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Jethro Tull - Under Wraps  CD (album) cover

UNDER WRAPS

Jethro Tull

 

Prog Folk

2.21 | 336 ratings

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Tull Freak 94
1 stars The worst thing Jethro Tull ever put their name on.

Even a die-hard Tull fan (ie me) would find this more useful as a frisbee than as a record (and I have the CD so even then it would be relatively useless). Even if you like 80s synth pop, this is still second rate (I've always maintained that Frankie goes to Hollywood's Welcome to the Pleasuredome is the best album of this genre.) Tull were not a synth pop band, and at this point they were not a prog band or a folk band. I don't know what they were but they were not something that I enjoyed.

The sad thing is that are actually some good lyrics and ideas on most of the songs (I'm using my memory here, as I've never listened to the album after the first time) and Ian Anderson's vocals are perhaps some of his strongest ever but the sad fact is they are wasted here, because the music let's them down.

The instrumentation seems to consist mainly of digital (ie crappy) synths and a cheap sounding drum machine. Let me tell you: 20 minutes in a room with the same monotonously pounding drum machine is enough to drive me crazy, i dont know about 40 (I don't know how long this album actually is). The style may have made Under Wraps difficult to listen to, but the drum machine is what makes it unlistenable.maybe it would have been better if someone had told them how to program it first. Arthur Brown utilised a drum machine better on Journey, ten years earlier! No, I don't think Peter Vettese killed Jethro Tull, in fact I think he kept the band breathing (just barely) through a difficult time. He was trying to keep the band sounding up to date with his keyboards, but ultimately, this has decayed much faster in the face of time than any other Jethro Tull album.

None of the tracks stand out enough for me to pinpoint any highlights, who knows, it might have gotten better after I gave up listening (although I sincerely doubt that). The tracks are all too similar to make this at all interesting. The only track that gives us a respite from the drum machine is the acoustic Under Wraps #2, but even this is weak compared to other acoustic Tull moments.

the lyrics and vocals are the best things about Under Wraps, but unfortunately the rest of the features are so nauseating that you will never really appreciate these because you will not want to listen to it again. One gets the feeling that Anderson knew this would be a flop and therefore put his heart and soul into his lyrics and vocal performance to try and salvage it. It's bitterly ironic that it was performing the demanding vocals for these songs on the tour that followed were what caused Anderson to lose his voice, which never be quite the same again...

So remember, Tull is timeless, this is not

AVOID

Tull Freak 94 | 1/5 |

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