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Ian Anderson - Rupi's Dance CD (album) cover


Ian Anderson

Prog Folk

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5 stars I have had this for a while . It is only now that I have begun to appreciate the depth to the compositions. Wonderful melodies and memorable flute playing characterise this release. Lyrically not as sharp as some earlier works. But Rupi shows that Anderson can still cut it after some 35 years producing his eclectic style of music.
Report this review (#26561)
Posted Friday, January 2, 2004 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
2 stars This sounds so J T that I wonder why it isn't. I consider that this came out exactly at the same time than the Christmas album, and think that it was redundant, so I got none of them and just rented them. Hardly essential, relatively pleasant , but average stuff
Report this review (#26563)
Posted Thursday, February 5, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars There's good news for every experienced Jethro Tull/Ian Anderson fan. Ian has still got it in him and has just released a new solo CD. 'Rupi's Dance' is Ian's fourth solo album and, without a doubt, his best. Why? I'll try to explain why in a few words. As a Tull fan from the beginning, it's always exciting for the next new album from the master himself. Has it reached the level of a Tull album or not? Is the quality of the music comparable to the albums of the good old days? 'Walk Into Light' from 1983 certainly wasn't. 'Divinities:Twelve Dances with God' was a wonderful, but classic album. 'The Secret Language of Birds' was good but lacked some spunk here and there. 'Rupi's Dance' is his first solo album that can be compared to a good Tull album. Some songs are very similar to early Jethro Tull songs, but without being a copy of them. "Lost in Crowds" is a fantastic song and is reminiscent of "My God" from the 'Aqualung' album, while "Pigeon Flying over Berlin Zoo" reminds me of "Budapest" from 'Crest of a Knave'. The whole album leans towards his earlier works. Is Ian homesick for the good old days? Let's hope so. What we see here is very decent music without being repetitive, but with enough nostalgia to provide every Tull fan with that orgasmic feeling. Am I exaggerating? No, not really. In all honesty, I must say that there are no characteristic guitar sounds of Martin Barre to be heard (except on the bonus track "Birthday Card at Christmas", which is a Jethro Tull song on the new Christmas album that will be coming out in October). This is not to say that there is no electric guitar being played!

"A Raft of Penguins" and "Calliandra Shade (The Cappuccino Song)" give off spirited feelings and melodies that really stay with you. The intricate orchestral pieces are also very beautiful. The fact that Ian plays flute is something that I probably don't have to explain, but once again, it's surprising how he conjures up all that inventiveness and virtuosity. At one moment you're moved and the next moment you're amazed. Admittedly, you must like progressive folk and classical style music, otherwise the album will not reveal its' secrets.

The instrumental "Eurology" has a taste of the 'Songs from the Woods' album and "Old Black Cat" leans towards the 'Heavy Horses' album. And if you hear a little something of "Stand Up" in "Photo Shop", then you're definitely aimed in the right direction.

We get loads of "new" progressive material every day, but lots of it is borrowed from the past or, even worse, a shameless copy. Sometimes a good "borrowed" copy can be better than a bad original, but if a living legend such as Ian Anderson brings out a great CD, then you can definitely understand why some people are world famous and others not!

Report this review (#26568)
Posted Tuesday, May 18, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Ian ANDERSON's solo album "Rupi's Dance" follows the great success of "The Secret Language Of Birds". I heard enough evidence on this album that would indicate it to be a smashing success for Ian. Followers of his solo career and his other role as the grand court jester for JETHRO TULL will find much enjoyment in this delightfully multihued group of recordings. Just in case you were wondering, this music does not sound like JETHRO TULL; it is an Ian ANDERSON solo album.

With a well-dressed blend of rock, world and new age sensibilities, ANDERSON makes his way through 13 animated tracks and an extra special sneak preview of the "Christmas JT" album with "Birthday Card At Christmas," which I found to be delightful as well.

When Ian plays the flute, I get a big smile inside. Three songs grabbed me more than all the others... "A Week Of Moments," "A Hand Of Thumbs," and "Eurology," a stunning instrumental composition. I found all of them to be inexhaustible works of musical art.

I am still wondering how Ian holds his leg up against the other, keeps his balance, and nimbly plays the flute after all these years. He is truly a renaissance man with a multitude of talents to share with us all. This is merely one piece of his world. Do yourself a big favor this year, buy this CD and rub elbows with Ian ANDERSON.

Rating: 4.5/5

Report this review (#26569)
Posted Monday, January 24, 2005 | Review Permalink
Andrea Cortese
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Rupi's Dance is a more complex (in arrangements) album than the previous solo from Ian The Secret Language Of Birds (but without its joy and freshness). Not only because here there's an important part for electric guitar (Lost In Crowds and A Hand Of Thumbs) while in Secret Language... we have only two sporadic contributions. In fact now there's the important collaboration with Leslie Mandoki and the Sturcz String Quartet, arranged by Laszlo Bencker. For this reason the album sound though remaining similar to the previous solo album is comparable with other 70's Jethro Tull albums when orchestra dominated. The result is an introvert and hybrid album: it seems to be good as a JT album, but not completely.
Report this review (#42544)
Posted Friday, August 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
2 stars Another Anderson acoustic solo abum, but not good and emotional as "Secret Language Of Birds". It's more similar to Jethro Tull sound than the previous solo work. Especially, The Sturcz String Quartet had an impressive contrubuion to the album. It can be easily a new Tull album. "Pigeon Flying Over Berlin Zoo" reminds me "Budapest" and is really very good songand IMO the best song in the album. "Lost In Crowds" is darker and more heavy song than rest of the album, but it is very melodic and one of the best songs in the album. "Eurology" is a beautiful instrumental piece. "A Raft Of Penguins" is very impressive song and the most similar one to the sound of "Secret Language Of Birds" album. I think Tull fans like this album.
Report this review (#43917)
Posted Tuesday, August 23, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars The best solo album by Ian Anderson by far. Old black cat is a lovely song, and the title track is one of his best ever (maybe owning a little black cat has swayed me). All the songs have something going for them which was missing on the previous album. As good as classic Tull? probably not, but different enough to be recognised for what it is, and very very good.
Report this review (#100319)
Posted Saturday, November 25, 2006 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
3 stars Ian's dance

Ian Anderson is one of my favourite song writers of all time. Normally, as a leader for Jethro Tull - one of my favourite bands - here he is on his own. Some people seem to think that this album and the previous one, The Secret Language Of Birds, sounds just like Jethro Tull albums. These people cannot have heard many Jethro Tull albums. If this is to be compared with Jethro Tull it must be pointed out that this is a very naked and strongly acoustic Jethro Tull. But this is not enough to put them apart. The Secret Language Of Birds and Rupi's Dance are more towards Folk Pop than Prog Rock. It is certainly not mainstream, but also hardly progressive. Rupi's Dance is a slightly rockier and slightly better album compared to The Secret Language Of Birds. But otherwise these two albums are very similar to each other.

The songs on Rupi's Dance are all very well written, highly melodic, flawlessly performed, perfectly recorded, mixed and produced. Indeed, everything about this album is perfect to the point of verging towards being too perfect, almost glossy, but not quite so. Ian has a strong attention to detail and this is a high quality product. But I would certainly not call it progressive rock or compare it with Jethro Tull. An Ian Anderson solo album can, as far as I am concerned, never be compared with a Jethro Tull album.

I enjoy the heavily flute and vocal based musings of Rupi's Dance, and it is a good album overall. But I would certainly not put it up there with Jethro Tull's music. But this is a good Folk Pop album in it's own right. But certainly no more than that!

Report this review (#220604)
Posted Wednesday, June 10, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars Ian Anderson needs no introduction, but I must pointed out that he is one of the most famous, charismatic and intelligent songwritter from prog world in last almost half century. Besides Jethro Tull he has also a solo career, with 4 albums released so far. Rupi's dance is his lates effort to date under his name and is a pleasent release for sure, at least for me. The name of the album came after his kitten Rupi died after a wonderful life spent with his master. So, musicaly speaking is not very much far from JT fame, but this time the arrangements are more acustical orientated with quite mellow passages and quirky elements added. His voice is as I guest great, not a varation from older albums, that means is apleasure to listen. Also the lyrics has that special english amusing metaphors as for instance is on A Raft of Penguins, refering to the musicians that he plays along his career. Passages are well written with flute all over and aswell accordion, keybords and all kind of ingrediants that makes this album pleasent. One of the top pieces from the album is the instrumental Eurolgy, absolute killer track with excellent accordion elements, simply wonderful and elegant, Pigeon Over Berlin Zoo is another highlight for sure. To end this review I must say that I was pleasent enough surprised to give to this album 3-3.5 stars, not a fantastic or groundbreaking release, but well presented and composed.
Report this review (#544714)
Posted Friday, October 7, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars For many music lovers, including myself, the acquaintance with an album begins with its cover art. When executed correctly, It sets the tone and the mood. It introduces the concept. It gives you the first bearings of the album's direction, allowing you to tune in faster.

I remember looking at the Rupi's Dance CD cover, back in the fall of 2003, when it was first issued. I pondered the picture of an ageing "eccentric one-legged flautist" I had known from before, accompanied by a cute black kitten. I wasn't sure what it meant, but it touched some strings deep inside. I had to have it, there and then.

I clearly remember it was in the Heath Row airport in London, England, in one of those rip-off stores that take advantage of jet-lagged, disoriented transatlantic travelers. The CD was outrageously expensive ... Ł22.00, I think. I bought it and started listening to it on my laptop, while in a waiting lounge.

I thought Rupi's Dance would (hopefully) take me to the Tull's memory lane, and it did, but more importantly, I found myself making an unexpected excursion into the depth of Europe. Have you ever had this curious "homesick" feeling for places you have never been to? Like, wouldn't you wish you were sitting in this little Italian/Serbian/Portuguese cafe, on a leafy cobbled street named after a guy who had lived and died centuries before Columbus sailed off to "India". Drinking coffee as thick as yellow pea soup, watching in slo-mo the sand of time trickle between your fingers. But, this is a prog forum, so we shan't digress any more.

Back to the Tull experience: having listened to Rupi's Dance a few times, I conceived a disturbing thought: what if there had never been such thing as Jethro Tull band? Only a mighty Nordic deity Ian Anderson, towering over a couple of musicians who played along with him?

Because Rupi's Dance is more Jethro Tull than anything else. Granted, somewhat tamer, smoother and more melancholic than their prominent 1970's efforts, but still the same relentless Jethro Tull we knew - adorned with the appropriate signs of graceful ageing.

The music is really pretty and tasteful. If you like what's now called prog-folk, you'll enjoy the whole 50+ minutes of Rupi's dance. The lyrics is witty. The band is great, and all the sound engineering technicalities are perfect. The flute is still there, and is being put to a good use. Wish this album was available on vinyl, but one can't have everything, can one?

Since Rupi's Dance really isn't opening any new frontiers, I will assign it 4 stars, even though it's probably more like 9/10.

Report this review (#833794)
Posted Saturday, October 6, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars I`m quite agree that Rupis dance is the best solo album by Ian Anderson - even latest TAAB II - is not so "pastoral atmospheric". I`m listening to this piece of art very often. Lost in Crowd - is magnificent track. Eurology - wow, what a sparkling skittish instrumental piece with Ian on Accordion. To be true i`ve listened to it much more time than any other Ian`s work - it`s so lite and gourgeos. Clear crystal sound but still with a lot of warmth in it (what i can`t say about TAAB II). It`s one of my top 10 prog relative albums of all times.
Report this review (#889118)
Posted Monday, January 7, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars The previous Anderson album was good folk music - this album is very similar. I love the flute in the opening track - how can Anderson and his flute not put a smile on the listeners face? "Rupi's Dance" is a very pleasant listen. It strikes me early on that this album is a lot more upbeat than was Anderson's previous release. Again the music is intelligent and well composed and structured.

"I was trying to explain this piece to a journalist as being a pun on the study of the urinary tract and its diseases when he asked me if it was difficult to play. "No, it's a piece of piss, actually", I offered" Quoted from Mr. Anderson relating to the track "Eurology".

Whereas I really liked "The Secret Language of Birds" album I absolutely adore this album. I have no hesitation whatsoever in awarding this album 4 stars. Nothing on it is throwaway or padding.

Report this review (#943234)
Posted Saturday, April 13, 2013 | Review Permalink

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