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Jethro Tull - Heavy Horses CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

4.04 | 1194 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars With this album and 1977's 'Songs From the Wood,' JETHRO TULL remove the progressive vibe from their music and come up with an album of standard folk-rock with a Celtic feel. This already distances me from the record: I found TULL at their most powerful when they tried to reach as far as they could. This, by contrast, feels regressive to me. A bit like THE WATERBOYS' transformation from 'Big Music' to 'Raggle Taggle band'. Both periods are worthy; I simply prefer my music big.

Yes, TULL are still mad. The end to the first track proves that. But their madness is micro-madness here. Rather than following a young man as he battles with life ('TAAB') or with death and the afterlife ('APP'), here we are encouraged to get cosy with the horses, the moths and the mice. Nice. Some might even say prescient, in these days of Kyoto protocols and carbon miles. But neither musically nor lyrically engaging. I miss the potpourri of tunes that marked out TAAB and APP: there was some hope in 'Minstrel in the Gallery' that they might return on subsequent albums, but thery are largely absent here.

Yes, this album is relaxing, and it makes me reflect on rural life. But it doesn't frighten me like 'Aqualung' did. It doesn't send me to the heights like 'Thick as a Brick.' And it doesn't make me scratch my head like 'A Passion Play.' Most of all, it is the music of a man who has been bitten by the critics and didn't like the toothmarks. He's found his measure and, sadly, it's small compared to the glorious eccentricity of the early 70s.

russellk | 2/5 |


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