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Ian Anderson - Thick As A Brick 2 [Aka: TAAB2] CD (album) cover


Ian Anderson


Prog Folk

3.75 | 405 ratings

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4 stars One of the worst curses a band can suffer is to debut with a masterpiece, because people will always expect more for the next album, some bands manage to survive, others can't jump over a bar set so high, but to release an icon of a golden era and pretend to make a sequel after 40 years without the original band is almost suicidal, well, IAN ANDERSON took the risk and released Thick as a Brick 2 without JETHRO TULL.

Personally I expected nothing but a pale caricature of one of the top ten releases of Prog history and a terrible reception by the demanding fans, so when I found that TAAB 2 is not in the level of it's glorious predecessor was not a disappointment, by the contrary it was a surprise to discover that it's a fantastic release.

It was also obvious fore me that the choice of recording it with his personal name proved to be the best option, being that he didn't compromised the JETHRO TULL name but also was able to select a group of very capable musicians who without any pressure were able to record an amazing record without having to enter in a lost competition with what hey were able to do 40 years ago.

The band is simply excellent: Ian hasn't lost the voice and his talent with flute and acoustic guitars is invaluable. David Goodier (bass) and Scott Hammond on the drums make a very solid rhythm section, John O'Hara is more than correct with the keys, but the real surprise was Florian Opahle who proved to be an amazing guitarist specially in tracks as Adrift And Dumbfounded being that he was capable to deal with the aggressive and the softer sections with great skills..

When RICK WAKEMAN recorded Return to the Centre of the Earth, he decided not to use any fragment of the original release, IAN ANDERSON did more or less the same except in a couple of tracks like Old School Song and the closer What-ifs, Maybes And Might-Have-Beens where he paid respect to the acclaimed masterpiece without falling in unnecessary nostalgia.

Usually I write song by song reviews, except when talking about conceptual albums, where I care more about the integral product and how the story musically flows, aspects in which I have no complains, because the record captured me from the first to the last note.

Just if somebody is interested about favorite songs I would mention the pastoral Banker Bets, Banker Wins that reminded me more of releases like Heavy Horses or Songs from the Wood more than of Thick as a Brick. But my favorite one is the delicious A Change of Horses, that took me back in time.

Before rating TAAB 2 I must say that the listener should never compare both albums, because Thick as a Brick 2 will not be able to compete, so I recommend to listen it as a new release almost independent of the original and I'm sure tha it will disappoint nobody because the sequel is a mixture of the golden era with a breeze of fresh air from the 21st Century recorded with great class and avoiding unnecessary comparisons.

My rating is 4 solid stars, not a masterpiece, but surely a great addition to any musical collection.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 4/5 |


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