Top positive review
2 people found this helpful
Not bad at all!
on 6 March 2018
Jethro Tull's first album of the '90s and third since coming back with the excellent, Crest of a Knave, was the blues driven hard rock album, Catfish Rising. An album that for a lack of better words, shows a band getting their mojo back.
The 1989 album Rock Island had Jethro Tull firmly place their foot back into the world of rock music. The follow up record, Catfish Rising takes everything the band did on that record and builds upon it. The band continue on with that hard rock sound, focusing more on well placed riffs and melodies instead of the more complex witty folk tunes of old.
The sound of Catfish Rising is similar to its predecessor in a lot of ways. Barre's sharp guitar tone pierces through the music like a sharp blade. His riffs are right on the money and his solos have a beautiful blues based element to them. In fact, this blues influence switches up the sound of the band as a whole. Much like the previous albums, Doane Perry and Dave Pegg are the perfect rhythm section, blending together with an excellent powerful sound and driving the songs just as well as any other musician could. Ian Anderson is in fine voice here, though still sounding awfully thin on the high notes. His vocal melodies have a nice swing to them and his flute playing is that recognisable quality we have come to expect from him.
Despite being a good album, the predecessor to Catfish Rising didn't have as many memorable songs. This album on the other has many from Occasional Dreams, to Sparrow on the Schoolyard, Thinking Round Corners and Still Love You Tonight. Even the 2006 bonus track, Night in the Wilderness is highly enjoyable with its very ZZ Top groove and a great edition to the record. Despite being over an hour long (including the bonus track), Catfish Rising is very well paced with each song being different from one another. It keeps things moving and having such great production makes it even sweeter. Gone is the '80s heavy sound and in comes a dry, more suitable approach.
It is clear that this album was a band feeling more creative and open to ideas then before. Their songs feel more inspired and even though their performances before were very enjoyable, the ones here feel more on point and more focused. Catfish Rising is not a must have album but it is a damn fine one. Fans often over look the '80s and '90s albums from Jethro Tull and that is a shame. Albums like this one, Rock Island and specifically Roots to Branches have a lot to offer in many different ways. Sure, they aren't the folk based progressive rock band they use to be. But the songs are enjoyable, professionally played and recorded. You can't go wrong with that.
Published by Steven Lornie of Demonszone