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Jethro Tull - Songs From The Wood CD (album) cover

SONGS FROM THE WOOD

Jethro Tull

 

Prog Folk

4.18 | 1254 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Lupton
5 stars After producing the classic Thick as a Brick album, Jethro Tull seems to struggle to come up with a strong follow- up.By the time of the alarmingly lacklastre Too Old To Rock And Roll Album released in 1976 their career seems to be on a downward spiral. Their next album 1977's Songs From The Wood was a stunning return to form and is my personal favourite by this band.

The opening title track is for me the definitive Jethro Tull track. With its richly harmonized a Capella opening, the song quickly develops into a stunning tour de force with its constantly shifting rhythms and ornate instrumentation. The musical backing continues to build and build as the song progresses in a most exhilarating manner. Jethro Tull have used this combination of additive rhythms and textural layering before but never as effectively as here and all in under five minutes.

The rest of the album does not disappoint.The next track" Jack in The Green" is a delightful acoustic song- essentially just Ian Anderson playing all the instruments. Cup of wonder is a wonderfully upbeat flute led track with a bouncy and complex rhythm. Hunting Girl gallops along nicely is probably the closest thing to straight ahead rock with some blistering guitar playing by Martin Barre.Ring Out Solstice Bells is quite a poppy number and was originally released on an EP the previous year.And that is just Side1.

Side 2 opens with Velvet Green which is a wonderful slice of Renaissance influenced progressive rock and incorporates a particularly complex instrumental section incorporating flute, portative organ and medieval drums.The opening harpsichord led passage is perhaps a little cod but really adds to the Early Music ambiance.Next to the Title track it is probably the most sophisticated track on the album.The following track, "The Whistler" is another whimsical and quirky upbeat song with a particularly complex and exhilarating whistle break coming after each chorus.Only "Pibroch" the penultimate track brings the mood down with a rather somber tale of a man being cheated on by his wife and at over eight minutes long is a tad long. Nevertheless, it is still highly inventive with Barre's guitar replicating the sounds of bagpipes long before the 80's band,Big Country tried to do the same thing.The final track is a fairly slight but upbeat song with yet another flute led instrumental section.

All in all this is a true masterpiece and arguably the most repeat listenable album they ever created. A solid 5 stars

Lupton | 5/5 |

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