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Thick As A Brick 2
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So, forty years on, what would Gerald Bostock aged fifty in 2012 be doing today? What might have befallen him? The anniversary part two album will examine the possible different paths that the precocious young schoolboy, Gerald Bostock, might have taken later in life through alter-ego characters with song-section identities illustrating the hugely varied potential twists and turns of fate and opportunity. Not just for Gerald but to echo how our own lives develop, change direction and ultimately conclude through chance encounters and interventions, however tiny and insignificant they might seem at the time.
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First of all, Jethro Tull's 1972 album Thick As A Brick is a beloved classic of the genre, that doesn't really need a sequel both because it worked on its own and because it was a deliberate send up of concept albums themselves. Besides that, the story of this sequel is about the life of the fictional writer of the previous album Gerald Bostock and not the lyrics of the actual album itself. Therefore in essence, this is more of a sequel to the album's artwork or meta-narrative than its narrative, which is a weird thought.
Secondly, this album is not released under the same Jethro Tull band-name that the previous Thick As A Brick was. This situation is almost like Roger Waters releasing The Wall 2 as a solo album, which is another weird thought, and sure to cause confusion when filing. You could find yourself thinking too much about whether you file it as an Ian Anderson album, a Jethro Tull album or under a new category called `Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson.'
Another point is "why now?" It has been so long since the first one. Ian's voice has changed so much, his playing style has changed so much and the music scene has changed so much. Surely Ian would know how defensive of the original everyone would be after this much time. No album will look good when it has to be compared to something that people have loved for decades.
Finally, Martin Barre, who has been on every single Jethro Tull album ever, except their debut, is absent.Read more ›
As opposed to its 1972 precursor, TAAB2 is less a single musical sequence than a mosaic of interwoven motifs and fragments; in construction it thus resembles as much Brian Wilson's "Smile" as any long-play progressive-rock opus. This is neither good nor bad; it's simply the way this album is built. The 17 tracks include brief spoken-word sections, a duet (a first for Anderson, I think), and even a brief donation-pitch from a Southern televangelist: Ian Anderson putting on his best American accent. Some of the album's strongest tunes are very brief, almost maddeningly so; this has long been a tradition with Anderson's songwriting. "Upper Sixth Loan Shark," "Power and Spirit" and "Give Till It Hurts" are as brief as any of the short songs from the "Aqualung" album, and the latter two are easily as critical of the Anglican Church. Throughout, the album's numerous vocal effects add a welcome dynamism to Anderson's aging voice. Far from considering this voice a liability -- as is the case for so many die-hard fans who first saw Jethro Tull in concert in the 70s-- the songs on this album warrant the grizzled, often heavily distorted tone of an older man's voice.Read more ›
If you are willing to take Ian's journey into Gerald's possible futures (pasts?) at this point there are many twists and turns and expansive ideas wound into this yarn. I like the notion of the different possibilities of Gerald Bostock winding up on different streets roads and parkways of the same streetname in the 'Kismet In Suburbia' track. Ian's poetry is always top notch and it is something that is often overshadowed by his virtuosity. Lean on flute and heavy on the acoustic guitar that is an equally overlooked aspect of his pallet. Maybe he intended to flip this script intentionally to address the attention of his storytelling on this one.
TAAB2 is not time returned out of mind but Brick in time as it flows today. The lyrical allusions to Passion Play were not lost on me on 'Cozy Corner.' I wonder what former Gentle Giant frontman and record exec Derek Shulman thought of Ian's response to his press to continue Gerald's story?
This album is an interesting departure from the modern journey of the venerable Tull but does pay attention to Ian's current direction as he is not one to rewrite what has been written though he will perfom the fire out of what has been done. I think it's a fresh twist for Ian and thoroughly enjoyed it but I may be more open minded than most. 'Swing It Far,' and make sure you listen to 'A Change of Horses' dig the glockenspiel.
If you're expecting a bombastic rehashing of the original it isn't. If you are a true Tull fan and still interested in some adventurous new music from Ian Anderson it is a must have.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have been a Jethro Tull /Ian Anderson fan of the first order since the Benefit Album, and as a working musician myself I didn't like every single thing on every album, but I like... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Max Montgomery
Unfortunately I'm a little older now to get too enthusiastic over this issue. (maybe Ian Anderson is to). Read morePublished 10 months ago by Marion J. Cashiola
Sorry Ian but this was a very silly idea to say the least. I love the original "Thick As A Brick" including the wildly inventive and funny daily news style album cover. Read morePublished 11 months ago by ProgFrog57
I'm torn on this review. I'm thrilled that Ian Anderson is still making music, and despite what I've seen posted on several other reviews, his voice sounds great on this album. Read morePublished 12 months ago by David Girod
|Topic||From this Discussion|
|They should've gotten a picture of Gerald now||
I don't see how as described this could properly be a sequel to "Thick as a Brick". As far as I could tell "Thick as a Brick" had nothing whatsoever to do with Gerald Bostock. He was merely a character in the accompanying mock newspaper (and, of course, the mock author of the... Read More
Mar 8, 2012 by theta | See all 12 posts