Hmm...just finished listening to it for the first time. It's always difficult hearing new stuff from people who have been doing it for SO long. Of COURSE it will sound familiar, especially when it is based around ONE guy who ALWAYS does the songwriting. I'm just back from Vienna, and they play Mozart everywhere! It is all so obviously Mozart, and in many ways sounds the same. This is bound to happen. Uriah Heep, say, sound a bit different over the years, although still clearly 'them', because they have had so many line-up changes. Sure, Ian's band is not Tull, but with Ian at the helm it will always sound similar to previous work. To me it sounds remarkably good, and I look forward to getting to know it better. 5 stars reserved for the best ever albums.
So, after a few weeks and after the gig in Cambridge...WHAT a gig. Somehow we got middle of front-row seats...amazing! MASSIVE video back drop for all songs in both sets, and lots of humour as always, starting off with as video of Ian in a lunatic asylum getting his injections before sort of breaking out. The band were in the video dressed up suitably, then came out on stage in same gear for the first song. The new album played straight through, and it was a visual and musical treat. Sure, Ian has another singer/actor with him, and he is used not so much to reach the high notes, because Ian still gets there, but more to just 'relieve' Ian as he has to play flute and guitar too, so quite exhausting, at 66. And he is still pretty active around the stage. No old fart here. And what a star, coming up with wonderful new music so late on.We would have been happy if he played all that in the second half of the show!! You groaners out there - what on earth can you be moaning about, really?!! Ian, and many others of his era are still producing wonderful new music - Magnum, Alice, Wishbone Ash, Ray Davies, maybe decades after we thought they would do so. Enjoy them all....while we can.