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Ian Anderson - Homo Erraticus CD (album) cover


Ian Anderson


Prog Folk

3.60 | 226 ratings

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2 stars Starts off with a bang but ends with a wimper. No doubt many will laud this album simply because it's prog. Ian Anderson is a great prog musician and songwriter but his concept albums after 1972's Thick As A Brick simply don't work. Concept albums, like great stories, require great conclusions. For example: a moral, an ironic twist, a revelation of some kind, a feeling of growth and transcendence, etc., whether conveyed by lyrics or music. Marillion found this out when they first came to the anti-climatic ending of Brave. (The song Made Again was hastily assembled and tacked on to the end of Brave in order to give the album a sense of closure. The result was less than stellar.)

TAAB worked because it was a lampoon of the concept album and, believe it or not, prog music with it's self indulgent grandstanding and it's deep impenetrable poetic lyrics (hence the Bostock character). Once Ian and Co. took this concept album business seriously, the result was the ill-fated A Passion Play album. The music on Homo Erraticus is actually pretty enjoyable, if vaguely familiar, because it doesn't sound contrived. However, if anyone can make pre-conceived early era Tull-like music sound spontaneous, it's Anderson. Unfortunately. the music starts off with a bang but runs out of steam pretty quicky too. As far as concepts go, a quick gallop through the ages doesn't work either (unless you're Billy Joel making a corny trite pop song.) I hope Ian Anderson sticks with prog in the future but goes back to albums with stand alone songs. If I remember correctly, Songs From The Wood, Roots To Branches and The Secret Language Of Birds were worth a listen or two, all featuring great stand alone songs.

SteveG | 2/5 |


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