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Jethro Tull - War Child CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

3.30 | 750 ratings

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3 stars Of all Tull albums, "War Child" might be the one that best integrates progressive song structures with his Elizabethan fixation, without succumbing to it wholeheartedly like on "Songs from the Wood". It's also an album that relies less on an appreciation for Mr Anderson's voice than most. Not to say he isn't utterly and overly dominant as per normal, but that the music contains more subtleties that allow you to forget he is singing often enough, and to be able to listen more than once without feeling saturated.

The juxtaposition of different styles and tempos is handled well in the track sequence, so that even though the opening title track might be a bit boring, its juxtaposition with the bouncy "Queen and Country" brings out the best of both. Likewise for "Skating Away" vs the excellent pop hit "Bungle in the Jungle". "The Third Hurrah" was actually my intro to Tull back in the days when a local FM station would form the soundtrack for the cable channel when programming was lacking. I actually thought for months that it was the title track due to its lyrics. Sure there are some less interesting songs but nothing really bad or out of whack. I suppose in retrospect it did show the effete side of prog in that little here is really rocking, but it did so without self consciousness if that makes any sense.

I'm not a big Tull fan, and even less one of Ian Anderson's often abrasive vocals, but "War Child" might be the first Tull album I would recommend to a general rock music aficionado who wanted to know where to start exploring this long lived and respected group.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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