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Jethro Tull - Benefit CD (album) cover

BENEFIT

Jethro Tull

 

Prog Folk

3.90 | 659 ratings

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Prog Sothoth
4 stars Few albums better encapsulate the sound of 1970 better than Benefit. Plenty of bands were embracing a folkish sound while others were veering towards harder edged rock at this time, and Jethro Tull at this point somehow managed to toe the line between both with this offering. It's darker and has more guitar oomph than previous releases, yet still retains plenty of folk melodies while moving away from their bluesier roots. And yes, some of these songs are just damn cool.

"With You There To Help Me" is a great opener that sets the mood; it's haunting at first and more on the acoustic side of things until that electric guitar kicks in to tell us the band means business. The crescendos utilizing the flute before quick angry guitar wails are memorable elements to this song as well. Definitely one of my favorites by the band in general.

There are plenty of other good tracks that vary between folk and rock such as the killer riffing in "To Cry You A Song" and "For Michael Collins, Jeffrey and Me" with its 'sing-along with a beer stein' chorus after the more folky verses. I can't give it the masterpiece status because I have to admit that a couple of the tunes don't really work for me, basically "Son" which has an awkward shift that doesn't work and "A Time For Everything" which is ok but has this terrible feedback moment that screws things up.

As a whole though, despite Benefit not getting quite the same recognition as the two albums sandwiching it, I actually prefer it to either of them. Stand Up and Aqualung both have some of their best songs, but I find Benefit a more consistent record, and probably my go-to record when I'm in the mood for some classic era Jethro Tull. Thick As A Brick is their best, but I have to be in the right setting for that listening experience, whereas this puppy can be played at any time.

Prog Sothoth | 4/5 |

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