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Jethro Tull - Aqualung CD (album) cover

AQUALUNG

Jethro Tull

 

Prog Folk

4.35 | 2537 ratings

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TCat
5 stars Jethro Tull's 4th album was, at the time, a departure from their previous sound, or, at least a good part of it was. There are several acoustic songs on this album, and the band previously only did electric blues-rock for the most part. These acoustic songs however would become a great indication of the band's future sound, that mostly of Prog folk. For now, about half of the songs on this album are electric and half are acoustic. This, to me, makes for a great mix.

The album is considered by critics and scholars as a concept album that mostly addresses the distinction between religion and God. Side one of the album is entitled 'Aqualung' and side two is 'My God'. Even with the naming of album sides, the band has always maintained that it is not a concept album, and at the time, decided that if the world wanted to hear a concept album from Jethro Tull, then they would give them one, and so 'Thick as a Brick' was born, which was their next album. But we are getting ahead of ourselves here.

Of course, this is JT's most popular album. And it has a good reason to be. It has also been reviewed many times on this site. Up to this point, it is the band's best written album with the most impactful lyrics and musicality along with being a huge inspiration to other musicians.

We start off with the popular 'Aqualung' track which is about homeless people. Ian Anderson and his wife were looking at pictures that she had taken of homeless people and were interested in one individual in particular, and together they wrote the lyrics to this huge rock anthem. 'Cross Eyed Mary' is a continuation of this song, also written in a rock style. It deals with a child prostitute and the impression she has on Aqualung. 'Cheap Day Return' is an acoustic song about Ian's visit to his father. Following this is 'Mother Goose' which is a combination acoustic and rock song, and a particular favorite of mine. Another short and beautiful acoustic song follows called 'Wond'ring Aloud', then another acoustic/electric song follows in 'Up To Me'. This one has a great lilt to it and plenty of the signature flute. I find this one gives us a great example of where JT's sound that the band would become famous for.

The first two tracks on the 2nd side are connected through the religion vs. God theme and both are mostly electric, with a crazy choir interlude on 'My God'. 'Slipstream' is another quick acoustic number, 'Locomotive Breath' is the very popular song with a heavy rock sound and the final track is the acoustic/electric combo called 'Wind-Up', again with the religion theme.

Most prog fans are intimately familiar with this album and will agree that it is a very influential album. There is no doubt to me that this excellent album is essential to any prog fan, especially to Prog Folk fans. You should have this album in your collection. I consider it a perfect 6-star album that never wears itself out in my mind.

TCat | 5/5 |

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