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4.0 out of 5 stars
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4.0 out of 5 stars
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on 16 April 2012
'J-Tull Dot Com' is not a popular album among the Tullite faithful but this is actually a solid consistent album with great melodies and excellent musicianship.

It is Tull in the late 90s so perhaps will not appeal to all. But this is actually quite heavy and has some memorable riffs and melodies, and the flute is superb.

Check out Barre's riffing on 'Hunt By Numbers' and Anderson sounds serious and very accomplished vocally. His flute warbles manically and is as good as I have heard him. The shimmer of Hammond is heard and the drumming is exceptional. Okay it's not 'Thick as a Brick', but what is? I am not going to compare this with the 70s as that's a useless feat, but in itself this album is entertaining and there are no bad tracks. It actually has an incredible song 'Spiral' that kicks off the album admirably. This is followed by 2 excellent innovative tracks, 'Dot Com' and Awol'. 'Nothing @ All' is certainly one of the highlights, with dazzling flute and guitar. The songs are progressive and inventive throughout.

The acoustics are here too with songs such as 'Hot Mango Flush'. The lyrics of this are fun; 'ladies with ice cream hair, gyroscopic pink neon beams, everybody's happy about something.' There is even a King Crimson like rhythm and wonderful bassline. What's not to like? This is followed by the Arabian feel of 'El Nino' that is captivating and mysterious. The chorus has a metal style distorted riff, some of the heaviest from Barre. 'Black Mamba' is a flute feast and some wonderful melodic singing. Anderson goes for a darker tone than the whimsy of the past and it works.

He still knows how to tell a story such as on the enigmatic 'Bends Like a Willow.' The trade offs of guitar and flute in this is superb. The time sigs change a few times too and I like this more experimental approach for the band. 'Far Alaska' has a frenetic flute line and very cool guitar phrases. The lyrics are intriguing; 'Norwegian fiords in the ever-light of Solstice' and 'now get me out of here I cry in air rage psycho-doom.' The lead break is great and some synth in mellotron style.

Overall I can't fault this album and, like 'Roots to Branches', it definitely is a welcome heavier side of the band in terms of Barre's guitars and Anderson's perfect vocals. It is a different side of Tull but one that I admired due to the way that the band demonstrate they can still produce innovative prog albums in the wake of a slew of fairly pedestrian releases in the 80s, that Tull had churned out previously.
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on 8 April 2011
I can't believe how good this album is. Very lively. Experimental. Superb musicianship. Ian on good form. OK there's some fillers, but 8 out of the 14 are fantastic. Wicked Windows, El Nino, Black Mamba, Bends like a willow, a Gift of roses - are all BRILLIANT ! And yes they are very memorable. Shame the artwork and title put me off for years.
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on 6 August 2007
I was surprised by how much I liked this, having heard other modern Tull albums like "Crest of a Knave" and "Catfish Rising", both of which, whilst not bad in the general mellee of things, are inferior to this one. The sound is typical Tull with plenty of flute and the music rocks in places, keeping up interest throughout. If you've ever liked the band then this is worth getting; if you're a fresher then staring with some of the 70s stuff is probably the best option.
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on 2 March 2011
This is the last true, all new material, album that JT have put out to date ('The JT Christmas Album' only has a few new tracks, plus lots of excellent re-do's), and it was released back in 1999. However, it sounds as fresh and vibrant today as it did on release.
I have always thought that the album seems to be in 2 distinct parts. The first 10 songs being either heavy, almost raucous crowd pleasers, such as Spiral, Hunt by numbers and El Nino and then others such as Wicked Windows, Hot Mango Flush, Mango Surprise are songs that set Ian Anderson out as the musical and lyrical genius that Tull fans know him to be, being fun, quirky, intelligent gems.
Of the last 4 songs on the record, 3 are heart achingly beautiful, thoughtful love songs, in the lyrical vein of Pibroch(cap in hand) from Songs from the wood.
It is hard to pick out a favourite / best track because how do you choose between Hunt by Numbers which is a turn-the-volume-right-up rocker about pussy-cats out on the prowl (remember, this is JT, such things are not incongruent), a thoughtful almost acoustic love song like A Gift of Roses and the idiosyncratic, bouncy, Hot Mango Flush?
So, why only 4 stars? It is all down to one track; AWOL. It is one of the VERY few Ian Anderson songs that sound like it was written both when he was asleep and as a space filler on an album. Put simply, it is not a very good song being boring and dreary, which is not something you associate with his output.
If you don't have this in your collection, get it now, you will not be disappointed.
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on 6 March 2012
i have just heard this album for the first time and i feel that the critics have been unfair about it i have been a tull fan since 1968 and tulls songs have been so different on each of their albums it shows just how versatile ian anderson is as a song writer i luv this album and im glad tull vary their sounds at least its not all the same old style good on you ian and fans add it to your collection alan from surrey
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on 13 June 2008
All in all a fine album. But there is one song in this album that any serious Jethro Tull fan has has to listen to: Track 5, Wicked Windows. Nothing more to add. This song by itself is everything about JT.

Listen to it.

Regards.
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on 14 February 2013
I have been waiting quite a few years to add this to my collection of Jethro Tull and it did not disappoint
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on 17 January 2017
Tull spans from '68 to '99 plus the Xmas album from 2003 - not one bad album in 31 years so cannot be bad - 35 years if you include the Christmas one - rock on JT!!
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on 14 July 2015
This one is not going to be on the shelf - next to the CD deck, ready, and well pleasing on the ear.
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on 13 February 2017
For years I didn't know what to make of this album, but now I get it!
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