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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Respect
A life-long JT fan, I approached this (and indeed the last) CD with caution. The first thing one can't help to notice, though, is the quality of the whole package: production values are exemplary in all categories! The care and attention to detail puts many other new CDs to shame. Is the music any good? Yes, it's excellent. Is it as good as TAAB1 or Aqualung? Of course...
Published 8 months ago by indigo

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Erraticus without shame.
Im going to have to listen too this for a few years to see if it will get better. Not excellent, not thrilling. Some tracks are similar to the earlier Tull works, others not. And spoken word music ....???? Just plain no.
As Ian Anderson himself says
'Homo Erraticus – for that is the title of the next epic voyage into the Progressive Rock pantheon of...
Published 2 months ago by Mr. P. Richardson


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Respect, 23 April 2014
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This review is from: Homo Erraticus (Deluxe) (Audio CD)
A life-long JT fan, I approached this (and indeed the last) CD with caution. The first thing one can't help to notice, though, is the quality of the whole package: production values are exemplary in all categories! The care and attention to detail puts many other new CDs to shame. Is the music any good? Yes, it's excellent. Is it as good as TAAB1 or Aqualung? Of course not. After repeated listenings I don't find this recording as loveable as TAAB2, but you can't deny it's good music. Ian never had the voice of a rock vocalist and he was never bothered about catchy choruses (although he managed some over the years), but in the studio he still does a pretty decent job as a singer. Anyone who criticises that the music is nothing new misses the point: This album deliberately quotes previous JT tunes and obviously refers back to the glory days of prog rock. The lyrical concept is breathtaking and the complexity of the musical arrangements is familiar and - to my mind still - unrivalled in contemporary rock music. He broke fans' hearts by ditching Martin on guitar, but give the man some respect: His vision for his music is still impressive. Enjoy, there may never be anything comparable again!
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't Sit This One Out, 16 April 2014
By 
P. Taylor - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Homo Erraticus (Deluxe) (Audio CD)
I like this album. I wasn't convinced about TAAB2 but this is a return to form in my opinion. Lyrically it is ambitious, telling the story of Britain from pre-history to the future in just one disc, each track dealing with a different aspect. For example track one concerns migration and starts with the first Britons traipsing across the swampy Doggerland (later to be covered by the North Sea) from mainland Europe and finishes with the flow of migration reversed as the British re-colonise Europe in the 1960s with the advent of air travel and the package holiday. Musically, even though it is sold as an Ian Anderson solo album, this is much more Tullish than other solo efforts like The Secret Life of Birds, Rupi's Dance or Divinities. Indeed tracks like "Doggerland" would be completely at home on the Stormwatch album The musicians are top notch, and according to Anderson's commentary on the accompanying DVD, come from a classical or jazz tradition rather than folk or rock but that doesn't stop guitarist Florian Opahle channelling Martin Barre on occasions.
A genuinely interesting album, cleverly crafted lyrics, beautifully played and, like the best concept albums, it is very well presented in hard back digibook with background to the work as well as artwork and lyrics. The additional DVD has a subtle 5.1 surround mix by Jakko Jakszyk which adds to the listening experience.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars So good, yet again...one of the greats, 14 April 2014
By 
David R. Walters (Huntingdon, Cambs United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Homo Erraticus (Deluxe) (Audio CD)
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Passion still at play, 24 Jun 2014
By 
Huck Flynn "huckleberry" (northern ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Homo Erraticus (Audio CD)
An interesting and enjoyable album from the irrepressible former Tull leader and his new band. I agree with others that this is a much more fully rounded band album that TAAB2 with some great guitar and keyboard contributions and some trademark flute licks to please die hard fans. Perhaps less acoustic guitar than i'd like but the singing is more than adequate and does justice to Anderson's clever lyrical concept and there are some memorable themes and motifs throughout to raise it above the level of a album of songs. However gone seem the days when Anderson could conjure up the great infectious jingles and phrases that you couldn't get out of your head for days. Very little in the way of hummable anthems here but lots of skillful interplay and tightly constructed compositions. It will be played regularly but not as often as Thick as a Brick, Passion Play, Benefit, Stand Up, Heavy Horses ....
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Erraticus without shame., 12 Oct 2014
By 
Mr. P. Richardson (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Homo Erraticus (Audio CD)
Im going to have to listen too this for a few years to see if it will get better. Not excellent, not thrilling. Some tracks are similar to the earlier Tull works, others not. And spoken word music ....???? Just plain no.
As Ian Anderson himself says
'Homo Erraticus – for that is the title of the next epic voyage into the Progressive Rock pantheon of strangeness. Old lags like me are supposed to fade away with the occasional revival or best-of tour in comfortable, familiar places. But out with a bang, I say. No comfort zone repetition and cozy ride into the final sunset. Turn up the wick. Burn a little brighter. Take on the impossible and take a trip. A wild river raft ride down the canyons of the Far Side.'
So that pretty much sums up Tulls latest work .Progressige certainly, but maybe a journey too far to the point of being unlikeable. We will just have to catch up.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Man of passion rises again, 19 April 2014
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This review is from: Homo Erraticus (Deluxe) (Audio CD)
So what's the verdict on 'Homo Erraticus', the ambitious, bold and eagerly awaited new concept album from Ian Anderson and his band? This is a difficult album for a Jethro Tull fan to review with any objectivity, as its release coincides with the formal announcement that Jethro Tull as a band (as opposed to a repertoire of music) is no more. Of course, we all knew that from the relative lack of new activity over the past ten years. It became clear in the late 1990s that Ian Anderson was starting to save his best new songwriting material for his solo albums. The other band members must have known then, or at least suspected, that the game was up. Still, it is sad to have it formally confirmed. Tull had survived longer than most of their peer group from the late 1960s, and the world of popular music will mourn their passing as a cohesive unit.

Against this background, there will inevitably be a temptation to benchmark this new solo venture from Anderson against Tull's best work from the past. This sets the bar very high indeed. Is 'Homo Erraticus' as inspired and brilliant as 'Thick as a Brick' or 'Passion Play'? Of course not. Does this really matter? No - it is surely enough that Anderson still has the energy and creativity to even consider making a full-blown concept album at the age of 66. That it happens to be a very good one is an added bonus.

The most striking thing about 'Homo Erraticus' is that it is clearly a Jethro Tull album in all but name - much more so than any of Anderson's previous solo ventures. In fact, it is probably the best Tull album that could possibly be made without the involvement of the incomparable Martin Barre. It is sad that Martin is no longer a member of the band, but there is no doubt that this is a bona fide album from the Tull repertoire, with the authentic, unique progressive rock sound that characterised the group's best work of the 1970s. Compared to Thick as a Brick 2, the album presents a harder-rocking, more intricately woven sound. In this sense, it is more like 'Roots to Branches' than any of Anderson's previous solo albums. The band really swings and sounds far more spontaneous than on TAAB 2. The musical arrangements are also more richly ornamented, the sound production vastly superior. (This album really does deserve to be heard on a good Hi-Fi system.) There is more musical detail, and the ideas are generally fresher and full of surprise. It is an album that repays repeated listening, as there is far too much to take in on a first hearing. The melodic lines are also intriguing - you're unlikely to be humming them after a first listen, but they hook you in and you want to start listening to the album again as soon as it's finished. This is the hallmark of all great Tull music.

After reading some critical reviews here on Amazon, I approached this album with relatively low expectations of Ian Anderson's voice, but I was pleasantly surprised. He is on good form throughout, despite the fact that some of the material is lyrically very challenging.

On balance, 'Homo Erraticus' probably deserves a 5 star rating. Musically, it is the most powerful and dynamic album Anderson has made since 'Roots to Branches', whilst the grandeur and ambition of its concept and lyrical ideas actually surpass that album and are much closer in spirit to TAAB and Passion Play. If I have awarded it 4 stars rather than 5, it is because some of the songs seem a bit weighed down by the wordiness of Anderson's lyrics. This has been a problem on a number of his recent CDs, starting with 'The Secret Language of Birds' in 2000. It is not that the lyrics are obtuse; the issue is that they don't always sit well on the musical line, giving rise to a sense of over-crowding in the vocal delivery. (Joni Mitchell's songwriting often suffers from a similar problem.) I would like to give Ian some friendly advice. This band really knows how to rock. Allow them to stretch out and extemporise. You don't need to be singing all the time. The lyrics are, of course, supremely literate, as we have come to expect of Anderson. But it would do no harm for him to give his voice a rest occasionally and the band more space. The instrumental passages are superb and offer some of the best moments on the album, indeed (in the case of the stupendous 'Tripudium ad Bellum'), some of the best moments in the entire Tull catalogue.

Minor quibbles aside, 'Homo Erraticus' is solid testament to Ian Anderson's enduring genius as a musician and composer, after an amazing forty seven years in the music business. The flow of melodic invention continues unabated, like a mountain stream from an unknown infinite source, truly astounding for someone who has been writing and playing music continuously for over four decades. No-one else has such a total command of the sonic possibilities of rock music, qualities which can - in the right hands - give it a truly orchestral character, capable of expressing profound ideas and emotions. In essence, this is a suite of songs cleverly linked by common lyrical and musical themes, rather than a collection of individual songs, a point some of the one-line, one-star reviews posted on Amazon to drag down the overall rating seem to have missed. I think Jethro Tull fans are really going to like this album, and I'm looking forward to hearing it performed live in London in late May.

Postscript: 'Homo Erraticus' is every bit as impressive in live performance as it is on record. As for the album itself, it is challenging initially, but continues to get better with each fresh listen. A late classic from the underrated wandering minstrel of British popular music.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ho Hum, 20 April 2014
By 
B. Strong "barrie279" (U.K) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Homo Erraticus (Deluxe) (Audio CD)
I think the following observations might be a criticism of my deteriorating musical ears however, like TAAB2 before, i have found it difficult to maintain my concentration when listening to Home Erraticus. Yes the music is of the highest quality and I.A. continues to write insightful and playful lyrics. However after 6 attempts to 'internalise' the music i am left with the emotion of 'nodding approval but unlikely to play the the album again anytime soon'.

Other reviewers have noted some strong melodic motifs and memorable flute solos however, for me, i've heard it all before. Thinking back to the last substantial Tull album 'Roots To Branches'...some 20 years later the songs are etched into my memory. The Eastern flavour of the album lent itself to strong rhythmic patterns therefore felt very much a 'band' album. Maybe I.A. needs an equal partner that can reign in certain excesses...two heads are maybe better than one!

Despite my reservation we should celebrate the continuing idiosyncrasies of I.A. and cherish not only past glories but his continuance in presenting music that still challenges.
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Andersonus Intelligentius, 14 April 2014
By 
The Guardian (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Homo Erraticus (Deluxe) (Audio CD)
In his 67th year, Ian Anderson stubbornly refuses to rest on his laurels and bask in past glories. `Homo Erraticus' is a remarkable piece of work: original, lyrical, thoughtful, musically sophisticated with excellent sound and production values, a storyboard weaving together many narrative strands to entertain and delight.

The first impression you'll receive from the CD/DVD package is that a great deal of thought and care has gone into this project: a quality, classy product greets you which respects the audience's intelligence and likely aesthetic sensibilities. The 32-page insert containing explanatory essays and all the song lyrics artistically laid out in sequence is a minor literary masterpiece on its own, and takes a good hour to read through and digest. The album tells a themed story of human colonization of the British Isles (which began, according to archaeological records, 800,000 years ago). Anderson begins in `Doggerland' with the continental land bridge at the end of the last ice age; the narrative then skips over the bronze and iron ages to `Enter the Uninvited' which quickly runs through all the influences which came in from outside:

"Angles, Saxons, Danes and Normans
On the whole a curve of learning,
...Willie Conker, work cut out, in Domesday pages marks our number...
Sheep and pigs amongst the hundreds,
Fat tithes and taxes to encumber"

All the way to:

"Bubble gum and google-bum, Facebook-frenzied social network
Apple mac and i-Phone App, Gibson,
Fender sonic fretwork..."

The music underpinning this poetic lyrical narrative is as unique and engaging as we have come to expect from Anderson in his more mature years. Supported by the capable professional musical talents of John O'Hara, David Goodier, Florian Opahle, Ryan O'Donnell and Scott Hammond, mixed by Jakko Jakszyk and produced by Anderson himself the result is a seamless amalgam of catchy melodies, syncopated jazz rhythms, driving rock sections and odd time-signatures interwoven with trad English folk-idioms and references to other world-music styles. The result however is much greater than the parts, a unified style like no other: this is music for thinking people.

Anderson's lyrical writing has always been good but now occupies a territory rare in popular music: it stands as poetry which may be simply read aloud, communicates complex ideas with great economy of language, is clever and witty. Delivered over the music, the result is a rewarding and satisfying experience, joyous in a way that only good art can be.

The DVD includes the whole album accompanied by imagery and poetic lyrical insets; the music in 24/48 stereo and in DTS 5.1 Surround; and a thoughtful filmed interview with Anderson on the making of the album where he reveals:

"Writing songs for me is a terror...rather than waiting for the muse to turn up, you sometimes have to go out on a blind date and meet it halfway..."

and:

"What the album is all about is people going places, learning from the experience, evaluating something that you didn't know about before and benefiting - hopefully - as a consequence"

Exploring the possibility of imminent environmental catastrophe ("The Browning of the Green"), `Homo Erraticus' is ultimately optimistic about the ability of we humans to find a way out, to avert disaster, maybe even discover a new Eden.

This is such a refreshing change from the pap which passes for popular music these days; the maturity and intelligence of `Homo Erraticus' may outlast even the best of Jethro Tull's glory years. If you like your music to be crafted for thinking people, give it a listen - or two. Chance is you'll get to like it.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Best Ian Anderson Release Since The Jethro Tull Christmas Album, 16 April 2014
By 
J. Patching "panzer-attack" (Cardiff, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Homo Erraticus (Deluxe) (Audio CD)
I like this album.

To be fair, I'm yet to come across an Ian Anderson album that I didn't like but if I'm honest his last few offerings are gathering a bit of dust on my CD shelf. It's not that they're bad albums ... it's just that after the intial couple of listens I don't feel myself compelled to give them another spin.

This album is different. It's got a bit more oomf to it than his last few. It's got a good mix of quirky tunes and clever lyrics. The electric guitars are more pronounced. It's closer to that hard to define earthy, celticy, muscular music that characterises a lot of the 70s Tull stuff than anything he's brought out in the last decade and a half at least. I love the cover design, the artwork, the lettering, the sleeve notes, the packaging. A lot of thought has gone into this one.

I just wish he could still sing.

I think the main reason Ian Anderson's recent albums tend to sound a bit samey is because of the very limited vocal range he now has. On most of the songs here he uses the slightly sing song almost spoken word style he's developed, which is ok but ... well, there's nothing you're really going to find yourself singing along to here.

Still, the tunes are great and the lyrics ... well, no one else really writes lyrics like Ian Anderson do they? The album needs a good few listens to really appreciate but it's worth the effort. Nice one Mr Anderson!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jethro Tull is back, 1 July 2014
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This review is from: Homo Erraticus (Deluxe) (Audio CD)
With this album and Thick as a brick vol.2 Ian Anderson is back endeed. The lyrics and the Music is excellent.
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Homo Erraticus (Deluxe)
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