Top positive review
3 people found this helpful
on 18 August 2011
Roots To Branches frequently touches the heights of inspired brilliance Tull evinced on Songs From The Wood and its companion album Heavy Horses, this being an often superb late effort, with a strong lyrical edge, as befits its rustic title.
I've loved Jethro Tull since their first few classic LPs, and off & on Ian Anderson and his shifting line-up of ne'er-do-wells have pulled off some intriguing feats of mildly eccentric rock bravado. Only occasionally they've plumbed the depths, and once or twice a well-meaning effort hasn't quite come off.
This is, to put it mildly, one of the good ones, no doubt about it. There are no dud tracks, merely one or two that meander a little and in which not quite enough happens to capture the interest.
The whole album has a lush, expansive, thoughtful feel to it, Anderson's flute very much to the fore. What a gleaming sound it makes, too. Martin Barre yet again proves what an endlessly inventive, underrated guitarist he is, and has always been.
IA's singing on these eleven songs sounds like a man who's happy & proud in his work, as he should be. He's always been a fine songwriter, a distinctive vocalist, can pen a lyric that Roy Harper, say, might be proud of, and with a melodic gift that has made Tull a more tuneful band than some of their fellow contemporaries from the late 60s/70s.
I wouldn't say there are standout tracks, they are most of them strong, melodic, and powerful, this being a late Tull album that`s simply great to have around, to play when in that "I must hear some English pastoral rock" mood ~ in this case with an Eastern tinge to many tracks ~ with a consistent high standard throughout.
One of the irrepressible Ian Anderson & his band of merry men's very best, highly recommended.