|1. Calliandra Shade (The Cappuccino Song)|
|2. Rupiís Dance|
|3. Lost In Crowds|
|4. A Raft Of Penguins|
|5. A Week Of Moments|
|6. A Hand Of Thumbs|
|8. Old Black Cat|
|9. Photo Shop|
|10. Pigeon Flying Over Berlin Zoo|
|11. Griminelliís Lament|
|12. Not Ralitsa Vassileva|
|13. Two Short Planks|
|14. Birthday Card At Christmas (Bonus Track)|
From the man who once wrote a rambling concept album about a tramp, such lyrical legerdemain is only to be expected; as, of course, is the deliriously high standard of musicianship, especially notable on the instrumental-only tracks "Eurology" and "Griminelli's Lament". As with his previous solo outing The Secret Language of Birds, Anderson plays pretty much everything that can be blown or plucked (or squeezed in the case of the accordion), with a few pals to help out with percussion and keyboards, plus a string quartet to add class on selected tracks. The result may very well be just Jethro Tull unplugged--or is it that Tull are just Ian Anderson's electric band these days? From either perspective, Rupi's Dance won't disappoint. --Mark Walker
I first got to know Tull in the late '70s and I suspect like many fans had an agonising time through the '80s and early '90s as the gap between albums stretched out to almost 4 years and those that eventually appeared were a little hit and miss. I ended up pretty much listening only to pre-Stormwatch material.
What amazes me is Anderson's re-invigoration in the last 3-4 years both in terms of output and quality. I thought Dot.Com and Roots to Branches were great improvements on the previous Tull albums, SLOB excellent but Rupi's Dance is better still - a really polished, rounded and deeply satisfying album. Anderson has always been a superb lyricist but somehow this album really comes together with some great melodies that you can't get out of your head. Long may Mr Anderson's new lease of life last - it's still playing in my car.
But then suddenly in the mid-1990s, he produced two astonishing records - 'Divinities' and 'Roots to Branches' - that possessed all the virtues of the best Tull music from the past. Ian's next solo effort, 'Secret Language of Birds', continued in the same vein, and also contained some of his loveliest acoustic songwriting.
His latest album, 'Rupi's Dance', should silence the critics once and for all. The whole album finds Anderson at the peak of his creative and artistic powers, both as a songwriter and as a musician. The overall sound of the album is dominated by the infinitely subtle, clever, and varied inter-weaving of flute and acoustic guitar, with a string quartet and accordian thrown in for good measure. Each song is packed with melodic inventiveness and variety, and the melodies on some of the songs, such as 'My old black cat' and 'Lost in crowds', are particularly haunting and reminiscent of Ian's best songwriting from the 1970s.
Anderson's music defies all attempts at categorisation. It has been described as a blend of blues, jazz and celtic/english folk music, but this implies that it is a hybrid whereas it is really much more than that.... Read more ›
But just when even the most devoted Tull fans were starting to lose hope, Ian confounded his critics by producing two astonishing masterpiece albums - 'Divinities' and 'Roots To Branches' - in the space of eighteen months in the mid-1990s. These albums possessed all the classic qualities of the best Tull albums of the 1970s, and in at least one respect - the quality of Ian's flute playing and arrangements - they actually surpassed the band's best efforts from those years. Ian's subsequent solo album, Secret Language of Birds, continued in the same vein, and in addition contained some of his most beautiful acoustic songwriting to date.
The sequel to that album, 'Rupi's Dance', should finally silence the critics once and for all. From beginning to end, this album is an emphatic declaration that Ian Anderson is back at the peak of his artistic and creative powers, and a reminder that he never really went away. Every song on this album is packed with haunting, beautiful melodies, and the arrangements - dominated by the infintely clever, subtle and varied inter-weaving of flute and acoustic guitar parts - are as inspired as the best Tull music from the 1970s.... Read more ›
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