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Jethro Tull - Rock Island CD (album) cover

ROCK ISLAND

Jethro Tull

 

Prog Folk

2.69 | 441 ratings

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ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer
3 stars As far as I am concerned, their previous and quite rocking album was a halt to the last two poor studio albums the Tull has produced ("Under Wraps" and "A Classic Case"). So, what to expect from "Rock Island" ?

With such a title, I can only hope that they are going to be rocking all over again.The opener "Kissing Willie" sounds a bit like "Steel Monkey" and is just average. But definitely the hard rock orientation is back and confirmed with "The Rattlesnake Trail". Strong tempo and good drumming.

"Ears of Tin" starts almost as a folk song, but rapidly turns into a heavier beat with master Barre on the guitar. An OK song.

When you listen to the whole album in a row, there is a bit of a feeling of "Déjà Vu". A bit too monotonous and repetitive. No classic, but a few highlights : this album is mostly a range of average songs (like "Undressed to Kill", or "Heavy Water") so far.

The title track is more elaborated : is is almost the longest track and has some nice theme changes. A very good tune after all : a bit mysterious in its initial phase, then completely salvage during a great instrumental passage (the whole band being involved). FANTASTIC.

"Another Christmas Song" is a mellow folk ballad and the weakest track so far. IMO, the highlight is undoubtfully "The Whaler's Dues" : complex song like in the good old time, a bit dark. Almost eight minutes of the best Tull. Ecological song about the end of the whale (I guess everybody should be aware of this, now more than then) : "Two whales in the ocean, cruising the night search for each other before we turn out their light". A great Tull song. Pathetic and unfortunately premonitory.

I do not know who decided the track order, but it it sounds strange to me that the best two songs are so far in the album because " Big Riff and Mando" is another very good Tull composition : great accoustic guitar, wonderful flute, some hard-rocking rythm changes. In one word : the Tull as I like.

The closing number is also very good. Nothing to do with some other Tull ones. It starts as a acoustic pure instrumental with a crystal clear guitar sound and evloves into a hard and scary theme. Flute is great.

This is basically a good album. I recommend you to listen to it. You will not be losing your time. I think that fluting has not been so good for quite a long time.Three stars.

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |

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