Jethro Tull - The Zealot Gene (2022)
Well, I suppose the ABBA fans waited 40 years, so 19 isn’t that much of an ask for the Tull-sters. Except, is it a Tull album? Certainly, there’s no mistaking Ian Anderson’s vocals & prowess on the flute, but after being the backbone of 21 of the previous 22 albums, it has to be said that Martin Barre is a miss in the soundscape though a big thumbs up to Florian Ophale who had the hardest job in trying to preserve the “Tull” guitar sound while not slavishly copying Barre’s particular style - well handled sir. Overall, the sound is brisk and light but seems to lack the air of theatricality that the band formerly had.
Subject-wise, Anderson has lost none of his touch and lyrical sparkle as for this album he seems to have turned to religion for inspiration; rather than turning on religion as in the past. some ways though, tying the piece to current events, there are parallels to Stormwatch. It’ll be interesting whether that bodes as to how well Zealot gene will be received down the line.
Personally, I think its a misstep to have resurrected the Jertho Tull banner, even if Tull.com wasn’t the best place to leave off (for all original material), a bit too much water has passed under the bridge.
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana...