Ian Anderson
Thick as a Brick 2


4.0
excellent

Review

by e210013 USER (152 Reviews)
September 14th, 2020 | 13 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: One of the better releases of Anderson paying a reverent homage to the original masterpiece.

“Thick As A Brick 2”, subtitled “Whatever Happened To Gerald Bostock?”, is the fifth studio solo album of Ian Anderson and was released in 2012. The line up on the album is Ian Anderson, Florian Opahle, John O’Hara, Pete Judge, David Goodier, Ryan O’Donnell and Scott Hammond.


Forty years have passed since “Thick As A Brick” was released, and as most of you can remember, when the album was released it was involved in some controversy. The album was a collaboration between the band and an eight year old child, who wrote a complex poem that talks about the challenges of to get old, for a contest, about a fictional kid (Gerard “Little Milton” Bostock). In that time, and even today, many believed that Gerald Bostock was a real person. The child was disqualified because the judges considered that the poem, had little moral, and talked about the sexual life of father and son and the problems of their relationship. So, the judges preferred give the prize to a twelve year old girl, who wrote a simple essay about the Christian ethical values entitled, “He Died To Save The Little Children”.

According to Anderson, when he was thinking, forty years later, about the original concept of the album “Thick As A Brick”, he thought: “I wonder what the eight year old Gerald Bostock would be doing today? Would the fabled newspaper still exist, even today?” It was in this context that appears “Thick As A Brick 2”. So, the album is focused on Gerald Bostock, the fictional boy genius author of the original album. It presents five divergent hypothetical life stories for him, including a greedy investment banker, a homosexual homeless man, a soldier in the Afghan war, a sanctimonious evangelist preacher and a most ordinary man who runs a corner store. By the end of the album, all the five possibilities of live seem to converge in a similar concluding moment of gloomy of pitiful solitude.

So, and as its name indicates, “Thick As A Brick 2” is a sequel of the original Jethro Tull’s classic album of the 70’s. However and despite this is really true, the two albums are conceptually quite different. The lyrics on the first album didn’t explicitly refer to Gerald Bostock. To understand who the boy was you’d have to have read the article on the front cover of the fake newspaper, as well as all the other articles inside referring to him. This time, the album is no longer a fictional poem, but Anderson thinking in what becomes Bostock forty years later. The lyrics are quite topical and much more direct than the first edition, which was more esoteric. Musically, the original album had only one solid piece of music spit across the two sides of the vinyl disc. This time, we have music spit into seventeen tracks, despite we have a few segues here and there. Lovers of long tracks may became a little bit disappointed, but the relaxing of the concept along with the decision to keep the tracks short ensures that the album doesn’t sounds the least bit contrived.

It’s also important to be said that Anderson and his fellow musicians delivered a finest progressive piece of music with this release. Certain musical themes taken from the original album make this second part very recognizable, but you never get the idea that the music sounds outdated. A modern approach and new recording facilities prevent you from listening to a 70’s album. The flute playing of Anderson has always been his trademark and also this time it’s prominent in the music. Maybe he doesn’t sing as good as forty years ago, but the way he sings nowadays actually suits the music quite well. Compared to almost of the albums of Jethro Tull recorded after “Crest Of A Knave”, the music has much more progressive rock elements. For instance, outstanding keyboard and electric guitar parts can be enjoyed throughout the album. Just like the first part of “Thick As A Brick” the music sounds as if it’s only one solid piece.


Conclusion: I became very apprehensive when I knew about the existence of this album. It was very risky to make a sequel of a cult and charismatic album such is “Thick As A Brick”, which is also one of my favourite prog albums ever. Luckily, my deeper unpleasant fears prove to be unjustified. Anderson made a great job hear. Inevitably, comparisons will be made with the first edition of “Thick As A Brick”, recorded forty years ago. Personally I think that this sequel has to be judged on its own merits. It’s a very valuable successor of the first one and a wonderful addition to the already extensive JethroTull’s collection. But, what made Anderson release “Thick As A Brick 2”? I think that are two main reasons. First, his great love for music and his consciousness about the importance of “Thick As A Brick”. Second, there is the philosophical existential question, which many of us have done for so many times. What would happen to me if I had followed another path in my life? Who would I be today? Of course, there aren’t answers for these questions. However, I think I’m able to answer to one question. What would happen to progressive music if Anderson had followed another path? Surely, the progressive world was poorer, today. So, god bless you Ian, for you are what you are.


Music was my first love.
John Miles (Rebel)



Recent reviews by this author
Rick Wakeman Return To The Centre Of The EarthFates Warning Parallels
Dream Theater Images and WordsTako (YUG) U Vreci Za Spavanje
Tako (YUG) TakoIgra Staklenih Perli Igra Staklenih Perli
user ratings (57)
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
menawati (4)
Doesn't approach the quality of the original but still a worthy chapter in the annals of Gerald Bost...



Comments:Add a Comment 
e210013
September 14th 2020


3023 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This week and in the next too, I'll bring here to sequels of two of the most interesting and important prog albums, in their own way, of the 70's.

Today we are talking about the sequel of one of the best and most important prog albums ever. Surprisingly, the unthinkable happened. Ian Anderson had the courage and boldness to recriate the story of Gerald Bostock since the time the original story was written in "Thick As A Brick". And even more surprinsingly, he decided to recorded it as a solo album.

It's time to put here my vision about this album. Despite all my initial reticences, I'm very glad that he made it. I hope you can have the same feelings as me.

Egarran
September 14th 2020


18130 Comments


Great review.
Shamefully I didn't know about this either, although TAAB is one of my favorite albums.

Digging: Be'lakor - Of Breath and Bone

e210013
September 14th 2020


3023 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks Egarran. From what you said, you must check this one too. I think you'll not regret.

Egarran
September 14th 2020


18130 Comments


Yeah I've generally stayed away from their newer stuff, but I'll give this a try.

JefferyBigglestein
September 14th 2020


1820 Comments


ian brandon anderson can kiss my ass

OmairSh
September 15th 2020


16932 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review e. I saw Ian on the tour when he was supporting this album. A fun time, as expected

Digging: Elliott Smith - Elliott Smith

e210013
September 15th 2020


3023 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks Omair. Lucky you. Unfortunately I never had the chance to see him or Jethro Tull in a real live show, but only on DVD's.

TheIntruder
September 17th 2020


488 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review of a such a nice album. It is a pity this album is so little known. Have a pos.

wham49
September 17th 2020


5390 Comments


sounds intriguing

e210013
September 17th 2020


3023 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@ Intruder

Yeah, unfortunately it seems that it became a little bit unnoticed. Perhaps because it was released under the name of Anderson and not of Jethro Tull. It was a pity, really. It deserves a better chance, indeed.

Thanks, man.

e210013
September 17th 2020


3023 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@ wham

It's a nice work. If you liked the original you must check this one too. We can say that it's a modern sequel of the original, basically retaining the same characteristics.

Divaman
September 17th 2020


6389 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ooo, I almost didn't see this. Yes, I agree e. I'm really glad he made this.

Digging: Cut Copy - Freeze, Melt

e210013
September 17th 2020


3023 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks Diva.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2019 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy