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Jethro Tull - Minstrel In The Gallery CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

4.03 | 1173 ratings

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3 stars This album sounded pretty good when I first heard it. The clips sounded good, so I bought the album, and the album sounded as good as the clips had me expecting. It was clearly no Thick as a Brick or A Passion Play (both in terms of style/structure and quality), but it was a solid shift for the band, and possibly a better album than the much-loved Aqualung. While on the first couple listens I was convinced, I found myself rarely wanting to give the album a spin as the months progressed. First off, why would I want to when I had those two juggernauts next to it? It hardly competed in the beginning, and now it started to become clear that this album isn't that great by itself. As time went on, the album seemed less and less good. I could barely sit through the first two songs, which I would say are the best tracks on the album, and I definitely couldn't get through the entire "Baker St. Muse," a near-17 minutes of unremarkable music. I could pin this to my change in musical taste, which I prefer to call the "maturation of my taste," but for whatever the reason, this album lost it's appeal almost completely over the three years that I owned it. It's not devoid of goodness; the goodness is just scattered about the album among an equal number of not-so-goodness. There really aren't any bad parts, but there are so many parts that go by unnoticed it's almost worse than having a couple bad parts.

I feel like my review is too focused on the negatives. Here are some positives: The opening two numbers, "Minstrel in the Gallery" and "Cold Wind to Valhalla," have some catchy melodies and good riffing and what not. They are good songs that certainly deserve to be on a compilation of the band's best songs. Actually, these two songs may have been what tricked me into buying the whole album. The epic has some good spots, but hardly enough to justify the length. They probably did it to let the fans still salivating over the 40-minute epics of years past down easily, as they would never write such long songs again. I bet a more serious Tull fan than myself can find more to like about this album, but for me this is a decent album that isn't quite worth my time anymore. It's most likely worth a shot for you, the reader, though.

Moatilliatta | 3/5 |


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