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Design By Humans
Published On: Thu, Jun 26th, 2014

Ian Anderson: Homo Erracticus

ian andersonIan Anderson
Homo Erracticus
(Kscope)

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Ian Anderson, flutist/vocalist/acoustic guitarist and the main man of the classic prog rock band Jethro Tull, gives us his sixth solo album,  Homo Erraticus. Not that there’s much of Tull left anymore and as far as Anderson sees it (and certainly with how Homo Erracticus sounds) he was/is Jethro Tull.

Whether you agree with the above statement (I don’t, so much), songs like the opener, “Doggerland,” sound very Tull-ian with its plodding staccato rolling, flute/bass riffery and background harpsichord.  “Enter the Uninvited” sees Ian delivering a marching statement about modern life in his limited range ala Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire.” “Puer Ferox Adventus” and “Meliora Sequamur” are both John O’Hara-led and run around again a familiar Tull subject, religion.

The first eight tunes make up the “Chronicles” part of this album.

A blistering fast flute, electric guitar and bass open “Tripudium Ad Bellum,” the first of the trio that makes up the “Prophecies” part of the album. It turns into a nice roll-through of an instrumental, showcasing Anderson’s flute prowess. I quite like the quick popping of “New Blood, Old Veins”  with a great use of O’Hara’s piano and drummer Scott Hammond (plus something you don’t hear often with Anderson, a second vocal provided by Ryan O’Donnell.)

“Revelations” includes “In For a Pound” (a fast Anderson vocal/acoustic snippet), “The Browning of the Green,” a full band menacing snake-of-a-tune, has a cool extra synth line in the verses and lots of anxiousness in the chorus. “Per Errationes Ad Astra” is Anderson speaking about “the wandering man” (not much of a tune here) and the album ends with “Cold Dead Reckoning” sounding pretty much like the opener, but Florian Opahble’s electric, tight strumming is fine as is David Goodier’s bass playing.

Homo Erracticus is the third of Ian’s fictional writing with Gerald Bostock, his co-writer from the infamous Tull album Thick as a Brick album and Ian’s solo Thick as a Brick 2. Classic Tull sound, Anderson solo album…a little of both? I’ll let you decide.

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Ian Anderson: Homo Erracticus