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Jethro Tull - Aqualung CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

4.36 | 2707 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars This album gets some very serious praise from fans, and there is good reason for this.

Finally, finally, the band gets the blend between melodic composition, progressive complexity, and rock-based intensity. All of this is evident in the famous opening title track. We are graced with six and a half minutes of shifting riffs and clever melodies. This song, however, is one of the last throwbacks to the more standard rock-oriented albums previous in the Jethro Tull discography. From there, the album moves forward, dipping more and more towards the forthcoming folk sound that will dominate their future albums, and also plugging away with much more flute work. Each of the tracks that continue on the first half of this release flow together nicely, creating the popular illusion that Aqualung is a concept album, though it is merely a collection of thematically linked songs.

The second side is stronger to my ears. Kicking it off with My God, a song notably parallel to the title track, we begin to see some of Tull's more experimental styles. In the middle of the track, we get a flute solo over some form of ecclesiastic chanting, giving it a wonderful gothic feel if only for a few seconds. The second song here, Hymn 43, is a very upbeat one with tinkling piano and a catchy vocal line (though instead of Jesus, save me I always here Jesus, hit me). The popular radio tune Locomotive Breath guns along with a further blend of their former rock and some newfangled sort of prog intent. The side closer, Wind Up, is another of my personal favorite tunes. It covers a wide range of melodies and riffs, shifting back and forth and just sort of generally confusing people.

This is a high quality release by Jethro Tull. They come into their own with this release, and they prove that they aren't just a novelty rock band with a flute. I can't say this album is mandatory for all prog fans like Thick as a Brick is, but it is up there. If you get any other Tull album aside from Thick as a Brick, make it Aqualung.

LiquidEternity | 4/5 |


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