Entertainment » Music

Homo Erraticus

by Steven Bergman
Contributor
Tuesday May 27, 2014
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Prog / folk master and flutist extraordinaire, Ian Anderson, has been the driving force behind the musical moniker known as Jethro Tull for more than four decades. At age 66, he is still creating innovative music and lyrics that challenge our thought and imagination.

However, it appears that Anderson has tired of being identified with the band name (he cites, in the Liner Notes of this new album, how he is constantly referred to as "Mr. Tull"), and is releasing this second consecutive album under his own name, and not that of the happenstance name that stuck to him and his bandmates when they finally began to gain success in 1968.

This new effort, "Homo Erraticus," is a musical suite with lyrics once again attributed to the fictitious Gerald Bostock, the alter ego whose work inspired both iterations of the band’s "Thick as a Brick" collections from 1972 and 2012. In addition to the unmistakable vocals and flute from Anderson, the new release features Tull veterans John O’Hara on keyboards and David Goodier on bass, while Florian Opahle takes over the guitar duties so long credited to Martin Barre, and Scott Hammond handles the drum work.

The album, as isn’t atypical for a progressive compilation, has a detailed backstory. Supposedly, the aforementioned Bostock discovered the rare ramblings of one Ernest Parritt, and translated Parritt’s writings into the lyrics found here. Divided into three sections (Chronicles, Prophecies, and Revelations), the fifteen tracks trace the history of man throughout the ages, from the opening "Doggerland" (7000 B.C.E.) to the speculative "Cold Dead Reckoning" (2044). Highly intellectual lyrics allow Anderson and his band to continue to challenge their audiences and add to the prog/folk genre, effectively mixing elements of British folk with the mixed meter stylings that are so often a staple of prog rock.

Forewords from both Anderson and "Bostock" grace the album’s liner notes, and the album is available in four different formats: The single CD edition, the double vinyl edition, the limited CD/DVD-A edition, and a limited Deluxe edition, which is a four-disc set (2 CD + 2 DVD-V) presented in a 60-page hardback book.

"Homo Erraticus"
Ian Anderson
CD and digital formats
Calliandra Records / Kscope

Steven Bergman is a Composer / Playwright / Performing Arts Educator based outside of Boston, MA.

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