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Customer Review

on 23 April 2012
By the time Tull released this album, they had been drifting for some time. "A" and "Under Wraps" had alienated previous fans (like myself) who had moved on to other groups/musicians. So, when I heard "Steel Monkey" as a single it wasn't immediately recognisable as a Tull track. Intrigued, I bought the album and loved it. Crest of a Knave, to me, is a straightforward rock album with transatlantic appeal but still with a hint of Tull's roots blended in. Steel Monkey is a tight well-played, radio friendly track with Barre and Pegg playing flat out. Farm on the Freeway is a slow reflective track about the battle between progress and tradition. Oddly, considering albums like Heavy Horses, hearing Anderson sing about freeways and pick -up trucks is a little weird but the music is easy and reflective and allows for a bit of flute work! Jump Start goes back to Steel Monkey in style, and again is an easy-on-the-ear rock track. Said She Was A Dancer and Budapest are very similar tracks, with similar lyrics and styles enabling to Barre and Pegg to express themselves. Both are quite long story-telling. The next track (Mountain Men), in many ways, is the closest to Tull house-style music. Sung with more passion and building slowly from a thoughtful start to a hard tight sound: constantly on my playlists: for me the outstanding track. Raising Steam is a joyous finale: almost sounding as if Ian Anderson was satisfied and relieved with the final product! The above track sequence was how the original album was released, with side A ending with Said She Was. On the CD, "Dogs" is inserted at this point. That makes sense in that you separate the two similar ballads. As an offering, it is certainly a JT track, and easy on the ear. The other inserted track, is The Waking Edge. Firstly it breaks the flow from Mountain Men into Raising Steam, which worked well on the original. Secondly, it's not particularly memorable. Personally, I skip it. Lyrically, overall it is not as quirky as previous offerings, and at times it tends towards the cliched rock image but musically it is strong. The albums that followed, tried to repeat this formula. In my mind they were poor imitations. If you like classic complex Tull, this won't appeal. If you want a quality Rock offering, this album ticks the boxes.
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Product Details

4.3 out of 5 stars
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4.3 out of 5 stars
£6.38+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime