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Jethro Tull

Catfish Rising

Review by Gary Hill

This was the first album from Jethro Tull in the 1990s. It feels like it could have been an 80s offering, though. In the 80s Tull seemed to forego a lot of their progressive rock stylings in favor of a rather crunchy sound. This continues that. Still, there are Tullisms and prog to be found here. Mind you, if it wasn’t for the legacy of Jethro Tull, I don’t think I’d put this under progressive rock. Still, it might not be their best album, but it has some gems and is a pretty strong disc.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
This Is Not Love

The riff that drives this is almost metal. Ian Anderson’s vocals and flute (and to a lesser degree the song structure) reveal this to be a Tull song, but it’s a different sound for sure.

Occasional Demons
This isn’t quite a ballad, but it is more of a melodic rocker. I love the bass line on this one. It’s definitely Jethro Tull and is closer to the type of sound one associates with that band than the opener was.
Roll Yer Own
An acoustic based number, this is a bluesy rocker with a Tull sound. It’s a good one and a nice change.
Rocks on the Road
This acoustic rocker is a classy one. It’s more traditional Tull than just about anything else on the album. It has a great vocal arrangement and manages to rock while still feeling mellow. There is a cool instrumental movement on this that lands closer to progressive rock.
Sparrow on the Schoolyard Wall
Although this has more of that modern, hard-edged, MTV Tull sound, it also feels very much like classic Tull. It isn’t too far removed from the type of thing heard on Heavy Horses to me.
Thinking Round Corners
There is a Celtic edge and almost a country one on this piece. It’s a diverse piece with mellower and more rocking sounds. It’s another that makes me think of Heavy Horses quite a bit.
Still Loving You Tonight
With some world music and some jazz in the mix, this is a very classic sounding Tull tune. It’s basically a ballad. It definitely has some great musical moments.
Doctor to My Disease
Although this hard rocker is very much trademark Tull, it’s got a bit of that metallic edge. It’s high energy and fun.
Like a Tall Thin Girl
I like this one a lot. There is a bit of a bluesy rock sound to it, but it’s also very much a classic Jethro Tull song. It’s got both style and charm like crazy. It also includes a little Celtic music interlude. It’s acoustic based, but it rocks. It might not be an obvious choice, but in a lot of ways this is one of the highlights of the set.
White Innocence
This is a mellow ballad. It’s more proggy than anything to this point of the disc. It does rock out more later as the song structure gets some crunch built into it. Of course, it’s more or less a power ballad. It’s also on an even level with anything on the album proper as far as I’m concerned.
Sleeping With The Dog
A slower, bluesy rocker, this is good stuff. It’s definitely the kind of thing you expect from Jethro Tull.

 

 

Gold Tipped Boots, Black Jacket and Tie
An energetic mellow rocker, this is one the proggier things here. It’s also very much trademark Tull.   
When Jesus Came To Play
Another rather bluesy rocker, this is still instantly recognizable as Jethro Tull. I really love the flute solo section. It’s set so much in a trademark Tull sound.  

 

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