Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Broadsword & Beast
Genres: World Music, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock, Metal
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Not THAT bad, for crying out loud
The Only Reviewer That Matters | 03/19/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Now, now, Vincent, "Broadsword" really isn't as bad as you make it out to be. I just listened to it straight through and there are plenty of fine musical moments here. Granted, I can't put this album in Tull's top 5, maybe not even their top 10, but to dismiss it simply as "rubbish" is being plenty shortsighted.As I said, there are great moments here. The Clasp is a great tune with a very memorable and catchy little flute melody riding atop galloping tom-toms. Slow Marching Band is one of Tull's sweetest tunes. Seal Driver is a big, fat, rock anthem that shakes the speakers if you crank it loud enough. And Watching Me, Watching You is a good example of creative, unconventional song-writing. Sure, not everything here is brilliant, but "Broadsword" is better than any other Tull 80's album except for "Crest of a Knave." It's better than A, Under Wraps, and Rock Island, and as such does not deserve the critical punishment many here have dished out.I give this album 3 and a half stars. I think it has some very strong material."
Some Very High Points and Then.....
Bellagio | Las Vegas | 04/28/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Like "A" which preceeded it, "Broadsword" is an album which combines works that are amongst the groups finest with some highly questionable and unsuccessful forays into the realm of electronic music. Broadsword is an album produced during a period of proliferic yet uneven output by the band (they easily had enough raw material for a double album from sessions which led to Broadsword). In fact, some of the material left off this album, probably for reasons of stylistic consistency, is truly outstanding (Overhang, Jack-A-Lynn). On the other hand, some seemingly strange inclusions at the expense of such superb "rejects" does leave one grasping for explanations. Probably a matter of taste, and perhaps, on Ian Anderson's part, the strong desire to keep the band moving in new and different directions.Broadsword is also like "A" in that there are certain high points so stratospheric that the mediocre or even the downright questionable works alongside are well worth the trouble. What Broadsword had that "A" never achieved however was a good measure of popular acclaim, particularly in Europe where it became the highest-selling of all Tull albums.The music of Broadsword, for all of it's electronic experimentation, is among the most conventional in terms of song structure. While the band is experimenting with new sounds and techniques, they ground the songs firmly within classical song structure. Usually, Tull's experimentation is precisely the opposite -- relatively standard instrumentation and modest use of music concrete techniques combined with dramatic experimentation in the actual structure of the musical compositions. The album opens with "Beastie," a somewhat mundane version of the prototypical Tull opening rocker, highlighted by fine lyrics examining the inner devils which haunt us from cradle to the grave. "The Clasp" follows, and it is one of the more interesting, inventive and under-rated works of this "techno" period. Unlike many other such pieces, including a notable disaster in the second half of this album, this song successfully blends what one thinks of as the "Tull Style" with electronic music. It is different enough to take just a bit getting used to, but it will, as is the case with most strong Tull songs, grow on the listener over time."Fallen on Hard Times" strikes me as a much less-accomplished version of "Cup of Wonder" (Songs From The Wood). It is a catchy tune blessed with some fine acoustic guitar work, yet it lacks the inventiveness we come to expect in Tull music -- and over time it simply becomes forgettable. "Flying Colours" is an improvement, providing a nice slow-fast transition which we also see (in different proportions) in the magnificent "Jack-A-Lynn" from the same period. While being reminiscent in style, "Flying Colours" never approaches the beauty or grandeur of "Jack-A-Lynn." "Slow Marching Band" is a relative rarity in the Tull catalogue -- a true ballad -- and a very fine one at that, funereal in tone as well as in lyric. The album abruptly changes course in the second half, from inner demons (including death) to wildly eclectic ventures into the realm of the romantic. The second half opens with the magnificent and overtly romantic "Broadsword." It is an electronically-enhanced foray into the world of Viking raids on British castles, in subject matter it is something straight out of a Harlequin romance novel. However, it is stunning in its execution, and one of the last great examples of the evocative power of Ian Anderson's voice, pre-illness. Another, more modern version, of the romantic sensibility is present in "Pussy Willow" -- but this time we are observing the devotee of the romance novel, not the plot thereof. A lovely song about the innocent desire for beauty, always framed with the hard-edges of reality.Hard-edges are about all that is present in the unfortunate "Watching You, Watching Me." Romantic only in the sense that it is about spies and spying, it is an unhappy signpost for the next Tull album (Under Wraps). This electronically-influenced disaster may well be one of Tull's worst effort in experimentation. (None other than Mr. Anderson and Mr. Barre have expressed the exact opposite opinion regarding the very unpopular Under Wraps. As fraught with danger as it is, I fear I must go with the majority over the expert opinion in this case).No one has ever gone, however, from the ridiculous to the sublime as quickly as does Tull does here. "Seal Driver" is truly one of the greatest Tull songs in the entire catalogue -- a song as easily comfortable on "Stormwatch" as here -- it transports the listener to the blustery, wave-washed deck of a fishing boat on the high seas. Notable is the piercing guitar work by Martin Barre....END"
Bring Me My Broadsword
Graboidz | Westminster, Maryland | 05/15/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is probably the best Tull record of the early 80's. "A" was really an Ian Anderson solo album under the Tull name, and Under Wraps took too steep a dive into the keyboard and synth sound of the decade for most Tull fans. Broadsword toned down alot of the keyboard featured on "A" and Ian Anderson's song writing for this album is simply fantastic, featuring songs written more in tune with what a fan expects from a Jethro Tull CD. Broadsword is a fast, fun-filled disk that clocks in well under the 45 minute mark, but packs so much into each song! Highly recommended!"