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Jethro Tull - Crest Of A Knave CD (album) cover

CREST OF A KNAVE

Jethro Tull

 

Prog Folk

3.23 | 587 ratings

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ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer
3 stars The Tull won the 1989 Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance with this effort, ahead of Metallica ! (this is well known of course).

What is less known though, is that their manager advised them not to go to the ceremony. The band even placed an add in a British music paper saying : "The flute is a heavy, metal instrument" ! (the phenomenal Ian's sense of humour is almost instantly recognizable).

Based on this, it is no wonder that this album is a solid rock one (flirting with hard rock at many times), but by no means it has anything in conjunction with heavy metal. Since I have always preferred their hard rock side than their folk one, I can only be pleased with "Crest".

"Steel Monkey" has some electro pop sounds ("Under Wraps" is not yet totally forgotten) but is rocking alright. "Farm on the Freeway" is a great song : starts quite slow and then builds up like a Dire Straits tune. Cool. The middle section is really great : wild fluting and great backing band. A highlight of this album and really a very good Tull song. Quite variated. "Jump Start" is also a good song. Switching from a bluesy mood to a hard-rocking one. Not unpleasant. "Said She Was a Dancer" starts again like a Dire Straits one. It's a mellow rock ballad. Not really great I must say. "Dogs in the Midwinter" has a good rythm (still those electro sounds at times) and fluting (but this is a general remark for this album in particular). It is a bit monotonous though and somewhat heavy. Then "Budapest" of course. This one starts a bit as "Baker Street Muse" : acoustic, slow tempo. A quiet Ian on vocals. Some guitar work reminds me of a band I already have mentioned twice in this review. The rythm increases and the melody starts to be really catchy. Short instrumental breaks features some great keys and nice acoustic guitar (gypsy style, of course this is "Budapest" right ?

Although it is simpler in its structure than "Baker" (it has less variations and sounds more like a standard song), I would consider it as another Tull epic (the last one being precisely "Baker" from "Minstrel" in ... 1975).

After the flute intro for "Mountain Me" the song really sounds like "High Hopes" from the Floyd. Except that "Mountain Me" was written seven years BEFORE. The similarity is incredible during the first part of the vocals. I found it rather strange that nobody has remarked this so far. It starts then to rock nicely (nothing heavy you know). This is another good song here. Rythm changes : from a slow acoustic to an intrepid electric tone. Martin performs really well here (as he is used to be I should say). A very good song.

This is a pleasant album that I can spin from start to finish without being bored (skipping the last two songs though). Not a masterpiece but still deserving three stars (even 7 out of ten).

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |

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