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J-TULL DOT COM

Jethro Tull

Prog Folk


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Jethro Tull J-Tull Dot Com album cover
3.03 | 285 ratings | 31 reviews | 7% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential


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Studio Album, released in 1999

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Spiral (3:53)
2. Dot Com (4:26)
3. Awol (5:21)
4. Nothing @ All (0:57)
5. Wicked Windows (4:43)
6. Hunt By Numbers (4:03)
7. Hot Mango Flush (3:52)
8. El Nino (4:43)
9. Black Mamba (4:59)
10. Mango Surprise (1:17)
11. Bends Like A Willow (4:54)
12. Far Alaska (4:08)
13. The Dog-Ear Years (3:35)
14. A Gift Of Roses (3:54)
Silence (0:59)
BONUS: The Secret Language Of Birds (4:37)

Total Time: 60:21

Lyrics

Search JETHRO TULL J-Tull Dot Com lyrics

Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Ian Anderson / flute, acoustic guitar, bamboo flute, bouzouki, vocals
- Martin Barre / electric guitar, acoustic guitar
- Andy Giddings / Hammond organ, piano, accordion, chromatic and qwerty keyboards
- Jonathan Noyce / bass
- Doane Perry / drums

Guest musician:
- Najma Akhtar back vocals on track 2

Releases information

CD Papillion BTFLYCD 0001

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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A Passion Play (2xCD+2xDVD)A Passion Play (2xCD+2xDVD)
Rhino 2014
Audio CD$22.83
$22.21 (used)
AqualungAqualung
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Benefit (Deluxe 2xCD+DVD)Benefit (Deluxe 2xCD+DVD)
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JETHRO TULL J-Tull Dot Com ratings distribution


3.03
(285 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(7%)
7%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(25%)
25%
Good, but non-essential (39%)
39%
Collectors/fans only (24%)
24%
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)
5%

JETHRO TULL J-Tull Dot Com reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
2 stars You just knew I was to disagree with the first two advices. For the best album in Years , see its predecessor Roots to Branches as it is much superior and makes this one a minor let-down. I find this one to be on the level of Knave , Rock and Catfish - honest business as usual but certainly not indispensable. As for the cover, it is not horrible and I suppose that the Tramp found the title funny, but most fans don't . As a matter of fact, I was so taken back by that title that I waited quite a while to put an ear to it, as I was afraid of another digital experiment in the sort of dreadful Wraps. So an average album from Tull.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#16863) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Mediocre @ best

All the good stuff is up front here. While J-TULL DOT COM was never going to be another "Thick as a brick", or "Aqualung", it does actually start off quite strongly, with a fine opening track in "Spiral". The following song, "Dot Com", which features the unusual (for Tull) sound of female singer Najma Akhtar, is more pop based. It does however have some pleasant synth work, and a strong melody.

Unfortunately, the momentum is quickly lost, and "J-TULL DOT COM" quickly becomes just another Tull album. The tracks are certainly diverse, ranging from the "Aqualung" like "Hunt by numbers" through the softer "Nothing @ all" to the semi-spoken "Hot Mango Flush". The album is in the main though uninspired, and largely dull.

A hidden track closes the album, preceded by a brief spoken introduction by Ian Anderson. The song is the title one from his solo album "The Secret Language Of Birds".

"J-Tull dot com" shows Tull, and more specifically Anderson, to be very much in cruise control, releasing albums of average pop based songs which lack inspiration or adventure.

(I'm not sure why this album is listed here as the "US release", the UK version is identical)

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#16874) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, May 20, 2005

Review by Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars ".better not remember me. Don't miss my passing."

Thus quoted Ian in the Dot Com album! What about this end of millennium work?

Four years after the stunning Roots To Branches, Jethro Tull tried again to achieve the same success. The odd title's album, derived from the URL of The Official Jethro Tull Website, once again offers an example of how Jethro Tull always chooses it's own course and manages to include and use every actual development in society to build up their sublime art. This way the band chose deliberately to inform fans and others who are interested by offering news regarding the band and their music directly. Whereas the Roots To Branches album offers us an innovative Tull, inspired by all kinds of ethnic musical influences, expressing all different moods and feelings, the new album seems to be a COMPROMISE. From one hand the album features Najma Akhtar, one of India's best known female classical and pop vocalists, who added her lovely female vocal to the beautiful soft title track; from the other hand Ian Anderson seems to return to the remembrance of some 70s "better days" composition as, for example, with A Gift Of Roses: ". I count the hours, you count the days, we count the minutes in this PASSION PLAY.".

The cover art is not of their best: a goat-headed divinity from the ancient Egypt, I think.

Spiral is about the waking-up process in which we spiral out of the dream's state into reality wondering which is the dream and what is reality. The narrator tends to waken up, but is confused (".who's out there, can't hear you."). Notable is the biblical images in this stanza: ".wine to water." and ".loaves and fishes.".

Hunt By Numbers is a hard electric guitar played song about Ian's cats. In the lyrics the moment is described when the cats are about to go out for their nightly hunting. The dark, almost brooding music evokes a threatening athmosphere. For information about Ian's hobby of breeding Bengal cats!!!

There is a slightly Caribbean feel to the music of Hot Mango Flush. Both Martin and Ian spent several holidays in the Caribbean. Ian Anderson at some crowded outdoor market in a small tropical harbour town.".wood smoke, old fish, diesel harbour.", where locals and tourists fill the small streets and look for things they fancy: ".the crowd moves like a flock of starlings.". The music is very strange (positively) and, in particular, the guitar of "Monsieur Le Barre"! This is one of my favourite songs in this 1999 album!

El Niņo (Christ-child) is a word used for the warm current in the Pacific near Ecuador and Peru, that arises around Christmas. Good and interesting acoustic guitar with strong "underlining" by fiery electric guitar!

The best song here is a love song: Bends Like A Willow: beautiful! The Dog-Ear-Years and A Gift Of Roses are more than a resemblance with the Ian Anderson's solo album: The Secret Language Of Birds.

In conclusion: excellent album, not at the same level of the previous JT one (Roots To Branches), not at the same level of the next one (Christmas Album)! My personal rating: 3,5 stars! P.S. NEVER FORGET Jethro Tull!

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Send comments to Andrea Cortese (BETA) | Report this review (#46792) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, September 16, 2005

Review by NJprogfan
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars It's hard to listen to a latter day Tull album after listening to an earlier one (Aqualung), because you do tend to compare. What really sticks out is Ian's voice so far up in the mix. I have to concentrate to hear the bass and/or keys. Don't get me wrong, Ian Anderson's lyrics are what usually drags me in on current Tull albums, but when you look back, the music usually supercedes. Ah, well....musically, the only song that sticks in my head, believe-it-or-not is the semi-rap "Hot Mango Flesh". Other than that, "AWOL" is the most progressive, and "A Gift Of Roses" is the prettiest. Other songs, "Hunt By Numbers', "Spiral", "El Nino" could have been on any Tull album since 1980. There's nothing new here other than the rappish song and maybe "Dot Com" with what I think is the first female backing vocals I've heard on a Tull song. Could be wrong, but....anywho, if you're looking for new ground, forget it. But it's not a bad album by any means, just your basic middle-of-the-road Tull album. Not earth-shattering, but not bad. A solid three-stars.

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Send comments to NJprogfan (BETA) | Report this review (#53585) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, October 27, 2005

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Four long years that the Tull did not release a new studio effort. Did they need this to create a masterpiece or were they short of inspiration ? I'm afraid that it is the latter option that will prevail.

With "Roots" the Tull has deeply explored Oriental flavours. For several numbers here, the same inspiration is valid ("Dot.com", "El Niņo", "Black Mamba"). In the song "El Niņo" Ian speaks about the meteorological phenomenon touching not only Asia but also other parts of the world. He shows his concerns for the climate changes (somewhat premonitory for what will happen with the Tsunami in 2004. I quote the lyrics : "Bathing in uncertainty, another age, seems to wing from T.V. screens in weather rage. Savage retribution makes for a headline feast, Planet-warming, opinion-forming headless beast". Remember, this was written in 1999 ! Their album "Stormwatch" already highlighted Ian's concerns for the future of our planet, but I'm afraid not enough people have listened to it).

Some poor numbers as well like both "Mangos". A heavy one with "Hunt By Numbers". The remaining tracks being rather average.

The numbers I prefer are "Spiral", "AWOL" and "Wicked Windows".

To date, it is the last studio album from the Tull with complete new material ("The Christmas album" features some already released tracks). It is not their best one. Nor was the supporting tour which I happened to attend while they were in Brussels.

I'm afraid that I can not go higher than two stars (even if there is a bonus or hidden track at the end of "A Gift Of Roses "called "The Secret Language Of Birds" which is a quite nice song and superior to most of the tracks of Dot.Com.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#109818) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Review by clarke2001
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Now what?

It would be too much to except the same level as on "Roots To Branches" which just coincidentally (or not?) happened in the 90's, but however, the man is hoping all his life..so I had high expectations for "J-Tull Dot Com" , especially following all that announcements on the Internet...but what's going on, what kind of name is that? Another digital experiment? Hm...I half-expected some sort of a soundtrack for a some Matrix or Mission Impossible-like type of movie, imagining Larry Mullen, pumping bass and techno rhythm. With Ian's sore throat and hollow bamboo flute. Ian jumping around dressed up as a tramp in a decor of virtual reality, surrounded by 3D-Matrix of neon-green Chinese ideograms.

Luckily, no, it's just a regular studio album, but unfortunately, it's just...a regular studio album. I have some sort of impression about a loose concept (or rather theme) of this album: the globalisation, the world as a global village, more than ever now when we have Internet.

OK, that was just a thought, I won't mention it again, we all know what he thinks about concept albums.

However, the album holds 50:50 ratio of good and mediocre songs, for example, "Dot Com" is a good one, with Najma Akthar (God! What is she doing here?) on backing vocals and a lovely synth and bass background, producing some sort of early 80's nightdriving mood, reminding me a lot of Paul YOUNG circa "No Parlez" period. Yes, that's a compliment.

(On a side note, this is not the first time TULL engaged a female backing vocals; they did it in the seventies. But just for live performances. It seems that those girls were quite ugly, and Ian wasn't trying to start anything with them in-between gigs, but John Evan was quite horny which led to...but I'm way off topic now.)

Other examples of good tracks here are "Nothing @ All" (not to be confused with the song with almost identical title from "Minstrel"). It's only an intro for "Wicked Windows", but it's awesome. The only track written by Giddins.

"Hunt By Numbers" and "El Nino" are both very heavy, perhaps the heaviest songs from the band's catalogue, and both very enjoyable, too.

"Dog-Ear Years" an "A Gift Of Roses" are nice too, both more acoustic oriented, in the more "traditional" TULL style. The same goes for non-credited bonus track, which is actually a song from announced Ian's solo album. And it's good song too, which makes me think, perhaps Ian "saved" the better songs for his solo effort? Because other tracks here are not top notch songwriting (if you don't count the lyrics which are always interesting to say the least).

After this one, no-one is sure which path will TULL take in the future: another masterpiece or another fiasco? Even now when I'm writing this, 8 years (!) after the release, and after some other releases in the meantime, we are all still expecting something more...

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Send comments to clarke2001 (BETA) | Report this review (#125927) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, June 15, 2007

Review by febus
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam
2 stars JUST ANOTHER JETHRO TULL ALBUM!

Again 4 years have passed since ROOTS TO BRANCHES when J-TULL DOT COM was released in 1999.I guess the inspiration and creativity tank of IAN ANDERSON was not as active as it was in the past; i don't think there is nothing wrong with that as the same thing happened with a lot of his contemporary peers such as ROGER WATERS ,GILMOUR, KC, YES and others who release new albums once in a blue moon. As of this year, 2007, 8 years later, J-TULL DOT COM is still their last current studio release. I am not sure now if there will be even another one in the future.

J-TULL DOT COM is not a masterpiece by any means, definitely not an ''excellent addition to any prog collection'' either. This is just a middle of the road JT release, its quality and originality well below ROOTS TO BRANCHES. This is not a bad album either as it is relatively pleasant to listen to it, but rarely it will make you shiver of emotion or jump to the ceiling from excitement.

JETHRO TULL keeps the same path than its predecessor as the sound adventures more and more into world music. The Asian influence is once again to be heard on many tracks such as DOT COM, a complete Asian experience with even ...a female Indian singer , BLACK MAMBA or WICKED WINDOWS.Now also, we get some carribean sounds with the,,,,yes, a BARRE song! HOT MANGO FLUSH. As the title indicates, we are NOT treated to a very elaborated song, i kind of understand why the guitarist don't write more for the band.

This is a more pop feel in the compositions; the longest songs AWOL clocks at 5:19s. As i said there are no really bad songs, but a quite a few un-memorable ones such as BENDS LIKE A WILLOW or EL NINO.The hard rocking SPIRAL and WICKED WINDOWS are the best of the bunch for me, but none would make it to any JT best-of......and there are A LOT of JT compilations.

I don't like to be harsh with JETHRO TULL as i like a lot of their music, but i have to be honest with this one: only.......

2 STARS.

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Send comments to febus (BETA) | Report this review (#135694) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, September 01, 2007

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Jethro Tull can be considered as one of pioneers of progressive rock which initially (end of 60s) explored their music in blues arena, combined with rock. Their music is characterized by the flute work, sometimes combined with dynamic acoustic guitar, and distinctive vocal style by Ian Anderson who also plays flute. Their "Thick As A Brick" has recently claimed by the reviewers of ProgArchives as The Most Pouplar Prog album of all time.

"J-Tull Dot Com" was their 1999 effort to promote their website. Musically, it's quite similar with their previous "Roots to Branches" album which basically a stratight rock music with evocative flute work. You would not find anything like "Aqualung" or "My God" or "Bakes St. Muse" or "Cross Eyed Marry" right here in this album. There is basically no catchy song that truly stirs your emotion. But, let's put it this way :

This album satisfies the expectation of flute-hungry prog lovers!

It depends on you whether or not you consider that flute is an enjoyable part in progressive music. For me personally, yes! In fact, I really admire those bands who use flute in rock style, including Focus and there was band from Hollands which sometimes used flute: Golden Earrings. I actually also love violin, in addition to flute, to be used in progressive rock music. Just imagine Genesis "Firth of Fifth" which sounds truly brillian with flute. Or, early King Crimson using violin (played by David Cross).

This album does not sound pretentious as typical old progressive rock tunes. However, I believe you would agree with me that the composition is tight with layers of eastern music. Even from the opening track you can feel it and it continues with other tracks. What also interesting is the use of guitar riffs reminiscence their "Aqualung" day, as you can find in "Hunt By Numbers" which has great guitar riffs in vintage style, blended wonderfully by flute work and accentuated singing style by Anderson. Also, other excellent riffs using guitar you can find in "El Nino". In fact, you can sense a bit of progressive metal vein even though the song itself is not metal at all.

Overall, I truly admire Jethro Tull with their ability to make this good album especially through tight composition while maintaining their music characteristics. Pick any song in this album, and ask your progmate to guess whose music is it? Your progmate would definitely say: "It's TULL!!!" (or, if he is a bit of wrong, he might say "Anderson" .. but it's okay.). Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW (i-Rock! Music Community)

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#179237) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, August 09, 2008

Review by b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This album J-Tull Dot com has mixed reviews here, from bad to good and excellent. I'm in second category, and i mean this is above good, is excellent addition to my collection. I simply enjoy this album very much and i considered to be the best Jethro Tull album since Broad sword and the beast. It has everything to be a good album, inspired pieces, great flute interplays and a lighter sound. Anderson is in good form, his voice is much smoother than on predecesors, but good. The title of the album is taken from thier web site J-Tull dot com, they try it to promote their web site through the album, a good choice and quite inventive i might say. The music as always is very fine with flute works on every piece, nice guitar chops by the veteran Martin Barre and excellent drum parts by Doane Perry. The keyboards sounds very smooth but as mood needed very eclectic and solid with strong shifts on Hammond and piano - the master is Andy Giddings. The best pieces are Spiral , Dot com - with a femele guest Najma Akhtar who gives a solid arabian feel to it, El Nino (the guitar sounds almost heavy metal, but is very ok) and Bends like a willow , the rest are ok. Someting must be mentioned, is that Anderson has a great ability to compose diverse pieces but keeping the main characteritics of Jethro Tull. So all in all an excelent album in my opinion, desearve much better view, 4 stars.

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Send comments to b_olariu (BETA) | Report this review (#182232) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, September 12, 2008

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
4 stars I don't understand why this album is rated so low. To be sure, it is not as good as the fantastic Roots To Branches album, but most things are not as good as that! With the exception of Roots To Branches, J-Tull Dot Com was easily the best Jethro Tull album for a long, long time.

Dot Com continues basically where Roots To Branches left off, the eastern influenced melodies that made that album such a big success is still here on several songs. The guitar sound has that same hard rock/metal sound to it on several songs. The flutes are varied and incredibly well played and well recorded. While listening to this album in my headphones, it sounds as if Ian Anderson is standing right behind me! The keyboards are allowed more space than on most Jethro Tull albums, and they sound great!

The vocals are great too and Ian sounds more energized here than on most of the bands 80's and 90's albums. The songs are generally short, but this does not mean that they are simple. Short songs can be progressive too, you know! And these songs are.

The general tone of the album is a bit more laid back, and a little bit less serious than the darker Roots To Branches. But this is not a whimsical piece of work. The songs fit very well together to make up a full, coherent album. Though, I admit it took a couple of listenings before the songs in the middle started to sound great to my ears.

Jehtro Tull continues to mesmerize me with this album and even if it certainly isn't the best of the band's many albums, I would not hesitate to hold this album up as an exemplar of the kind of music I like. That a band could make such interesting music after more than 30 years in the business is simply stunning.

Highly recommended!

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Send comments to SouthSideoftheSky (BETA) | Report this review (#188724) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, November 10, 2008

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams
3 stars It's been over ten years since it's release, and it's still the last fully original Jethro Tull studio album. Let's hope it won't stay that way.

I must admit that I was one of those who were disappointed at first by this album. Even now, it does not match up well againt the previous album, Roots To Branches.

The album does not start well. The first three tracks sound more like adult contemporary than prog, albeit Tull-flavored adult contemporary. It's not until Nothing @ All that the band begins to get it's mojo working. Wicked Windows picks things up, and by the time we get to Hot Mango Flush, and interesting blend of Tull and Caribbean music, we now have what could only be called adult contemporary prog. And it suits Ian Anderson's aging voice much better than the harder rock he had been trying to sing a few albums previously.

El Nino mixes the Eastern style used on Roots To Branches with a bit of South American, but it has a boring chorus that is saved by some fine guitar by Martin Barre. The album begins to fall back toward the blandness of the first few songs when Far Alaska, the best song on the album, comes to save the day.

This is definitely a mixed bag, the band is certainly mellowing out, but there are enough surprises to make it worthwhile.

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Send comments to Evolver (BETA) | Report this review (#273052) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, March 19, 2010

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
1 stars Well no-one said Jethro Tull had to remain good, least which they care even less having enjoyed such a long history of wonderful releases. This release from 1999 does puzzle me as it is very poor indeed. I am kind of thinking that with the album title and all the Y2K compliance issues we had at the time moving into a new millenium that this was just a marketing tool to assist in revived CD sales. So as far as the album goes there are a few OK numbers like " Hot Mango Flush", dreadlock holiday anybody? " Black Mamba" and the bonus track referencing Ian Anderson's solo " The Secret Language Of Birds". Essentially this is a Jethro Tull template release and as such very poor and recommended for completionists only.

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Send comments to Chris S (BETA) | Report this review (#301646) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, October 02, 2010

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
4 stars 'J-Tull Dot Com' is not a popular album among the Tullite faithful but this is actually a solid consistent album with great melodies and excellent musicianship.

I chanced upon this album when I walked in to the library to borrow some books and Cds and there was a shelf with a sign, 'All ex rental CDs $1'. I had to look of course and the usual rubbish was sitting there, country, classical, old stuff and albums that made no impact whatsoever. Imagine my surprise when I picked this one up. Okay, I reasoned it's Tull in the late 90s so perhaps a dud but even if at least 3 songs are decent it is worth the effort. I played it in the car on the way home and I was amazed at how good this is. It does not get a lot of love round here but this is actually quite heavy and has some memorable riffs and melodies, and the flute is superb.

Check out Barre's riffing on 'Hunt By Numbers' and Anderson sounds serious and very accomplished vocally. His flute warbles manically and is as good as I have heard him. The shimmer of Hammond is heard and the drumming is exceptional. Why all the hate proggers? Okay it's not 'Thick as a Brick', but what is? I am not going to compare this with the 70s as that's a useless feat, but in itself this album is entertaining and there are no bad tracks. It actually has an incredible song 'Spiral' that kicks off the album admirably. This is followed by 2 excellent innovative tracks, 'Dot Com' and Awol'. 'Nothing @ All' is certainly one of the highlights, with dazzling flute and guitar. The songs are progressive and inventive throughout.

The acoustics are here too with songs such as 'Hot Mango Flush'. The lyrics of this are fun; 'ladies with ice cream hair, gyroscopic pink neon beams, everybody's happy about something.' There is even a King Crimson like rhythm and wonderful bassline. What's not to like? This is followed by the Arabian feel of 'El Nino' that is captivating and mysterious. The chorus has a metal style distorted riff, some of the heaviest from Barre. 'Black Mamba' is a flute feast and some wonderful melodic singing. Anderson goes for a darker tone than the whimsy of the past and it works.

He still knows how to tell a story such as on the enigmatic 'Bends Like a Willow.' The trade offs of guitar and flute in this is superb. The time sigs change a few times too and I like this more experimental approach for the band. 'Far Alaska' has a frenetic flute line and very cool guitar phrases. The lyrics are intriguing; 'Norwegian fiords in the ever-light of Solstice' and 'now get me out of here I cry in air rage psycho-doom.' The lead break is great and some synth in mellotron style.

Overall I can't fault this album and, like 'Roots to Branches', it definitely is a welcome heavier side of the band in terms of Barre's guitars and Anderson's perfect vocals. It is a different side of Tull but one that I admired due to the way that the band demonstrate they can still produce innovative prog albums in the wake of a slew of fairly pedestrian releases in the 80s, that Tull had churned out previously. I would rate this as one of Tull's best and the best $1 I have spent!

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Send comments to AtomicCrimsonRush (BETA) | Report this review (#660996) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, March 16, 2012

Review by Chicapah
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars As a young cub I was an avid fan of Jethro Tull up until "Aqualung" came along. I realize that the majority of folks consider that record to be a brilliant milestone but in my mind it ruined their mystique and made them sound ordinary and imitative. I quickly got over my disappointment, though, and moved on to adore other prog pioneers like Yes, Genesis and ELP who tickled my fancy just as convincingly. About six years ago I decided to start catching up with the group's subsequent product one album at a time, concentrating mainly on the records they released from '72 to '87. You see, one of the few advantages of aging is that elapsed decades grant perspective. Some were good, some were excellent and some were lousy. I didn't hold out much hope for being impressed with anything that came after the oddly confounding "Crest of a Knave" and skipped ahead to their most recent studio creation, 1999's "J-Tull Dot Com," just to see where they ended up. I feared the worst but was pleasantly surprised by it. The music is fresh, not dated at all, and it seems they were no longer trying to beat their listeners over the head anymore. They've matured and mellowed like a fine wine. Just like I have.

Unfortunately, they open with the least attractive song on the disc, "Spiral." My initial impression was that they were foolishly attempting to live up to the misapplied label the Grammys stuck on them when they awarded the very first hard rock/metal LP-of-the-year trophy to them in the late 80s. Perhaps I'm mistaken and they weren't doing anything of the sort but they do cop a very noisy, aggressive attitude musically on the verses and choruses while, in their favor, during the middle instrumental section they back off and achieve a decent level of progginess. The positive news to come out of this cut is that Ian Anderson's nagging vocal ills appear to be behind him at last. "Dot Com" is next and it's an endearing throwback to Tull's formative stage. The tune's subtle, smooth mien fits them better and Ian's flute playing is shockingly good. What I like best about it is that it deserves to be crowned with a moniker I find to be woefully rare these days: Interesting. "AWOL" follows and it's even more of a step up. I truly admire their not abandoning their imaginative prog mindset and choosing to continue to boldly mix folkish melodies with contemporary rock instrumentation, something they've done better than anyone else since '68. This number is primo JT material and proves that they haven't lost contact with their unique genius. "Nothing at All" is a short but superb solo piano intro to "Wicked Windows," a strangely-arranged rocker possessing a light jazz coloring that tints the atmosphere ever so slightly. I admire the complex nature of the song but, in all honesty, I find nothing to lock into or focus upon. "Hunt by Numbers" is uneven. Martin Barre's electric guitar tone isn't as brash and brittle as in the past but the band struggles when they base a tune so heavily on a riff. Gotta hand it to Ian, though. He tears it up on the flute spectacularly.

At this point the album could've disastrously headed south but, instead, it improves dramatically via the fun, eclectic "Hot Mango Flush." As if Jimmy Buffett woke up one morning in Progland instead of Margaritaville, this delightful cut features a tasty blend of acoustic and electric guitars that anchor an intriguing, motivational groove. At the same time, they don't shy away from taking some complicated detours from the norm. "El Nino" is one of those songs that's hard to describe because it's so schizophrenic, turning on a dime from light to dark repeatedly. It may not be greatness but boring it surely ain't. "Black Mamba" is a cool rocker driven by alternating measures of 8/8 and 6/8 time signatures that wisely avoids overexploiting Barre's guitar line, allowing the stirring orchestration to augment the central melody Led Zeppelin style. "Mango Surprise" is a brief semi-reprise of the earlier tune but this time the theme is presented inside a playful yet strong percussion presence. "Bends Like a Willow" is a small step back, an inauspicious rock ditty that at least contains a somewhat adventurous instrumental interlude. The remainder of the record is top-notch, though, beginning with "Far Alaska." It's another nostalgic revisiting of their stupendous "Stand Up" era when they liberally indulged in blues, jazz, folk and rock & roll flavorings without asking anyone's permission to do so. I love it when they break all the rules as they do here. "The Dog-Ear Years" offers evidence that modern studio technology suits them quite well as they're more able than ever before to weave a myriad of tracks of various instrumentation together without any of them clashing or cluttering up the overall ambience. They end with "A Gift of Roses," a wonderful tune that assures proggers worldwide that progressive folk fare is not only upright and breathing but has the potential to thrive in the 21st century if the new generation will take the baton and run with it. The track's tactful accordion adds character to the number and, if you're anything like me; it leaves you with a satisfied smile on your mug.

No doubt, Jethro Tull's glory days are over and this could possibly be the final "official" album from them we'll ever hear as evidenced by 2012's "TAAB 2" being released as principally an Ian Anderson solo project. (The JT Christmas record from '03 belongs in a different category altogether, I suspect.) If that's the case then I'm content and I applaud them for going out on a high note with "J-Tull Dot Com." They certainly outlasted most of their prog peers and didn't take shortcuts or make lame excuses about being too old to rock & roll anymore when they got down to business and produced this one. It's a more-than-respectable record that has many more ups than downs so I don't hesitate to recommend it. 3.5 stars.

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Send comments to Chicapah (BETA) | Report this review (#768500) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, June 09, 2012

Latest members reviews

3 stars Underrated at most, but I think this is their best since Crest of A Knave. Is not popular and very different. J Tull Dot Com was a great surprise after all the poor material. I will say something strange, but one of my favorite moments of the album is Nothing @ All (a very short track, almo ... (read more)

Report this review (#991871) | Posted by VOTOMS | Thursday, July 04, 2013 | Review Permanlink

3 stars "Spiral" is a very strong hard rocking track to open this review with. "Bends like a Willow" is a track that could have come off of the previous release and it is pleasant to the ears. "Awol" is just ok for me until a third of the way through the track when my ears prick up and the track becom ... (read more)

Report this review (#943201) | Posted by sukmytoe | Saturday, April 13, 2013 | Review Permanlink

2 stars For this reviewer, Jethro Tull's studio output has been quite inconsistent since "Crest of a Knave". Not to say that they didn't come up with any great songs within those albums. "Roots To Branches" was a really good album and this one followed it three years later. I must say, the musicianshi ... (read more)

Report this review (#800134) | Posted by Frankie Flowers | Saturday, August 04, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I don't understand the excessively low rating for this record. Tull are in fine (and self-enforcedly dated) form, dwelling on thoughts of age, electronics, and cats. The record slides into the unfortunate tendency of late-90's prog to address the meaning and menace of emergent technologies, but t ... (read more)

Report this review (#423749) | Posted by Lozlan | Sunday, March 27, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars A very difficult album to review! Althouth this is a far cry from their best material it still has a lot of punch. Martin Barre's guitar is still one the heaviest that exists on planet earth and the instrumental prowess of all the musicians envolved is (as usual for this band) fenomenal. The b ... (read more)

Report this review (#337015) | Posted by unarmedman | Sunday, November 28, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars And it comes to this....This is a hard album to rate. There is much on this that I really like. Some really strong tracks- "Spiral", "Black Mamba", "Bends LIke a Willow", and "A Gift of Roses". Everything else hera I find to be either weak "Dot Com", "Awol", or "Far Alaska", or just REALLY bad ... (read more)

Report this review (#297167) | Posted by mohaveman | Thursday, September 02, 2010 | Review Permanlink

1 stars This is the album that made me stop buying music by Ian Anderson. Thank God I was owning all other Tull records by then. therefore I know what I expect from a Tull Album. This one is a complete mess - even worse than Under Wraps. Under Wraps had awful instrumentation but good songs - with do ... (read more)

Report this review (#163022) | Posted by strayfromatlantis | Sunday, March 02, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Some very good songs on this album. Awol, Wicked windows, Dotcom, Dog ear years and Far Alaska are all very good songs. An outtake song called It all trickles down is also very good and should have been included on the album. Hot Mango flush is also quite cool, while there are another 3 or 4 good ... (read more)

Report this review (#114762) | Posted by raindance2007 | Saturday, March 10, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I finally caught up with this album a couple of days ago and can't stop listening to it. Just can't understand why so many other reviewers are 'down' on it. To me, this is Tull's most consistent and engaging work since the 70's and Barre is on form with a modern twist. Another positive is that ... (read more)

Report this review (#110491) | Posted by Marky | Friday, February 02, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I don't know what to do with this one. There is a bunch of good songs here, but overall it's too much of Caribic feeling and songs that could be on solo Ian Anderson albums. Spiral, Dot Com, Hunt Bt Numbers, A Gift Of Roses and my favourite Wicked Windows are very good tracks (exept Wicked Window ... (read more)

Report this review (#105000) | Posted by Deepslumber | Sunday, December 31, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Strange but ingenious rhymts and melodies! Even for JT and Ian a masterpiece of essential music... but not of Prog music. Wen I listened to it for the first time I found it pretty weird but I found the melodies good. I know this is actually more mixed influences than really Prog or Art but the ... (read more)

Report this review (#96064) | Posted by Grake Leg | Saturday, October 28, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I have only recently become much aware of JT's music so comparing the modern music to the 70s material is not something for me to do at this point (having heard only scattered songs here and there). That said, J Tull Dot Com churned out a better time than I was expecting given their sporadic a ... (read more)

Report this review (#74259) | Posted by | Thursday, April 06, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars In my opinion this is not essential Tull but anyway is a very well done album. The reason is that this album is difficult to hear, it must be heared more times because at first hearing one can't appreciate it at all. And the cover is Ian's painting. It is a picture of an Egyptian god, Chnubis wh ... (read more)

Report this review (#16875) | Posted by | Friday, May 27, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars If i would have to choose an album of the last Jethro Tull 20 years, i choose this with no doubt. Even more than "Crest of a Knave". The elements of the Jethro Tull sound are here with some modern concepts. Anderson shows himself one more time as a great melodies creator. And bamboo flute ... (read more)

Report this review (#16873) | Posted by incubus | Thursday, May 12, 2005 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This is not the best Tull album , but it has a consistently high standard and contains many elements enjoyed by Tull fans since 1967. That is where this release shows its shortcomings .Unllike the brilliant roots which has a real identity Dot Com is almost an amalgam of Tull riffs and ideas ... (read more)

Report this review (#16872) | Posted by platform | Thursday, August 05, 2004 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I think that the music is not toobad, in fact, there are many good themes, not the same level than the past years.I didn't buy this disc because the cover design is horrible. What is that animal? Do they want to represent something evil? I hope better ideas for Ian and his excellent group. ... (read more)

Report this review (#16870) | Posted by | Wednesday, July 07, 2004 | Review Permanlink

4 stars maybe the title of this album it's not necessary what I expected from the band but the content of this album is great. More blues influences than on ' Roots' but it sounds less orchestral than prevoius one... ... (read more)

Report this review (#16868) | Posted by l-s-d | Thursday, February 26, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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