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Jethro Tull - Stormwatch CD (album) cover

STORMWATCH

Jethro Tull

 

Prog Folk

3.45 | 487 ratings

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Matti
4 stars Having only rated Passion Play with 2* I feel I owe this long-time (semi)favourite band a more grateful review too. My favourite albums are Minstrel in the Gallery and Thick as a Brick, but Stormwatch is less reviewed plus it seems to divide opinions: "directionless", some say. For me the band's best era surely includes this one (but ends with it). At this time the line-up was under changes - the re-issue tells how for example Ian Anderson had to play bass on most tracks. But I don't hear any problems. There are clearly less folk elements than on 2 preceding albums but the sound is still as good: crisp, clever, bold, lively, and here and there even the best that Tull has ever produced. Ian's flute doesn't let you down, and David Palmer has done gorgeous orchestral arrangement in 'Elegy'.

There are great compositions and mediocre ones. I don't have any close relationship with three or four songs but those that I enjoy make it into my all-time favourites: 'Old Ghosts' is a symphonic uptempo song with delicious embroidery of flute, piano and acoustic guitar. 'Dun Ringill' is a wonderful little song that makes you shiver "as the white sea snaps". 'Home' is a passionate and majestic one, 'Elegy' a very beautiful classical-style instrumental.

My dearest Tull song is without a hesitation 'Flying Dutchman'. It has a powerful sense of drama, I can't help but float up and down with its waves. Stormwatch is an enjoyable four-star album, even if a bit uneven. I have always liked the cover too (better on the backside, including a polar bear), it fits the music well. The bonus tracks on the re-issue are worth hearing.

Matti | 4/5 |

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