, until I looked around and found another song that I felt like singing...'

I found it hard to decide whether to give this 4 or 5 stars. When I first listened to it about a year ago, I found it to be one of the poorer jethro Tull records as I had high expectations after coming to terms with the likes of Aqualung, Minstrel and Stand Up etc. I always thought of Benefit as being a regression rather than a progression from Stand Up. This seemed to be more hard and bluesy than Stand Up which had many different styles incorporated into it.

Then upon listening to it more recently, I realised that those styles hadn't disappeared, they were just less obvious as they had been covered slightly by the hard rock atmosphere. Now, I really love the way that the hard rock and the progressive (and slightly folky) aspects interplay. This is maybe best shown in the opening track, 'With you there to help me'. This has got to be one of the best openers of any JT album. It starts with a backwards flute trill(which was actually achieved by reversing the recording, not as Ian says in the 'live in Montreaux' DVD , by him standing with his back to the microphone). The piano of John Evan and the acoustic guitar take us through the verse and then it builds up during the chorus into a VERY heavy electric guitar riff. So there you go, the juxtaposition of acoustic (folksy) and electric (rocky) is in fact better than it is on Stand Up.

There really aren't any weak points. The only songs that are slightly weaker are Nothing to Say and A time for everything which are more blues rock, but they are only weaker compared to the rest of the tracks, which isn't to say they are bad because the other tracks are astounding! My unusual choice for best track is Play in Time. I don't know why I like it so much it's just very catchy. There's some annoyingly high noises near the end but I can live with that. With the additions of the bonus tracks, Witchs Promise becomes the best track. It is probably their most folky track to date and the flute intro is amazing!

I'd just like to say that John Evan's keyboards are great throughout. I'm not surprised they let him join full time and it really BENEFITed them during the next 10 years!

I've decided to change my rating, perhaps I was a little too hasty after rediscovering this album. Don't get me wrong, it's still great brilliant, but Tull had still to progress quite a lot before reaching their masterpiece Thick as a Brick, so this is logically a 4 star album, but a high 4.

Tull Freak 94 | 4/5 |

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