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Jethro Tull - A Passion Play  CD (album) cover

A PASSION PLAY

Jethro Tull

 

Prog Folk

4.01 | 1011 ratings

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el böthy
Prog Reviewer
5 stars 4/5

This must be one of the most complex albums ever...its certainly Jethro Tulls most complex album ever. But, complexety does not make a good album!!! But it seems that in this case complexety has much to do with the final product. The musicianship, or better yet, the way the instruments are presented is very diferent from other Tulls albums. This is because the guitars have a minor role but at the same time keyboards are constantly there; John Evans does his best work ever with the group. The other weapon of choice is Jeffrey Hammonh-Hammond, whos bass is also a very important part of the 2 long pieces, as well as the voice that tells the story of the hare who lost his spectacles. Then there are the drumms. Barriemore Barlow, a virtuoso of his instrument does not play a 4/4 signature time in any part of the whole album...and if he does ( which I cant remember) its only for a breef lapse of time. As I already said the guitars play a minor role, yet they are constantly present, but not doing solos or fills, but as a supporting instrument...still Martin Lancelot Barre manageds to do something here and there. And finally we have the bones, heart and brain of Tull...Ian Anderson, who plays the sax, quite good I might add, as well as the flute. But his acustic guitars are also different, his signature folkish kinda playing is here not present, for it has changed to a some what more classical touch...nice!

But I just went on and on about the musicianship, but did not said anything about the music inself, other than its complexety...well, this is hard to get into! Its not for the die heart blues/folkish fans from early Tull, unless you are opend minded. The 2 pieces are pretty much just one 45 minutes song, with a fairy tale in the middle. The music is hard to swollow some times, and Ians lyrics and voice are different from other albums. Although there is a constant irony behind his words, they are not really funny as in previous works, but dark. I find them incredibly interesting! The way he mocks very seriously about some things...is excellent.

The album, because of his (again) complexety and theatrical aprouch ( A Passion PLAY!), makes the band no longer a folk prog band, but a symphonic one...very very nice!!!

From all the Tull albums I have at this point, and they are not much ( I dont have Thick as a brick...which many would say its a big mistake, havind Passion Play before Thick as a brick...and maybe yes...but I still find this one so very good!!!), this is the best...by far!!!

el böthy | 5/5 |

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