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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 5 September 2003
In a recent interview, Ian Anderson said that one of the things that kept him going, after 35 years in the music business, was the determination to show that his best work was not behind him. Well, for those of us whose musical education began with such stellar albums as 'Thick as a Brick' and 'Passion Play' in the 1970s, these albums set a standard of musical literacy and sophistication that will always be impossible to match. And there have been times, over the years, when Anderson's artistic muse seemed to have deserted him.
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. Ian certainly draws on these and other influences, but he transforms them into something completely distinctive and original. Quite how he manages to do this has always been a mystery to me, but I suppose that is the nature of musical genius - it is innate and not dependent on outside influences. It's truly a blessing that he has given us so much great music over the years. That he should still be doing so after three and a half decades in the business is simply amazing.
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on 4 September 2003
Ian Anderson said in a recent interview that one of the things that kept him going, after 35 years in the rock music business, was his determination to prove that his best work was not behind him. Well, for those of us who have been fans of Ian and Jethro Tull since the band's heyday in the 1970s, the stellar albums of that period - from Aqualung (1970) to Minstrel in the Gallery (1975) - set a standard that will always be impossible to match. And there was a period in the 1980s when Ian's creative energies seemed to have deserted him.
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. The stand-out tracks for me are 'My old black cat', 'Not Ralitsa Vassileva' and 'Two short planks', but in reality the whole album finds Anderson operating consistently at the height of his creative powers, both as a songwriter and a musician.
Ian Anderson's music is completely unique and defies all efforts at categorisation. It has been described as a blend of rock, blues and english/celtic folk music, but this implies that it is a hybrid of different musical styles, when in fact it is so much more. Ian certainly draws on these and other influences, but he goes on to transform them into music that is completely original and distinctive. Quite how he does this has always been a source of mystery to me, but I suppose that is the nature of musical genius - it is innate and not dependent on particular influences or stimuli. That he has given us so much great music over the years is truly a blessing; that he should be still doing so after three and a half decades is simply amazing.
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on 4 October 2003
I put this cd in my car on the way to the airport to hear it the first time - it was so good I had to keep on driving, missed two motorway junctions and almost missed the plane!
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.
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on 31 August 2003
Well here we are again with another solo offering from Jethro Tull's mainman. So, Who is Rupi ? No , not his mum, his wife or daughter , yes you guessed it , it's his Cat. Although You would be forgiven for thinking with a title about his moggy friend , this CD could be a tad dissapointing.But, you'd be totally wrong, Rupi's Dance is by far Anderson's best Solo effort yet.
Caliandra Shadel (The Cappucino Song) is an uptempo flute driven masterpiece filled with twisting lyrics that only Anderson can deliver.More animals appear under the guise of 'A Raft of Penguins ' & 'Pigeon Flying Over Berlin Zoo ' tracks that illustrate what a brilliant flute player, Ian is.
Buy This album , all the tracks on this album are excellent and prove Mr Anderson to be an outstanding artist bursting with originality and ofcourse 9 Lives.
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on 26 January 2014
I HATE the current music scene, acts as disposable as toilet paper, monkeys dancing for Simon Cowell, nitwits like Bieber and porn videos masquerading as pop videos. What a JOYOUS breath of fresh air it is, then, to come across a new album from a man whose career has spanned the better part of fifty years, and find that it is a glorious, intricate, homely, understated, personal piece of work with all the wit, and wry observationalism that so marked the best of his previous work. Jethro Tull may be on somewhat of a sabbatical, but Ian is obviously very much at the height of his musical powers in home-studio world. All the tracks on here have a light, sure-footedness, an intricate weave and Mr. Anderson's worldview as penetrating as it always was. I won't go on about stand-out tracks, but I adore the title track, as will anyone who has ever owned a kitten, as well as Old Black Cat, for anyone who has ever lost a beloved feline companion. Keep 'em coming, Mr. Anderson, and help us to overturn the ghastly world of current music!!
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on 25 September 2003
Rupi's Dance is simply a delightful, listenable, musically accomplished CD. Ian Anderson is better known for his work with his band Jethro Tull, but his recent solo albums, Rupi's Dance, Secret Language of Birds and Divinities (an all instrumental CD), are among his best works. Lighter and quieter than Tull offerings, Ian serves up his virtuoso flute and acoustic guitar playing on albums that work great as background music and also stand up to serious scrutiny. Try them. You won't be sorry.
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on 16 October 2003
The Secret Language of Birds (SLOB), which was released in 2000 was a good collection of acoustic tunes by Ian Anderson - even if I didn't really enjoy Andrew Gidding's "orchestral effects" on that album. Anderson's second acoustic album of the millennium, Rupi's Dance, sees him come up with a more solid collection of songs. While the album does sound similar to SLOB, this time there are more backing musicians playing various (mostly) acoustic instruments, which is a welcome addition.
The stand-out tracks in my opinion are "A Raft of Penguins", in which Anderson shares on his experiences about playing to an audience, and "Not Ralitsa Vassileva", about a dinner guest who wasn't up to par with CNN news anchor Ralitsa Vassileva. But all thirteen tracks (plus the one bonus track) fit in well. In addition to the lyrics, Anderson has written down what were the inspirations behind each song.
I can't think of a genre to place Rupi's Dance into - "good music" might be the most appropriate. If you want to hear a whole album of good acoustic tunes by Ian Anderson, Rupi's Dance is well worth the money. If you liked SLOB, chances are good you'll enjoy this 55-minute musical voyage as well. I do, and I don't even like cats.
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on 7 September 2003
The quality of this offering and indeed his previous solo album, Secret language of birds, makes you wonder why Ian Anderson still bothers with the Jethro Tull line-up and the seemingly incessant touring that has done little favours for his voice.
No matter,this is simply Anderson on superb form,particularly his magic flute playing,and recalls the very best aspects of Tull of yesteryear. Wit,quirkiness,originality are all there and even the vocals sound better than for many a long year.Stand out tracks are "Not Ralitsa Vassileva", "Old Black Cat" and "Two short planks"
Highly recommended to Tull lovers everwhere but what a pity that music of this quality can,t find a wider audience these days. Funny old thing musical fashions.....
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This is the fourth solo album from Jethro Tull frontman and seemingly inexhaustible musical creative genius Ian Anderson. Free from the constraints of the band he is able to give his whimsy full reign as he creates a disc packed full of rather delightful tunes and lyrics.

This seems at times a very personal album, with an ode to Anderson's cat, and songs inslpired by his everyday experiences. Mainly acoustic, with a folk/jazz style and a humour that is uniquely Anderson, this is a real feel good record that is garuanteed to put a smile on your face. After all these years as the main creatinve force behind Tull it is a mystery how he still does it, but he does and here's hoping there is plenty more to come yet!
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on 6 September 2003
Since becoming a die-hard fan of Jethro Tull in late 1969, I have been in awe of Ian Anderson's ability to write music and verses that are unique, always special, and very much defined with the indelible stamp that is Ian Anderson.
Not since "Crest Of A Knave", "A Passion Play" and "Benefit" has an album stood-out as a masterpiece.
"Rupi's Dance" takes Ian to the next level of musicianship. The disc will redefine him as a composer who has grown from the finest showman in rock to a musical innovator who continues to be true to his art, his talent, his fans.....and himself.
Run, don't walk, to purchase "Rupi's Dance".
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