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Jethro Tull - Benefit CD (album) cover

BENEFIT

Jethro Tull

 

Prog Folk

3.91 | 1013 ratings

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Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Prog Specialist
5 stars A new decade had started and Jethro Tull's evolution was almost defined, the blues oriented "This Was" and the still jazzy but more eclectic "Stand Up" were left in the past, the band had found the progressive folk sound that was going to be their trademark until today.

Ian is perfect with his characteristic vocals and unique flute but the most important feature is the way he blends the soft acoustic guitar with Martin Barre's electric and aggressive instrument, creating a mixture between the countryside and the city that gently merge into the same atmosphere, simply perfect and totally different to the previous albums where acoustic and electric guitar seemed to be playing different melodies.

Also important is the addition of a powerful pianist as John Evan who's style is much more technical than David Palmer. It's important to notice that John Evan had already played with Ian Anderson in The Blades and John Evan Band, so it was easier for them to join again in Jethro Tull.

Not in the level of Aqualung or Thick as a Brick but Benefit is a well balanced album with no fillers that includes some masterpieces and tracks that will be part of Jethro Tull's repertoire in later gigs. my favorites from this album are:

"With You There to Help Me": This is the song that would introduce me to the Jethro Tull's world, still can remember the impression that made on me the contrast between the acute flute, Ian's low vocal tone and Barre's breathtaking chords. Some drastic changes that are softened by the characteristic flute make of this song an underrated classic.

"Nothing to Say": The electric guitar introduction leads immediately to Ian's voice, a track that advances step by step to a peaceful development when the listener is expecting something more aggressive, but the beauty of the song is precisely that contradiction.

To Cry You a Song": Another track that became a classic in Tull's concerts, probably the most eclectic song, folksy and soft but with some echoes of their blues past that suddenly changes with a frenetic guitar solo that is a pleasure for those who love the harder edge of Tull.

"Teacher": A very beautiful song where Ian's voice and Glen Cornick's bass make the difference along with the psychedelic keyboards and ultra fast flute, a true masterpiece.

"Sossity, You're a Woman" is the perfect closer a song which proves that Jethro Tull has also a classical side, the acoustic guitar soft but complex is simply delightful and the melodic flute that blends with the tune completes the scene.

Not yet the peak of Jethro Tull's creativity but already fantastic Benefit is a very solid album that deserves a special place in every collection. I know that other releases are more mature, but in my book this outstanding album deserves no less than 5 stars

Ivan_Melgar_M | 5/5 |

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