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Jethro Tull - War Child CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

3.34 | 890 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Though I like this album, I often find it hard to get into. Despite having listened to it about 10 times, there are several songs that never seem to stick. As prolific as Ian Anderson was at this point, it's easy to forgive some unmemorable moments. Plus, he and the band were coming off of two one-song concept albums, so maybe it was a matter of transitioning back to the more conventional song style that makes this album sound a little awkward?

To be sure, there is some prime Tull here: "Back-Door Angels" weaves together metallic guitar domination, very "proggy" synths and textured medieval musings. And "Skating Away On The Thin Ice Of The New Day" is classic Jethro Tull; light, breezy momentum with superb playing from all members. Best moments come at the end, with the final two tracks seeing Tull presaging the greatness that would dominate albums like 'Minstrel In The Gallery' and 'Songs From The Wood'. Written in conventional-length song format, "The Third Hoorah" and "Two Fingers" still could've never existed without the band having gone through 'Thick As A Brick' and 'A Passion Play'...they're a bit more involved and complex than where the band left off before going into that epic conceptual territory. Lots of excellent syncopation on "Two Fingers" from drummer Barriemore Barlow, while "The Third Hoorah" benefits from the use of a real orchestra (directed by producer and future Tull member--and future "Dee"--David Palmer).

A harder-edged album than the one before and after it, perhaps due to Anderson's more conservative use of the flute (replaced by Martin Barre's very present guitar and Anderson handling more sax than usual). But sandwiched between 'A Passion Play' and 'Minstrel In The Gallery', it can't be considered anything but a decent Tull album that has its moments, a good listen when you're giving the true Tull classics a rest.

slipperman | 3/5 |


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