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Jethro Tull - Benefit CD (album) cover

BENEFIT

Jethro Tull

 

Prog Folk

3.90 | 703 ratings

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KyleSchmidlin
4 stars I was expecting the worst for this album, but much to my surprise it's hardly any worse than Stand Up. Just goes to show you can't trust critics. This is definitely a darker, more-depressed Tull, but it isn't any further in the throes of despair than a song like "We Used To Know". That one was my favorite song on Stand Up, and this is kind of like having an entire album of variations on that theme and mood. Which means that each and every song is excellent.

Unfortunately, it also means that it's hard to enjoy from start-to-finish. Every song can please you at one time or another, but there just isn't the kind of variety an album like Stand Up had to entice you to listen from beginning to end. However, on a song for song basis, I might actually say Benefit is BETTER - but I'd give both a 4, because the variety of Stand Up helps its weaker song list.

There are also stronger bonus tracks. The singles which apparently accompanied the album's release are all awesome, particularly the radio staple Teacher and Singing All Day. Like Heavy Horses and Stand Up, I can hardly even imagine Benefit without those bonus tracks. Maybe that makes the rating a little unfair - perhaps a 3.5 would be more accurate, with those tracks removed. But since they were recorded around the same time (the liner notes say 3 weeks before the rest of the album) and keep the vibe going just as if they were meant to be there, I don't feel too bad about using them to contribute to the album's overall higher score.

A really solid album, it isn't exactly quintessential Tull but there's too few weak spots to keep it from rating among their very best. Best song's got to be With You There to Help Me, or, if you want to count the bonus tracks, Teacher.

KyleSchmidlin | 4/5 |

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