I don't have to introduce Jehtro Tull's famous frontman Mr. Ian Anderson.
After more than 30 CD's with this band and 5 solo efforts, the new album is a logical follow-up to the legendary concept albums Thick As A Brick (1972/ 2012, see review) and Thick As A Brick II (2012, see review). His new studio album Homo Erracticus is based around the poem of the disgraced child prodigy Gerald Bostock eventhough Gerald Bostock is a fictional character created by Ian Anderson himself. Anderson used lyrics (written by Gerald), based on an old, historical manuscript. This manuscript examined key events throughout British history before going on to offer a number of prophecies for the future. Suitably dramatised and exaggerated by Bostock as metaphors for modern life, he presented Anderson with ideas for 14 songs, that have now been set to music and thus result in Homo Erraticus.
The album is divided in three parts; the first part (8 songs) are the Chronicles, the middle part, the Prophecies, contains 3 songs, and the last part (4 songs) is named Revelations.
The opening song Doggerland rocks from the very beginning. It is a typical, traditional JT song: a melodic flute, a rocking guitar and clear sung vocals by Ian. Slowly building up the speed with both a nice guitar and Hammond organ solo in the middle part, ending with a repetitive chorus.
Heavy Metals is a short, dedicated poem played with acoustic instruments only.
There is more tension and suspense in the march song Enter The Uninvited. Listen to Ian's critical and cynical lyrics about Mac Donald's, Burger King, Elvis Presley and social networks.
One of the most interesting songs on this album is also the longest one: Puer Ferox Sequamur. Ian is singing beautifully between the slow ticking drums and the Hammond organ. The magical flautist knows how to build a brilliant dance song in a Viennese Waltz rhythm.
A church organ and fast spoken words about angels and churches are the most important characteristics in the Latin titled song Meliora Sequamur.
Up-tempo and folky is the jumping pub song The Turnpike Inn, as is the song The Engineer, although a little bit more rocky and this time the accordion and guitar have the leading role in addition to the cheerful lyrics by Ian.
The last song of the Chronicles, The Pax Britanica, never gets boring anywhere, thanks to the interesting lyrics and the well-known flute escapades.
Tripudium Ad Bellum is the first instrumental song. Key instrument of this short song is, quite predictably, the flute.
Best song in part two, The Prophecies, is After These Wars, but the songs before and after this ballad are not all bad either; Ian just never disappoints.
The excellent combination of the folk and rock side of Jethro Tull can be heard in the The Browning Of The Green and, finally, the epilogue Homo Erraticus Cold Dead Reckoning is, again, an excellent piece of music.
My final comments are easy to write: Ian Anderson MBE, did surprise me yet again with these 15 great songs in just 52 minutes. Finally I have to mention that there are releases available on CD+DVD and for the diehard Anderson/ Tull fans on 2CD+2DVD as well!
**** Cor Smeets (edited by Esther Ladiges)
Where to buy?