Ian Anderson – Thick As a Brick 2

In 1972 Jethro Tull released a prog-rock concept album that fans just lapped up. Really it was a concept album that poked fun at concept albums. It is now 40 years later and frontman Ian Anderson has released a sequel. He wrote the lyrics to the original album which told the story of 12-year-old schoolboy Gerald Bostock. Forty years later Anderson looks back and wonders about all the different life paths that Gerald could have taken. In the course of writing of all the twists and turns that Gerald’s life might have undergone, Anderson is examining and critiquing modern-day pop culture. This is not quite one continuous song as the first album was. It is broken up into 17 distinctive sections of varying lengths. There are short spoken word sections, a duet and even a part where a televangelist minister (Anderson himself) peddles his beliefs. If you are comparing the two albums you’ll not only see the evolution of our culture but also of the music Anderson creates and his singing voice. Many fans might be critical of the changes in Anderson’s voice though I think it actually adds to the album. His voice shows the wear and tear of life and this is perfectly suited for the telling of the story of Gerald aging. Thick As a Brick 2 is very listenable and even poignant at times. Much of that has to do with the witty lyrics and the fact that it is very different from anything else being released today

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