Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Jethro Tull - Songs from the Wood CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

4.20 | 1425 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars "With Kitchen Prose, Gutter Rhymes and divers" subtitles the album! Quite a programme as promised by the Mad Flauter. Maybe too much for its own good, actually.

After the real faux-pas of TOTRnR, Tull took a solid breath (of fresh air by moving to the country) and tried to catch their second wind in an effort to salvage a career that was slowly gliding to the ordinary. And with this one album, they will prove that they still had to be "counted with": although the artwork reminded a bit the one of Time Was, it was an English folklore book that inspired a good part of the album but not to the point where he would embrace it as seriously as Comus or Gryphon would've. It must be also signalled that Anderson had produced (and guested on) a Steeleye Span record, which also obviously also inspired him, and this was indeed visible/audible with the present album.

Starting in a minor mode with the supposedly-witty title track and the acoustic follow-up Jack In The Green, we have to wait the awesome Hunting Girl to find something to seek our teeth into: this is easily the A-side's highpoint with its amusing high-class ladies, and thankfully the longest track on there. Before that Cup of Wonder had served a bit as an appetizer, but it still felt to little, three songs into a Tull album. The terrible X-mas carol of Solstice Bells is percussive, but made you happy the needle lifted from the slice of wax. Thankfully the second side starts with the delicious pastoral Velvet Green (despite the classical intro having me fear the worst every time), the superb aptly-titled Whistler (loaded with flutes), the strange and enchanting album-longest Pibroch (a bit plagued by effects on the flute and guitar), with only the short Fire At Midnight being the weakest track on this flipside, but still beating most of the stuff on the other side.

One of the small tiny disappointments is that the tracks lengths are rather conservative, but at least the three best tracks are the longest. TAs often with Tull albums, very/too much sung passages and although there are some instrumental passages, one feels that there is not enough space for interplay. Unlike its predecessor, the string arrangements are more discreet and seem better justified.

The bonus tracks of the remastered reissue are a little less interesting than on some other of their albums, as there is a (useless) live version of Velvet Green, and the very adapted-to-the-album Beltane, though the last minute is just dragging -on. But the truth is that this album did not need bonus tracks to remains an essential mid-70's Tull album, though it is mostly due to an excellent flipside remedying to a weak start. .

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this JETHRO TULL review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives