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Jethro Tull - A Passion Play  CD (album) cover

A PASSION PLAY

Jethro Tull

 

Prog Folk

4.01 | 1013 ratings

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Atkingani
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars I remember I bought "A Passion Play" in the very same day it landed in the shop; in fact, I was there looking for something different when I noticed that one hot-from-the-press pile of gory and macabre covers had just arrived that I promptly sacked one and ran home (after paying, as a civilized sacker must do).

My first hearing was an astounding adventure: I was literally crushed! But some demon inside told me that this work should not be well received by the mainstream and even the sidestream peers. Later, I read the critics and realized that "A Passion Play" wasn't properly lighting the neon. What a pity!

Well, nothing better than the elapsing of time and when the 20th Century faded and the new millennium arrived, apparently the comprehension of this work improved hugely (or maybe, averagely). Many people are considering, now, "A Passion Play" in the same level of "Thick As A Brick" (a JT's magnum opus for several honest fans) or even in a higher position - a posture able to get an asylum passport 30 years ago. I wasn't really one of those probable asylum dwellers but I always considered that either epics were more or less leveled, with "Thick As A Brick" a bit overrated, maybe for being the first to be born.

Unlike its older cousin, "A Passion Play" hasn't a main theme being repeated here and there, except for the intro and the end. The piece is a bunch of average-to-good songs that keep a general homogeneous atmosphere; the real link is done by the lyrics and mainly the band's playing - seeming sometimes foolish and vague, but never deviating from the target.

Never before, Jethro Tull played so harmonically; Ian Anderson had the vocals and splendid saxophone solos, but keyboards, guitars, bass and drums had their peaks along the song - great moments indeed. "A Passion Play" has high points but the near-ending is totally amazing - after 40' of different musical parts, the listener is caught for about 3 minutes in a tsunami of rock-folk-symphonic sounds that form undeniably one of the unforgettable passages of the entire prog-rock scenario, all sparking after 'Hail, son of Kings.'; a majestic and splendid end for a great musical piece.

Ah! I forgot to mention the interval curiosity summoned by the name of 'The story of the hare who lost his spectacles', a psychedelic fable, excellent to learn some Lancashire accent, according to my British friends, isn't it?

And finally, how to rate a work that has a different passion and a difficult play? I recommend "A Passion Play" for all serious and diversified prog collection. Total: 4.

Atkingani | 4/5 |

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