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Jethro Tull - Songs From The Wood CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

4.18 | 1306 ratings

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Symphonic Team
5 stars "Songs from the Wood" is the last of the 70s Jethro Tull albums for me to hear so I was hoping for something very special. Admittedly I knew of the album's reputation from reading many reviews and overall it was receiving rave reviews so this is how I approached the album; with some high expectations. The only way was up for JT after that failed rock opera the previous year.

The moment it cranked into the opening tracks I was startled at the intricate progressive folk soundscape generated. It is a killer track and features all that makes Tull so unique; flute, nasal vocals, technical guitar and keyboard finesse. This is followed by another gem 'Jack- In-The-Green' with Anderson playing everything, such a tour de force performance from the master. 'Cup Of Wonder; is nothing special and slowed the pace somewhat but thankfully 'Hunting Girl' is an excellent return to form with highly unusual structure and folk pastoral passages.

'Ring Out, Solstice Bells' is another treasure with medieval atmospherics along with the acoustic and flute interplay on 'Velvet Green'. This track is so well executed musically it shines like a beacon on the album. The extended break is gloriously laced with flute, pipe, fractured time sigs and angular guitar; very progressive on every level.

I was now under the impression that I was listening to one of the Jethro Tull classics, but it wasn't until the next track that I was certain of it. 'The Whistler' is utterly brilliant, with such a melodic hook and beautiful lyrics that have an emotional edge; "Deep red are the sun-sets in mystical places, Black are the nights on summer-day sands, We'll find the speck of truth in each riddle, Hold the first grain of love in our hands." The flute work is masterful and caps this off as a jewel in Tull's catalogue.

'Pibroch (Cap In Hand)' is blessed with a dynamic lead solo intro by Martin Barre. It locks into a slow pace but is never dull thanks to some scintillating flute and guitar interplay. It is a complex song with some extended instrumental breaks bookended by blues driven verses and emotional flute. One of the better longer Tull songs and the icing on the cake is the Barre lead break at the end. 'Fire At Midnight' concludes the album with more prog folk, the softer side of Anderson, and the lead break is well executed along with dreamy flute closing the album with a nice atmosphere.

Overall "Songs From The Wood" lives up to the hype and is one of the greatest Jethro Tull albums along with other masterpieces "Thick as a Brick" and "Aqualung". I would rate it as their third best followed closely by "Benefit" and "Minstrel in the Gallery" as the definitive top 5 must have Tull albums.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 5/5 |


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