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Homo Erraticus [VINYL]

4.2 out of 5 stars 130 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Vinyl (21 April 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Kscope
  • ASIN: B00IFSC0MA
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (130 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 142,204 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

The new album from Jethro Tull frontman to be released on Calliandra Records in conjunction with Kscope on April 14th. In 2012 Ian Anderson released Thick As A Brick 2, the follow-up to Jethro Tull's legendary concept album. The album was a critical and commercial success, charting around the world. In April he returns with Homo Erraticus, his new studio album. The original Thick As A Brick album, released in 1972, was based around the poem of disgraced child prodigy Gerald Bostock. For Homo Erraticus Anderson is reunited with Bostock, using lyrics written by Gerald based on an old historical manuscript. The manuscript examines key events from throughout British history before going on to offer a number of prophecies for the future. Suitably dramatised and exaggerated by Bostock as metaphors for modern life, he presented Anderson with ideas for 14 songs, which have now been set to music. The result is Homo Erraticus. The album will be released on Anderson's own Calliandra Records label in conjunction with Kscope on April 14th. Following the release of this "Jethro Tull album" in all but name, Ian and his band will be embarking on an extensive UK tour, where they will play the album in its entirety followed by a selection of Tull classics. These shows will be followed by further tours in Europe, America and more later in the year. This double vinyl edition of the album is pressed on heavyweight (180g) vinyl with screen printed side D and packaged in a gatefold sleeve with a 8 page booklet.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By indigo on 23 April 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
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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Format: 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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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
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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