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Jethro Tull - Stormwatch CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

3.46 | 747 ratings

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4 stars Really good follow up to Heavy Horses despite all the difficulty surrounding the band, and reminds us not only how prolific and accomplished Ian Anderson is, but the impact Jethro Tull's music has had on everything from folk rock and pop to minstrel metal and symphonic cheese. It doesn't chart much new territory, the songs resembling classic Anderson shanties more than something thematic, leaner than previous work and though not outstanding like Horses, it's one of those albums that catches you off-guard with the quality of the material. Thanks, Ian, for being there in hard times and good.

'North Sea Oil' finds the band in top form with a tune that could've been on any of their preceding three records, tasty mutes from Marty as always, a beautiful flute that shows no signs of waning and an ecology-minded lyric from Anderson. Metallic anthem 'Orion' is a fitting tribute to the North skies and the gods that tend them, followed by slightly sad and entirely sentimental 'Home'. Very prog centerpiece 'Dark Ages' starts as a death knell and becomes a dramatic send-up with military regalia, heavy metal and marching drums... classic Tull at every turn, a great cut not to be missed by fans, and 'Warm Sporran' is a strange foray into fusion with mixed results. 'Somethings on the Move' is straight riff-rock with plenty of cool flauting, reasonably solid. And 'Old Ghosts' is vintage Tull, a cut that reminisces with delicate orchestration, piano, and Anderson's sensitive vocals. Good stuff. 'Dun Rungill' is a distant echo from the past, 'Flying Dutchman' ain't bad with its neat Medieval jig in the middle, and David Palmer's gorgeous heart-tugging instrumental 'Elegy' to end.

As with all Tull remasters, the bonus tracks are an absolute kick, always good and an insight into the whole of the material the band was working on during a certain period, such as spirited 'A Stitch in Time', herky-jerky 'Crossword', great Celtic rocker 'Kelpie' and lost treasure 'King Henry's Madrigal', full of Greensleeves prancing and giddy ribaldry. Frankly half these tracks should have made it onto the final cut and Stormwatch is a tragically passed over horn of plenty.

Atavachron | 4/5 |


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