3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Jethro Tull has more than one Christmas Song to sing,
By A Customer
This review is from: Jethro Tull Christmas Album (Audio CD)
Two of my favorite non-traditional Christmas songs are "I Believe in Father Christmas" by Emerson, Lake & Palmer and "Christmas Song" by Jethro Tull, which are not exactly the sort of songs you would remember to pull out of your music library at Yule time. Jethro Tull takes steps to remedy that with "The Jethro Tull Christmas Album." What you will find here are some old songs that the group has re-recorded ("Ring Out Solstice Bells" and "Bouree"), along with some songs from the vault ("Last Man at the Party") and new songs by Ian Anderson ("Birthday Card at Christmas"), as well as some standard Christmas songs ("God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen") and not so stardard ("Holly Herald"), all of which are done as instrumentals. The music approach is much more acoustic and folksy, with mandolin, accordion, and strings to go along with the expected flute playing from Anderson and Martin Barre's acoustic guitar playing, for which special mention of Gabriel Fauré's "Pavane" must be made.
If you were trying to put your finger on where the sound of this 2003 album goes in the Jethro Tull timeline then I would say it is more "Songs From the Woods" than anything else. I keep thinking that I want to say that I wish they had gone back a bit farther, to at least "Thick as a Brick," but I think that is more just more my inclinations towards what I consider classic Tull rather than what best fits the music. Actually if you told me that Jethro Tull was putting out a Christmas album and that the best tracks were going to be the instrumental pieces, I would have been surprised, and you probably will too. I am always on the look out for some eclectic Christmas albums to put into the traditional holiday mix, and "The Jethro Tull Christmas Album" certainly fits the bill, reflecting as it does Anderson's peculiar and somewhat provocative notion of the holiday. It is also a pretty good Jethro Tull album on its own terms.