Thick As A Brick 2
That was something totally unexpected. Surely, it has left the fans of Jethro Tull with mixed emotions. There are so many question marks when it comes to this specific release… that it seems the music and the actual album are of secondary importance. But I do not think that’s good when it comes to music… Anyhow, I’m sure that many fans will wonder as I do…
Why is it entitled “Thick As A Brick 2”? Now, after 40 years… a sequel to the original Jethro Tull “Thick As A Brick”… it’s weird…
“Whatever Happened to Gerald Bostock”? Did Ian have in mind to tell us what actually happened to the fictional character of “Thick As A Brick” sometime? If yes, why now and not later?
Why did he release it as a solo album and not as a Jethro Tull one? It would surely have made a better sense… since the original first album is under the Jethro Tull name.
Where is Martin Barre (guitarist)? He’s been with Ian for ages… how could he miss this new album? On the other hand, Ian’ ego is too big to let anyone or anything stand in his way.
Having the abovementioned things in mind I started listening to the album. Honestly this could easily have come under the name Jethro Tull (as all Ian’s solo records as well)… for there’s no difference in those releases. Musically, Ian is moving in his known places… lots of acoustic guitars, flute, piano, smart orchestrations, nice themes, and beautiful lyrics even though this time they are more direct than in the first album. Furthermore, “Thick As A Brick 2” won’t remind you of the first album… but some relatively later Jethro Tull’s works such as: “Minstrel in the Gallery”, “Heavy Horses” & “Broadsword and the Beast”.
The album contains 17 songs and not, as many might have thought, 2 big songs that make one track eventually as in the first release. The production is rather good and clear (although I would prefer the guitars to be a bit up front in the mix)… and the sound is not old-fashioned at any point… in fact, I would call it fresh. It’s true that the album flows pleasantly as a cohesive piece of music.
Ian seems to be in a very good shape… as he does sing very well and he also has delivered some very fine prog rock tunes in this album. I’d rather have seen this album under the Jethro Tull moniker… that’s my grumble. Conversely, I do not think that any Jethro Tull or Ian Anderson fan won’t enjoy this release for any reason. Bypassing the first logical questions about the nature of this album… you are then faced with the music which is the most important thing of all. As a conclusion, “Thick As A Brick 2” is a fine album which will bring you nice memories of the “old” Jethro Tull era… but it will also show the younger how progressive art rock music is like… from a mastermind that never compromised in his life and influenced almost everyone… who claims that plays progressive music of any kind…