Thursday, September 14, 2006

Eyeing Little Girls With Bad Intent

Jethro Tull – Aqualung

As a wise man once told me, “Jethro Tull isn't the kind of thing you want to listen to a lot, but when you do feel like it you'll be really glad you have it.” When people say these kinds of things to me I usually just nod and smile.

Jethro Tull's album Aqualung fits right in with a bunch of other famous British albums from the late 60s and early 70s such as Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, The Beatles' White Album and a whole bunch of Led Zeppelin's stuff, made at a time when rock music was just starting to expand musically and thematically, but before it became arrogant and pretentious.

Like a lot of those albums Aqualung is an ambitious concept album, using the tale of a lonely old hobo in order to criticise Christianity. In contrast to the weighty concept the music has a pleasant 60s folksiness. It seems very simple when measured against all the Opeth I've been listening to recently, but the more 'complicated' music you listen to the more appreciative you become of simplicity. Even with simple arrangements and a straightforward approach there's some nice, evocative stuff on this album.

Jethro Tull's only gimmick is leadman Ian Anderson's flute playing, which actually works very well in the context of this kind of music, and it's a bit of a surprise that other bands haven't tried it. Like all good classic rock albums there's plenty of flashy guitar virtuosity which always goes down well, and they have some pretty cool dual solos between the flute and the guitar.

By today's standards the concept is pretty mundane stuff, even if it might have seemed terribly transgressive at the time, so I wasn't very engaged by the lyrics or the theme, but the music is very solid and it's quite an agreeable album. I don't think I'll listen to it a lot but, uh, I'm glad I have it...


Skarnz said...

Man. What sort of dude would say something wanky like that?

andrew brown said...

Ass pirates? That's who!

Jon said...

If I see him I'll make sure to mention that you said he's a wanker.

andrew brown said...

please also mention me, by my full name too kthx