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Jethro Tull - Rock Island CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

2.71 | 524 ratings

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Dark Nazgul
4 stars You'll keep living in the past forever?

I love this album so special because for the first time I heard these songs performed live during a concert in Italy. It was the tour intended to promote the album, it was my first Tull concert, and then it was the first time I take a trip away from home to attend a rock concert with a friend! Despite the good memories I think I'm objective enough to say that this is one of my favourite Tull album.

Logical, if you expect the folk-rock of "Stand Up", "Songs From The Wood" and "Heavy Horses" will be disappointed. And forget even the grandiose atmosphere of "A Passion Play", "Thick As A Brick" or "Minstrel In The Gallery." "Rock Island" is an album of his time, as are all other states, the sign of a willingness to change due to the fickle tastes of Anderson, always alert to new musical trends. Sure most of Tull fans hate the fact that this is a rock album, sometimes even hard-rock, but I do not think it is fair to expect that in the late '80s Anderson wants to play "Look Into The Sun" or "One White Duck". The really important thing for rock bands under the spotlights for decades is, I think, follow musical trends without changing completely their own style (which, unfortunately, not everyone is able to do, such as Genesis after the departure of Hackett, for example) but just get inspired by new trends to be modern, however.

Compared to its predecessor "Crest Of A Knave", this album has a harder sound, there is less synth, more electric guitar by Martin Barre and a lot more flute parts played by Ian. It's full of good songs like Ears Of Tin, Heavy Water, Rattlesnake Trail, Rock Island and Another Christmas Song, but the highlight is the dramatic The Whaler's Dues, in my opinion one of the best songs ever written by Anderson.

It is certainly not a progressive album, but is a great album. I find it unfair that is valued so low: probably the fans of Tull prefer to "live in the past." I also prefer the classic Jethro Tull works, but I'm not biased when I listen to something different. I could never regret having bought it.

Best song: The Whaler's Dues

Final rating: 7/10.

Dark Nazgul | 4/5 |


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