I have always had a soft spot in my heart for the Tull. I guess you could say that they combined alot of my favorite elements in music. They were a wickedly cool hybrid of this Led Zeppelin-y hard rock, introspective lyrics and folk music straight out of a tavern in the days of knights and dragons. Other bands have put alot of these same elements together, but Jethro Tull seemed to really hit the nail on the head with certain albums. They didn't have the inconsistency of King Crimson, or the overblown epics from Yes or genesis. They were, in essence, crafting pop songs. Jethro Tull was much more streamlined.
However, the reason that Jethro Tull excels not only as a rock band, but as high art, is because they use alot of techniques to convince you that what you are hearing is real. Ian Anderson and Co. dont drivel on and on about how some guy killed a dragon or how some chick in some tavern likes some guy in a cloak. They took those topics, themes of fantasy and folk, and made them unique and believable. Cup of Wonder paints a picture of a big feast where all are welcome. Songs from the Wood is a kind of fantasy folk thing that invites you into this album. The Whistler is about a nigga who whistles.
It's all about sincerity, really. Why does Linkin Park piss me off so much? I dont know, maybe because they sing rap some bullsh*t story with these cheesy drums and lyrics. On the other hand, why do i kind of enjoy "Call me Maybe"? Because its about a shy chick wanting to talk to dude. And you know what, she sings it like that. If we had, say, Susan Boyle singing these tripped out songs about weird folk fantasy, it would sound like a f*cking joke. Nothing changed. The songs are the same, the lyrics are the same, the cover is the same (Although that would be creepy) and everything else is the same. It would sound horrible because Susan Boyle doesnt care about milking girls, whistlers and heavy horses. Most people don't. But Jethro Tull pours energy into this album. They are writing silly folk songs infused with hard rock. They know, and they don't care if people don't get it or like it. Most people would make fun of Jethro Tull if they saw them play live. They look insane. What most people wouldnt make fun of, however, is the music. Like i just said, they are silly songs. You would think everyone would make fun of songs like Jack-In-The-Green. But they don't. Because Jethro Tull knows that this music is good, and they believe in it. And they make everyone else believe it too.
A great album is a collection of terrific songs, rapid fire, one after the other(See-Let It Be, License To Ill, Led Zeppelin 2).
A masterpiece occurs when everything in the universe somehow aligns to make an album what it is. The songs take you on a journey, the album art makes you question life and even the track order can entertain you for an hour(See-Revolver, Paul's Boutique, Led Zeppelin 4). Songs From The Wood is not perfect. It's not as tight as Thick As A Brick or as wide in scope as Aqualung. No, its about people gathering around a campfire, singing songs and getting drunk. Some people would call an album about topics as silly "The Hunting Girl" pointless and stupid. I disagree very strongly. After all, somebody's
gotta bring bring back dinner for the big feast tonight.
All of them. Had to pick one? Ring Out, Solstice Bells.
Rating - 9.5/10