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Ian Anderson - Walk Into Light  CD (album) cover

WALK INTO LIGHT

Ian Anderson

Prog Folk


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Sean Trane
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Prog Folk
1 stars As ugly as the J T album that came out at the time (under wrap) full of [&*!#]ty keyboards of that era . People who accused Vettese for the crappy Under Wraps album can clearly see that althgough influential at the time, this was a blunder from the Tramp himself

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#24887)
Posted Thursday, February 05, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars At the time Ian declared he wanted to do something different than in JT. Actually it's prelude to Jethro's Under Wraps, but certainly not better than Jethro album. Anyway we have really interesting songs here, sounding is what it had to be in '83. Great record.

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Send comments to l-s-d (BETA) | Report this review (#24888)
Posted Thursday, March 04, 2004 | Review Permalink
greenback
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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars It is so pleasant to hear an album on which all the songs are at least very good! It is the case here. The main attraction here are the keyboards: Peter John Vetteese (Eurythmics) plays very rythmic, catchy, accessible ans melodic modern keyboards, a bit like Eddie Jobson. The keyboards involved are very varied, and all the tracks are quite loaded. The bass rythm is made with synths too. Anderson's outstanding lead vocals are more mellow here, and slightly melancholic, if you compare to some JETHRO TULL albums of the early 80's. It sounds like "Under wraps" and "Broadsword & the beast" - minus the guitars and warm rythms.

My rating: 4 1/2 stars

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Send comments to greenback (BETA) | Report this review (#24889)
Posted Monday, July 12, 2004 | Review Permalink
Syzygy
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Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A bit of an oddity, this, in more ways than one. Ian Anderson's first solo venture saw his collaborator, Peter John Vetesse, sharing the writing credits on half of the songs - Anderson had been Tull's sole songwriter (bar the odd fragment) since Stand Up. A further break with the established Tull prototype was the sheer amount of electronic instrumentation used. The majority of the backing tracks were generated on synths and keyboards - Anderson is credited with playing some conventional instruments, but aside from the odd whisper of flute they're well hidden in the mix. When I first heard it I wondered if it just happened to be by some new performer who shared the same name as Tull's mainman, but it really was old Aqualung, the Minstrel in the Gallery himself in a brand new guise for the 80s.

This is emphatically not a Tull spin off, although there are broad similarities between it and A, originally planned as an Anderson solo venture, and particularly Under Wraps. The sound is very 80s, with all the Linn drums and artificial bass lines that you'd expect. It's not his finest hour, but it's not the disaster some have said it was either. At this point in his career Anderson had matured as a songwriter, and on this collection he penned some superb lyrics dealing with aspects of contemporary life that would probably not have worked as Tull songs. He was also in good voice for these sessions, particularly on Made in England and Trains, and he adapts his singing style to a very different musical setting effectively. It's stood the test of time a lot better than the likes of Howard Jones or Nik Kershaw, who were writing similar material with a broadly similar sound in the early to mid 80s.

It's an album which shows a different side of Anderson's songwriting, and as such is worth a listen if you're a Tull fan with an open mind.

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Send comments to Syzygy (BETA) | Report this review (#24890)
Posted Monday, January 24, 2005 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
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Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars "Jethro" goes solo

Ian Anderson is of course the major part of Jethro Tull (to the extent that many of the unenlightened think his name is Jethro Tull). Here though he actually undertakes one of his rare solo ventures, assisted only by Peter-John Vettese. Vettese contributes various keyboards and backing (or blouse as Anderson refers to them) vocals, with Anderson performing all else. Song writing duties are either shared, or left to Anderson.

The album consists of ten tracks lasting between three and five minutes each. The opening "Fly by night" sets the scene for the entire album, being a slightly understated, commercial affair. Anderson's vocals are of course unique, and his flute inevitably appears at regular intervals. This naturally means a Jethro Tull feel from time to time, such as on the title track and "Toad in the hole". Overall though, the distinction between Tull and Anderson solo is apparent.

There is a general weakness to the album both in terms of production and the quality of the material. It has an air of being a home made effort, the keyboards in particular sounding like they were played on something you can buy from any catalogue shop. They lack any warmth or depth, causing the album as a whole to suffer in a similar way. The songs sound like Tull rejects, with dull lyrics about train travelling, performing live on stage, and a rather corny PCs vs. relationships comparison entitled "User friendly". Only the Barclay James Harvest tingled final track "Different Germany" rises slightly above the mediocrity, noticeably in the melody department.

There's nothing prog about the album to speak of, and nothing much to excite even ardent Tull fans. Even the sleeve is an unimaginative monochrome affair with a picture of smartened up (!) Anderson, and a colour test card band.

One to avoid.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#24891)
Posted Wednesday, February 16, 2005 | Review Permalink
naji.chmayssa
3 stars It was a surprise when it came out, and a daring one. Once the shock swallowed, one can actually sit back and enjoy this album for what it is, not what it was expected to be. All the songs are good, some are excellent, like Fly By Night, End Game and Made In England.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#24892)
Posted Friday, March 04, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Along with Under Wraps and 'A', this album contains more new age synthesizer than your average Tull album. It is not really all that progressive. But, in my opinion, there are a lot of really good tunes on this album. You can't go wrong with 'Fly by Night' or 'Looking For Eden'. As others have said, there are no weak songs on this album.

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Send comments to digdug (BETA) | Report this review (#38412)
Posted Sunday, July 03, 2005 | Review Permalink
Gatot
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Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Please do not expect that this album is in the vein of early albums of Jethro Tull as it has contained a lot of keyboards / electronic instruments compared to old records of Jethro Tull. It's very close with Jethro Tull "A" album which received significant critiques by many rock music reviewers. "A" was actually intended as Ian's solo album but it turned out to be Jethro Tull's. The opening track "Fly by Night" (3:51) is a nice combination of keyboard and flutework in a good composition. "Made in England" (4:57) is techno music with Ludwig drums via Linn Drum. It has a lack of nice melody and too straightforward with little variations. "Walk into Light" (3:08) is good track exploring further the "serious" vocal of Ian Anderson combined with electronic drumming and keyboard work. Indeed, Ian does a serious vocal here because he uses an excellent singing style. "Trains" (3:18) brings the music in similar vein with previous tracks, performed in medium tempo music.

Even though this album brings good memories for me as it was released when prog music was dying, swept by the new wave and punk music, I still only recommend this album for those who really love Jethro Tull and willing to own any release of Jethro Tull and Ian Anderson albums. For me, the music is too boring especially listening to the music loop through programming. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#42532)
Posted Thursday, August 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
Andrea Cortese
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3 stars Appreciable 80's experimental from Ian Anderson, supported by the talentuous Peter-John Vettese, the keyboard player who joined Jethro Tull in the 80s (albums Broadsword And The Beast-1982; Under Wraps-1984). It's surely not a good JT album, but a good Anderson's one! His continuous tendency to elaborate new sounds and styles has always been appreciated by me who am a JT die-hard fan! Fly By Night it's the best here, also with Different Germany, a created one thinking to a different ending to the second world war...

Lots of electronic instruments here...not for JT or Ian's newcomers, good anyway!

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Send comments to Andrea Cortese (BETA) | Report this review (#44354)
Posted Friday, August 26, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars It's not the best Tull/Anderson album, but it has its moments. Fly By Night, B&W Television have that true dim and uncopiable eighties sound, but they also have that interesting synth-feeling that it gets under your skin. Anderson's political responsiveness may offend some people, but I think it's a fine gesture from him to assume these views (Made in England, Different Germany). If you manage to forget the excellent acoustic moments of the seventies and listen to it as somewhat savvier and politically conscious pop-rock music, it can offer you some fine moments of Anderson's voice. It

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Send comments to nandika (BETA) | Report this review (#83573)
Posted Wednesday, July 12, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars Tend to agreee with the overall grade for this outing, the weakest probably by some good little bit of all of IA's solo efforts, but as very literally always there are bold exceptions. Not enough mention of Looking for Eden, a proud and quite beautiful offering which I wouldn't mind at all seeing reinvestigated. Where on earth indeed are all those songs of Eden. Get a little kick out of Ian's giggle at the end of Toad in the Hole, as if he enjoy's saying it and the juxtaposition of an actual Toad in the Hole and the real time fact of this, to my mind, disgusting British breakfast offering. I recall in involved bangers, or sausages in some utterly disgusting offering,if I recall right,had an English girlfriend at the time of this record, rising out of some kind of egg concoction. Thanks I'll hope for better luck at dinner. The opening track as mentioned elsewhere certainly shines as did one or two others, too lazy to go back up the list and remind myself. As with absolutely any Tull or IA offering there will be something on their of undeniable excellence to merit yet more money leaving the wallet to keep the good ship afloat.

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Send comments to tullist (BETA) | Report this review (#84958)
Posted Thursday, July 27, 2006 | Review Permalink
Evolver
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Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams
3 stars This album should have been much better. The songs are not bad in themselves, with some very Tull-like flourishes. The problem comes from the cheesy 80's synthesizer sounds and completely flat drum tracks. And playing along with sequencers in lieu of a real band made up of live musicians usually produces a lifeless sound. This is no exception. I wonder what this would have sounded like if it had been released by Tull, and not just Anderson and Vitesse.

But again, if you can get past the synths and sequences, the songs are typical Ian Anderson, well written with witty lyrics, and some interesting musical twists.

I'd really rate this 2.5 stars. I'm rounding up because Anderson deserves it.

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Send comments to Evolver (BETA) | Report this review (#210605)
Posted Monday, April 06, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars Ian Anderson's first solo album has been slagged by many die-hard Tull fans who seem to think that a solo album should sound much like the band the musician sprung from. This album does not sound like Tull at all, true. Nor should it. Flute, acoustic guitar and folky songs about Jacks In The Green have been largely replaced by stark electronic instrumentation and songs about technology and the politics of the day. Scraggly Ian of old is replaced on the cover by shorn, business-suit wearing Ian.

The electronics definitely date the album, but for fans looking for something a little different from the usual Tull fare, this album can be a pretty enjoyable listen. Side two contains the real gems of the album, in the form of "Black And White Television", "Toad In The Hole", "Different Germany", and the best track of the album "Looking For Eden".

Overall, a moody, sometimes dark effort with strong melodies and excellent lyrics. A real 'rainy day' album in my book, and one that I've come back to often over the years. Walk Into Light is NOT to be ignored simply because it isn't Minstrel In The Gallery!

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Send comments to Progatron (BETA) | Report this review (#212036)
Posted Tuesday, April 21, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars I think one should have in mind the tendencies of the time when Walk Into Light was issued. There were no serious prog rock efforts in Europe - even the giants like Yes and King Crimson were struggling to accommodate and survive in the new world of electronics, rhythms and videos. For me the appearance of Walk Into Light was a pleasant surprise, especially after the depressing A - the album which seriously shook my faith in JT's ability to make intelligent music any longer. Walk Into Light actually restored that faith (even though it was an Ian's solo project) and helped me stay linked to the JT heritage during the eighties. The quality of this album lies in the fact that Ian Anderson did not make a compromise with his artistic orientation and affinity but rather wisely used the prevailing tendencies of pop music to express himself alternatively, remaining almost equally good as on some the JT classics (Stormwatch for example). There are no trivial elements, so characteristic for the music of the time, each song is brilliantly structured, with beautiful atmosphere, very catchy, hard to forget - if you like Ian Anderson's music of course. In a certain way the album is urban in its profile, with no folk and rustic elements, but definitely without intention of being commercial and appealing to broader public. I give it four stars - two men made a very good album, in the era of obvious musical decadence and banality.

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Send comments to Bilkaim (BETA) | Report this review (#254430)
Posted Saturday, December 05, 2009 | Review Permalink
1 stars Very poor release indeed, with that awful 80's aesthetic (a sort of spiritual plainness, evil keyboards and daemonic drum machines). Very little can be said about this album. Some good melodies here and there that last only a few moments -- in fact, none of the tracks can be considered truly nice. For me, Ian Anderson is a genius and a hero, but 'Walk Into Light' is a widely forgettable material -- and Peter-John Vettese is partially "the great wrongdoer". I see this album merely like an ATTEMPT to remain connected to the CONTEXT of the time rather than as a genuine AUTHORIAL and CREATIVE design.

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Send comments to julianobruni (BETA) | Report this review (#303743)
Posted Wednesday, October 13, 2010 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars I must say I approached this CD with great fear. I had already a bad experience with one Jethro Tull album of the period (Under Warps) and I was thinking this was more of the same. Well, in a way it is, but I should also point out that this is NOT a JT record, so I guess Ian Anderson had the right to do some experimentation as long as he did not use the name of his famous band to try to boost sales and fool the fans. Another point that caught my atention was the fact that half of the songs are written with the help of JT´s keyboardsman at the time, Peter-John Vetesse. Anderson really wanted to do something different! And Vetesse had the honour of being so far the man who wrote more songs with Anderson than any other JY fan over the years.

For the album itself: as one might expected, this is basicly an eletronic record, with lots of synths and drum machines. However, it is interesting to see that it is also, in terms of sounds and songwriting, a much better efford than Under Wraps. Ian is quite inspired here, and Vetesse did a great job in the programming and playing, with intelligent use of techonology and great variety. I really would love if most 80´s eletronic experiments done by so many other musicians turned out to be as good as this one. Ok, this is not as good as anything that Anderson has done with his band in the 70´s, but is still very good anyway. The production is also top notch.

Although some stuff here does seem a little dated (how could it not in those circunstances?), all the songs are good. Ian really let his new partner give something new and he didn´t interfere much, just singing, playing the occasional flute and little else. The results are way better than I expected and the seletion here has all the trademarks of Anderson´s mucis (fine melodies, clever lyrics and strong interpretations). If you don´t mind the obvious 80´s cliches, this is a very good album.

Highlights: Flight By Night, Walk Into Light, Differente Germany and User-Friendly.

Final rating:3,5 stars.

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Send comments to Tarcisio Moura (BETA) | Report this review (#305237)
Posted Monday, October 18, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars Ian Anderson got plagued by the eighties in the same vein Peter Hammill was: trying to catch up with a way of music-making that wasn't possible back in the sixties and seventies and, worse, seemed to be leaving them behind. There's nothing really wrong with playing catch up, sometimes, and yet, the sterility of 1980's production values was only fit for (mostly) bland pop when not employed as a tool for hair metal, not for prog-rockers and their dreams of epicness. This fact didn't prevent them from trying and this (and Tull's Under Wraps the year later) is the result of IA's venture into the world of synths and drum machines.

It may have seemed valid for Ian to make this his first solo record since Tull was still very much a folk-prog band rather than a synthpop one even in the synth-drenched A and Broadsword And The Beast albums, and, on top of all of that, new member Peter John-Vetesse was very much a tech wiz and someone not widely recognized as Tull yet. So both of them started recording Walk Into Light in early 1983 to explored the world of synthpop and the many new tools in midi, programming and sound synthesis, mainly the brand new Rhodes Chroma synth.

Ok, so Walk Into Light isn't prog at all, or not as it is known, but, even though it hasn't dated well at all because of such doubtfull production values, it is definitely progressive, or an attempt to progress into the environment of the time, and, in this, I consider this record a fully accomplished one.

Now, not everything here is good, actually, only more than half is, while the rest is quite bad. "Fly By Night", "Made In England", "Walk Into Light", "Trains", "Looking For Eden", "User Friendly" and "Different Germany" are highlights, while the paranoia and reflection on the deacyed and modern society are very effective in this cold and robotic context, but "Toad In The Hole", "Black And White Television" and "End Game" are enormous letdowns, where even the slightest hint of melody, so needed when you don't have much to pay attention to, fails to be effective.

In the end, Ian decided to bring this experience to Jethro Tull and the result was, obviously, the dreaded Under Wraps. Yet, the biggest problem of UW is a larger number of songs in the vein of "End Game" (Astronomy, Tundra, Heat, Automotive Engineering, General Crossing) and lesser in the spirit of "Made In England" (Lap Of Luxury, Under Wraps 1 and 2, Saboteur, Nobody's Car), that is, atmosphere over catchiness, something that cannot be reached using this technology. If Ian did just the opposite, UW could have been at least listenable.

At the end of the day, I like this album and I like UW, but I'm glad Anderson and Jethro Tull didn't carry on in this direction: such a product of it's time should stay there.

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Send comments to JackFloyd (BETA) | Report this review (#478703)
Posted Friday, July 08, 2011 | Review Permalink
2 stars Even fans are known to savage this album which is understandable for its heavy contribution from Vetesse's keyboards. The typical 80's electric synth sound is similar in some ways to the Jethro Tull effort "Under Wraps" released the following year, but this is mellower. The over all sound certainly isn't for everyone, even not for me all of the time but it remains in my collection nonetheless because it has a lot of things going for it. Lyrically, it's very personal with some nice literate comments and observations, "Made In England" and "Looking For Eden" are the best tracks with their light, folky arrangements and introspective moods over relaxed electronic driven rhythms. Anderson showed fine abilities to pull off something different here. Not a bad album but very dated in places and made up of mostly average pieces. Recommended to fans only.

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Send comments to Frankie Flowers (BETA) | Report this review (#564177)
Posted Tuesday, November 08, 2011 | Review Permalink
tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Crossover Team
4 stars Obviously unpopular with Jethro Tull purists, Ian Amderson's first solo project went against all the classic elements that made Tull such a powerhouse, replacing blues-based guitars and mandolins with synths , machines now handling the bass and drums . "Sacrilege", cried out the cod pieced throngs, already angered by the "Under Wraps" album that instituted in 1984 the electronic phase of JT's career. Poor veteran keyboard whiz John Vettese , still hated by so many for daring to take the formula too far removed from the norm (another TAAB!) but those were the times when Roland and Korg ruled the airwaves and if taken in context (SMS message between prisoners?), this is a brilliant progressive album of imperial songwriting and lush sounds, taking Anderson's visions and words into a personal realm where computers giggle and machines laugh. This was the age of Thomas Dolby and conventional symphonic prog was writhing on its self-imposed deathbed. As ELP stated so brightly, "C'est La Vie"!

"Walk Into Light" is mostly a series of bright and upbeat electronic ditties that are extremely melodic and where the rubbery synths seem to be pulsating and whole. Not a single dud on the set list, in fact I daresay, one of the most solid series of tunes on any JT album. Anderson's lyrical material and vocal delivery rank among his best ever, just listen?.. I guess the purists disliked the musical coating in which these stellar songs were packaged. Aw, get over it! Fans have been whining for photocopies of Aqualung and TAAB for 40 years now! For the gloomy times, this was a masterpiece of progressive rock and progressing with the then available technology. Remember the arid year 1982 and look at yourself with tender mercies.

"Fly by Night" has a fluttering synthesized riff that astounds, colliding with crystalline pianos and Anderson's flute, weaving a strong and bold melody. The vocal is one Ian's best ever, deeply passionate and expressive. "Made in England" is brisk and effervescent, the flute driving the almost Barre-esque guitar riff to frenzy, supplied with some suave synth sounds and orchestrations and another dizzying vocal interpretation. The title track displays some seductive and complex drum programming (a rare success in modern music) whereby Ludwig drums are set off via Linn Drum Computer to great effect. Anderson thrashes a few electric guitars into the mix, giving this a harder edge that is most appealing. The chugging "Trains" combines the Kraftwerk style of Trans Europ Express with some choppy and evocative musical commentary that relies certainly more on the Telex or Dolby style of synth music. "Black and White Television" is perhaps the highlight track, a wry commentary on a primitive society that refuses innovation yet embraces MTV and the music is inquisitive and persuasive. "Looking For Eden" and its scintillating mellotron choir background (done on Emulator) and the whistling musings keep this track whizzing along with utter genius. "User Friendly" is quirky and playful, entirely memorable and fun. The lyrics and the vocal are both inspirational and forceful. "Different Germany" is socio-historic look at 'real politik', as concerns over WW3 were starting to grow into a fever pitch in Europe and as such is a brilliantly symphonic piece of music, evoking the spirit of Camel's underrated "Stationary Traveler" released in 1984 , Latimer's look at the oppressive and brutal East German regime of the Stasi and its Vopos. Vettese lets loose a synth solo for the ages, rapid and expressive. Brilliant closer.

Well, like it or not, Anderson has discussed his reasoning for both this album and the follow up 'Under Wraps' , knowing full well the controversy it spawned but it's the artist who decides and not the public. After all, the demise of prog in the late 70s was caused by music fans unwilling to adapt to new realities and a media demanding hit singles again, which explains why punk did so well for a while. Anderson, to his credit, followed his own conscience and muse, for better or worse.

4.5 sampled chips

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Send comments to tszirmay (BETA) | Report this review (#705259)
Posted Monday, April 02, 2012 | Review Permalink
SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
2 stars 'A part 2' or 'Prelude to Under Wraps'

The early 80's was a turbulent time for Jethro Tull, and indeed for most classic Prog bands. Ian Anderson had already planned to release a first solo album called A (for Anderson) a few years earlier, but as we all know this was eventually released as a Jethro Tull album in 1980 (but strangely it was not given a different title!). Eddie Jobson, who played on A, would not stay for another album and would be replaced by Peter-John Vettese who also plays on the present album. Released in between the two Jethro Tull albums Broadsword And The Beast and Under Wraps, Walk Into Light became the first album that was released under Anderson's own name. Anyone who heard this at the time of its release could not have been too surprised when hearing Under Wraps, as these two albums have a great deal in common. Indeed, it is hard to see any justification for why this one is an Ian Anderson solo album and Under Wraps is a Jethro Tull album. In my opinion, it would have been better if the mediocre Under Wraps too had been released as an Ian Anderson album.

Like Under Wraps, the present album too sounds very much of its time. Both albums are dominated by Peter-John Vettese's synthesisers and drum machines and Ian's vocals. Guitars and flutes are present but they take a back seat throughout. This gives the album a strongly electronic sound. The warm and organic feel of albums like Heavy Horses is completely absent here. The material is not particularly memorable and I am inclined to say that even Under Wraps has better songs!

Only recommended for fans and collectors of everything Tull

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Send comments to SouthSideoftheSky (BETA) | Report this review (#720452)
Posted Tuesday, April 10, 2012 | Review Permalink
2 stars "Fly By Night" - I like this track a great deal. It is very much up beat electronic music accompanied by Anderson's warm vocals. "Made in England" Is a sort of majestic track that is very powerful in parts. "Walk into Light" - I don't really go for this track at all, it's too bop pop for me. "Trains" - as with the previous track I don't go for this, it's an upbeat pop song. "End game" this track is a little more interesting than the previous two but not to any great extent. "Black and White Television" is a dramatic sounding track that partly holds my attention. "Toad in the Hole" again a partly interesting track to me. "Looking for Eden" isn't a bad track at all, in fact I quite like it. "User-friendly" is a pleasant enough upbeat bit of vocal accompanied electronica. "Different Germany" The longest track on the album and it's good in parts.

This is not an album that I will ever listen to again as there is very little on it that holds my interest apart from the two openers and the last track. I'm not a fan of electronic percussion and the album is very pop music flavored in style and result. There is nothing that causes my ears to orgasm here. It isn't a 1 star album in that it is a pleasant fluffy listen but I can't award this more than 2 stars.

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Send comments to sukmytoe (BETA) | Report this review (#943205)
Posted Saturday, April 13, 2013 | Review Permalink

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