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Jethro Tull - A Passion Play CD (album) cover

A PASSION PLAY

Jethro Tull

 

Prog Folk

4.02 | 1297 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars "Fell with mine angels from a far better place, offering services for the saving of face"

The continuous upward trend that Jethro Tull had found themselves in ever since their humble Blues Rock beginnings in 1968 could not go on forever. Like most others, I too think that Thick As A Brick was their peak. A Passion Play is inevitably a lot weaker, but still in my opinion a decent effort in its own right. If Thick As A Brick was Jethro Tull's Selling England By The Pound or Close To The Edge, then A Passion Play was their The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway or Tales From Topographic Oceans. Like those efforts by Yes and Genesis respectively, A Passion Play too is much less good compared to its immediate predecessors and even slightly rambling in places, but ultimately a worthy album with several very good moments.

The only thing about this album that I really don't like at all is the ridiculous and embarrassing spoken word interlude The Story Of The Hare Who Lost His Spectacles. It is obviously an attempt to be funny, but it really isn't funny at all! Just totally annoying and silly. I am certain that if this story had been left off the album completely and that the music too had been somewhat trimmed in places, A Passion Play could have been a better album. It would still not have matched Thick As A Brick, but it could surely have been better than it is.

While the quality of the material on this album is clearly lower than on Aqualung and Thick As A Brick, the band's sound continued to evolve. The composition is musically and lyrically very complex and the instrumental palette is broader than ever. There is more Jazz influences here and the saxophone makes its first appearance on a Tull album. There is a wide array of various keyboard instruments. Had this been the band's sole album, they would no doubt be listed under Eclectic Prog rather than under Prog Folk.

A good play, but there are many better Jethro Tull albums from both before and after this one

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |

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