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Jethro Tull - Rock Island CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

2.71 | 524 ratings

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Eetu Pellonpaa
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars This album with a cool cover pic has some very commercial oriented rock music on it, but as for such product I consider it as a quite good record. Sadly there are not much artistic efforts to be found from it however, the main focus being on quite easy pleasing from the rock'n'roll riff appreciations. The opener "Kissing Willie" has a nice guitar theme which should smash this hit to memory of any listener. As a song it reminds of ZZ Top with some flute lines, and this characterization sadly fits to the most of the songs here. "The Rattlesnake Trail" has nice bluesy opening riffs, but the main song won't venture to this direction. All of the songs are written by Ian Anderson, and he also plays even drums on some tracks, so this album can be seen as being very heavily a product of his own choice. "Ears Of Tin" has a fine opening with flutes and classical maneuvers, and the song combines elements of slow ballad and a bluesy rock anthem, creating a quite pretty song. Personally I just didn't like the country music oriented solo guitar and the party hi-hats. "Undressed to Kill" sounds then like a song directly from the last Dire Straits studio album of the 90's, also having a fade-out ending during a solo (sarcastic applauses). The title song "Rock Island" starts with a calm impressionistic section, bringing some basic pop rock outbursts in the middle of it. Later the nearly seven minutes long song evolves as a fast instrumental with lots of good playing. "Heavy Water" confirms my growing feeling, that this album is full of great openings, which degenerate as basic pop rock songs from the late 1980's. Melodies are though catchy, and there are lots of small but professional arrangements done in the compositions. "Another Christmas Song" ended also to the Jethro Tull's Christmas album, and it truly holds the Christmas feeling in its melody and sounds. The other longer track here, "The Whaler's Dues" running nearly eight minutes, begins again promisingly with ethereal synthesizers and the calls of guitar and flute. The track luckily continues with delicate manners and fine lyrics, and makes it as the best track of this album. "Big Riff and Mando" builds up from a bluesy hard rock riff and a more folky troubadour theme. Though there are some interesting rhythmic changes in the composition, there are also quite annoying hard rock movements here too, making the full appreciation very hard. "Strange Avenues" quits the album with some mystical and beautiful licks. If there would have been more this kind of stuff on the album, it could have made a a really nice record. There are also total number of six fade out endings on the ten tracks on the album, which will soon fade out from my music collection and end ups to the shop of used records.
Eetu Pellonpaa | 2/5 |


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