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Ian Anderson - Rupi's Dance CD (album) cover


Ian Anderson


Prog Folk

3.69 | 167 ratings

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4 stars For many music lovers, including myself, the acquaintance with an album begins with its cover art. When executed correctly, It sets the tone and the mood. It introduces the concept. It gives you the first bearings of the album's direction, allowing you to tune in faster.

I remember looking at the Rupi's Dance CD cover, back in the fall of 2003, when it was first issued. I pondered the picture of an ageing "eccentric one-legged flautist" I had known from before, accompanied by a cute black kitten. I wasn't sure what it meant, but it touched some strings deep inside. I had to have it, there and then.

I clearly remember it was in the Heath Row airport in London, England, in one of those rip-off stores that take advantage of jet-lagged, disoriented transatlantic travelers. The CD was outrageously expensive ... 22.00, I think. I bought it and started listening to it on my laptop, while in a waiting lounge.

I thought Rupi's Dance would (hopefully) take me to the Tull's memory lane, and it did, but more importantly, I found myself making an unexpected excursion into the depth of Europe. Have you ever had this curious "homesick" feeling for places you have never been to? Like, wouldn't you wish you were sitting in this little Italian/Serbian/Portuguese cafe, on a leafy cobbled street named after a guy who had lived and died centuries before Columbus sailed off to "India". Drinking coffee as thick as yellow pea soup, watching in slo-mo the sand of time trickle between your fingers. But, this is a prog forum, so we shan't digress any more.

Back to the Tull experience: having listened to Rupi's Dance a few times, I conceived a disturbing thought: what if there had never been such thing as Jethro Tull band? Only a mighty Nordic deity Ian Anderson, towering over a couple of musicians who played along with him?

Because Rupi's Dance is more Jethro Tull than anything else. Granted, somewhat tamer, smoother and more melancholic than their prominent 1970's efforts, but still the same relentless Jethro Tull we knew - adorned with the appropriate signs of graceful ageing.

The music is really pretty and tasteful. If you like what's now called prog-folk, you'll enjoy the whole 50+ minutes of Rupi's dance. The lyrics is witty. The band is great, and all the sound engineering technicalities are perfect. The flute is still there, and is being put to a good use. Wish this album was available on vinyl, but one can't have everything, can one?

Since Rupi's Dance really isn't opening any new frontiers, I will assign it 4 stars, even though it's probably more like 9/10.

Argonaught | 4/5 |


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