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Ian Anderson - Thick As A Brick 2 [Aka: TAAB2] CD (album) cover


Ian Anderson


Prog Folk

3.74 | 412 ratings

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4 stars Surprisingly released as an Ian Anderson solo record, this sequel to the forty-year old Jethro Tull classic 'Thick As A Brick' finds the flute-playing front-man in seriously ambitious mood. You probably don't need this reviewer to tell you, but the original 1972 album is, of course, one of the seminal progressive rock albums of all time, as well as being described in it's creators own words as 'The mother of all concept albums'. A follow-up album half-as-good would in itself be some achievement, and it has to be said that Mr Anderson has set himself one hell of a task here. Happily, however, and somewhat surprisingly, 'Thick As A Brick 2' manages, against the odds, to exceed the cynical expectations of both fans and critics. Of Course, it was never going to match up to it's predecessor yet that is beside the point. This is a sequel made for the 21st century, blending modern touches with the basic folk-rock sound of Tull's glorious early-seventies heyday, producing a worthy companion piece that must rank as one of the best Jethro Tull records(even though, officially speaking, it's not really a Jethro Tull record) since 1978's 'Heavy Horses'. With the original album's pseudo-creator Gerald Bostock now in his 50th year, Anderson's lyrics focus on the 'gifted child genius' life so far, the bulk of the fourteen tracks casting a whimsical and reflective shadow over proceedings. There's honourable mentions of the internet, the banking crisis, middle-age regret and so forth, all delivered in Anderson's inimitable style, whilst the actual music leans more towards a straighter, guitar-inflected prog-rock sound, eschewing the folksy meanderings that coloured so much of Jethro Tull's post 'Thick As A Brick' output. Highlights include the gutsy rocker 'Banker Bets, Banker Wins', which features some trademark flute runs from the main man and a snazzy, toe-tapping guitar solo from hired hand Florian Opahle, and the gently-lilting closer 'What Ifs, Maybes & What Might Have Beens', a melancholy piece that asks the oh-so pertinent question of just how we control the destiny of our lives in an ever-shifting and shrinking world. Finally, we beg the question: was this sequel worth the four- decade wait? The answer is, emphatically, yes.


stefro | 4/5 |


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