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Jethro Tull - Minstrel In The Gallery CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

4.03 | 1126 ratings

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3 stars Very good album, 3,5 stars really.

J-Tull never ceased to re-invent themselves while maintaining their distinctive sounds and style, and so this album is new and fresh sounding compared to previous albums, but elements of earlier releases echo through this album. From the progressive elements of TAAB and APP, through to the more heavy rock of Aqualung and the bluesrock orientated early days, with a medieval sound in most songs, mostly created by Ian's flute/vocals and accoustic guitars of Barre, and the bass guitar is great on this record, augmented with some orchestral arrangements that works well in Baker Street muse. Having to compare it to earlier work, it most closely resembles Aqualung in sound, though less heavy and more accoustic based

The album starts with the title song Minstrel In The Gallery setting the tone for the album, with many accoustic guitars creating a little medieval minstral ambience, it takes a while before it really gets off from the ground with a more heavy guitar sound on good drum rhythms with some great bass lines (reminiscent of Argent's Hold Your Head Up on occasion) The vocals sound bad at the beginning of the song, but get's better as the song progresses. After a too sudden stop the album continuous with Anderson introducing the next song, one of my favourite Tull songs, the mainly accoustic viking song Cold Wind To Valhalla Great tempo changes and Ian singing is quite alright for a change (generally i don't like his forced restrained emotional vocals) with some good orchestral arrangements backing the song.

Black Satin Dancer comes next, a bit too much for me, with some classical passages behind the progressive rock format and a Chicago rip-off bassline (I'm a Man) though nice not really great, once the pace quickens it becomes interesting but not enough to keep my attention and Ian's voice really can be a spoiler. The following Requiem reminds me of the Moody Blues, with whispering vocals and soft arrangements, one of the times I think the orchestra is overstaying it's welcome, could have been nice on a moody Blues album though. The same applies to the next song One White Duck but in this case the second part 0^10 = Nothing At Allwith accoustic guitar resque this song, be it barely.

Baker St. Muse together with the title track and Cold Wind is the reason this is a good album, the song dives right in with many musical ideas, and one of those progressive tracks Tull made (though Ian will always deny it, this is a progressive rock song) though less complex than TAAB some elements sound pretty similar in structure and intensity, you'll have to listen yourself to judge, I like it. The album ends with the very short Grace which serves no other purpose than to end the album.

All in all Minstrell in the Gallery is a wonderfull Tull record, not really brilliant, but very enjoyable, and the stand out track Baker St. Muse really stands out within Tull's long carreer.

tuxon | 3/5 |


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