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Jethro Tull - The Zealot Gene CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

3.34 | 190 ratings

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A Crimson Mellotron
Prog Reviewer
2 stars To much surprise Jethro Tull are back in 2022 with their 22nd studio album; Of course, we could say that this is more like Ian Anderson & Co. as the J-Tull main man decided to use the band from his last couple of solo albums to produce the much anticipated 'The Zealot Gene', released on Inside Out Music. Approximately some five years in production, one would easily expect this record to sound much better than it does, but it unfortunately fails in one thing mainly - it is exquisitely tedious.

Very little energy can be felt, none of the signature electrifying tension that characterized so well the beloved 70s Tull albums (even some of the 80s ones) is present, just some old-man folk rock that sounds uninspired (and the pretty well-sounding flute does not save the day), lacking pace and above all, not as charismatic as one might expect from the Ian Anderson-led band; Normally, after his recent problems with his vocal chords, expectations have been that no new Jethro Tull music would ever see the light of day, but the Scottish man never gives up. However, his singing does not really sound all too convincing, as the frailness prevails and the good old powerful voice is nowhere to be heard.

The songs themselves are not that interesting either, a lot of them sound like re-hashes of older leftovers, some sound like unfinished jams, with brief moments of brilliance spread around in certain parts, but the overall listening experience is more painful and indulging rather than necessarily enjoyable - often borderline ridiculous and strikingly cringeworthy, most of the compositions on 'The Zealot Gene' just do not work. Exceptions could be made for songs like 'Shoshanna Sleeping', 'Three Loves, Three' and 'Brief Visitations', with some of the other numbers displaying decent moments as well. But unfortunately, the mediocrity prevails.

Already receiving some mixed reactions, I believe that some would love the new Jethro Tull album, and some would eternally despise it. From my point of view, comparing this to any of their greats, 'The Zealot Gene' seems like a big disappointment, especially given the time spent working on it and all the advertising and promotion. It is not as engaging as something like 'Aqualung', it is not as mysterious as 'This Was' or 'A Passion Play', it is certainly not as proggy and gorgeous as 'TAAB', and it even lacks the swagger of 'Crest of a Knave' and 'Benefit', so we could only conclude that it is easily avoidable and should circulate around fans of the band.

A Crimson Mellotron | 2/5 |


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