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Jethro Tull - Under Wraps CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

2.23 | 478 ratings

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Symphonic Team
2 stars An album very much of its time

While Jethro Tull's classic albums like Aqualung, Thick As A Brick, Minstrel In The Gallery, Heavy Horses, Stormwatch, and even the previous Broadsword And The Beast, sound absolutely timeless to this reviewer's ears, the present album sounds very much of its time. This is a feature that I think Under Wraps shares with the band's two first albums from the late 60's (This Was and Stand Up). Those two albums too were very much of their time. One could perhaps even say that Under Wraps sounds more 80's than it sounds like Jethro Tull, if you know what I mean! I would also say that Under Wraps was the least good Jethro Tull album since the band's 1968 debut.

Under Wraps is the most electronic sounding Tull album, dominated by synthesiser sounds and drum machines. The guitars and flutes take a back seat throughout. This makes the total wall of sound rather thin and the warm and organic feel of albums like Heavy Horses is completely absent here. Ian comments in the booklet to the remastered CD version that he one day would like to re-record this album with genuine drums and less dated keyboard sounds. That could indeed be a large improvement, but I doubt that it could be made into a much better album than it is because the material is rather weak.

There is no doubt that this album belongs to my least favourite Tull albums, but I do not hate it as such. It surely was a major let down after the excellent Broadsword And The Beast and the very powerful string of albums that the band released in the late 70's, but it is not as truly awful as some people say. It should perhaps have been released as an Ian Anderson solo album instead of as a Jethro Tull album?

I would recommend this album only to fellow fans and collectors to whom it surely is an interesting if frustrating listen

SouthSideoftheSky | 2/5 |


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