Jethro Tull
Under Wraps


1.5
very poor

Review

by vanderb0b USER (63 Reviews)
August 22nd, 2010 | 36 replies | 9,027 views


Release Date: 1984 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This never happened. This never happened. This never happened. This never happened. This never happened. This never happened.

3 of 3 thought this review was well written

In defense of Jethro Tull’s fourteenth studio album, Broadsword And The Beast, frontman Ian Anderson claimed that the album was really nothing more than a collection of folk songs infused with modern, electronic elements. “...Underlying all this were the less-than machine-like, humanly played drums, bass and guitar lines along with flute, mandolin and the other acoustic sounds familiar to Tull fans,” he wrote in the album’s liner notes. This statement was not entirely untruthful and, had the songs off Broadsword And The Beast been stripped of their synthesizers and vocoders, they would have been at home on releases such as Heavy Horses or Stormwatch. But could the same be said of the album’s heir, Under Wraps? To make a long story short, no.

But, pray tell, what can be found underneath the synthesizers and now-programmed drums? Well, not very much at all, aside from tuneless crooning and the occasional cursory flute or guitar melody. If one were to take the song Watching Me Watching Watching You (the weakest link off of Broadsword And The Beast, an album that by Tull standards was by no means exceptional), and make it one hour long, they would find themselves with something quite like Under Wraps. Tasteless synths, tasteless programmed drums, and tasteless lyrics inspired by multiple viewings of From Russia With Love constitute the majority of the album and the entirety of songs such as Lap Of Luxury, Nobody’s Car, and Radio Free Moscow.

That said, the album has a few half-decent tunes that almost prevent it from becoming an absolute failure. European Legacy, a mainly-acoustic tune, is surprisingly pleasant despite how much the invasive drums try to spoil it, and Under Wraps #1 sees the band still playing synth-rock, but making the melodies a bit more interesting. The album’s real saving grace, however, is Under Wraps #2, a brief acoustic reprise of #1’s main theme. While the song is by no means spectacular (compared to the likes of Moths and Cold Wind To Valhalla, it’s a pretty standard tune that would have been a filler track on past albums), the song offers a nice break from the dull, meandering mess that composes the rest of the album.

Aside from these moments of (relative) quality, the album is a monotonous bore that soon blends into one endless, hellish blur of pounding drums and toneless mumbling, with the occasional flute lead trying fruitlessly to add some life to the music.

With Jethro Tull’s next album, Crest Of A Knave, Anderson would return to playing progressive rock upon realizing that synth-rock was by no means his forte. The band would soon turn to heavy metal and hard rock, and would release albums arguably worse than Under Wraps, but, as it stands, this remains one of the lowest points in Jethro Tull’s discography.

1.4/5

Recommended Songs
European Legacy
Under Wraps #2
Under Wraps #1



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user ratings (67)
Chart.
1.9
poor

Comments:Add a Comment 
vanderb0b
August 22nd 2010



3473 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Part 13 of the Tull discography. If the second half of Rock Island is as bad as what I've heard thus far, then it's worse than this album, but, aside from that, I'm pretty sure this is the worst that the band ever wrote. Aside from the first two recommended songs, I'll probably never listen to anything from this one again.

vanderb0b
August 22nd 2010



3473 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Adiós Señor Ghost Neg. Mucho Gracias!

ReturnToRock
August 22nd 2010



3448 Comments


Summary is epic win. Have a pos.

vanderb0b
August 22nd 2010



3473 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Thanks, man!

cinaedus
August 22nd 2010



26299 Comments


Pos. I actually like Crest of a Knave, "Budapest" is an amazing song. Can't wait for your review for that one.

Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn

Nagrarok
August 22nd 2010



8169 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I think it did actually happen. Pos.

Keep up the avatar Lakes, I'm lovin' it.

vanderb0b
August 22nd 2010



3473 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Thanks! Crest is pretty decent, certainly better than this and Rock Island, it'll probably end up as a 3-3.5 for me.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
August 22nd 2010



5921 Comments


Is it really that bad?

Digging: Essence Beyond - Carnivalism

vanderb0b
August 22nd 2010



3473 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Judge for yourself, amigo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zx-Eogg9hvY&feature=related

The whole thing's like that. For sixty minutes.

MichaelPhelps
August 22nd 2010



144 Comments


That was okay, but I highly doubt I could stand that for 60 minutes.

vanderb0b
August 23rd 2010



3473 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

We meet again, Mr. Ghost neg, do we not?

Jethro42
August 23rd 2010



12377 Comments


ugh What was your intention behind this album if there is one, mr Anderson?!?
ok, this never happened. Fantastic review dude, once again.
edit: And yes, kid negger is becoming ridiculous

vanderb0b
August 23rd 2010



3473 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Thanks! That's right, this never happened. European Legacy and Under Wraps #2 were released as a single, that's it. Sad thing is, Rock Island is actually worse!

Jethro42
August 23rd 2010



12377 Comments


Is there a way to catch those kid neggers in a trap, once for all...?

vanderb0b
August 23rd 2010



3473 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Doubt it. If the rest of my negative reviews (War Child, Rock Island, J-Tull.com, and possibly Catfish Rising) get ghost neg'd like this and A, I'll probably just report it. Not much else one can do. Doesn't really matter, although. Approval rating doesn't mean very much at all here.

Jethro42
August 23rd 2010



12377 Comments


a douchebag has to be a douchebag

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
August 23rd 2010



5921 Comments


Judge for yourself, amigo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zx-Eogg9hvY&feature=related

The whole thing's like that. For sixty minutes.


omg you are so right.






About the negging, four of my reviews (all i had written at that time) got ghost-negged simultaneously, i reported the incident to the forum meds and the negs were erased.

Apparently the moderators have a way of "seing" whether a simultaneous negging takes place.

You should report your situation too, Andrew.

unjustified negging is so awful...

vanderb0b
August 23rd 2010



3473 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I'll probably wait until the discography is over before I report again. I anticipate 4 or 5 more negs to come in the near future.

Jethro42
August 23rd 2010



12377 Comments


hahaha
negger is pretty busy indeed

vanderb0b
August 23rd 2010



3473 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I'll keep him occupied for a while: when I'll finish the Tull discog, I'll do Anderson's solo albums, about half of which are very boring. So, all in all, our friend will by quite busy during the next few weeks!



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