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War Child

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Jethro Tull 11/5/2002

Review

As a return to standard-length songs following two epic-length pieces (Thick as a Brick and A Passion Play), it was inevitable that the material on War Child would lack power. The music was no longer quite able to cover for the obscurity of Jethro Tull's lyrics: the title track is reasonably successful, but "Queen and Country" seems repetitive and pointless. "Ladies," by contrast, is one of Tull's folk-based pieces, and one of the prettiest songs on the record, beautifully sung and benefiting from some of Ian Anderson's best flute playing to date. The band is very tight but doesn't get to really show its stuff until "Back-Door Angels," after which the album picks up: "Sealion" is one of Anderson's pseudo-philosophical musings on life, mixing full-out electric playing and restrained orchestral backing, while "Skating Away on the Thin Ice of a New Day" is a beautiful, largely acoustic number that was popular in concert. "Bungle in the Jungle," with a title that went over well, got most of the radio play. [War Child was reissued in an upgraded, remastered edition during November 2002, with improved sound and seven bonus tracks recorded during the sessions for the album that add 27 minutes to the original running time. The new tracks include the gently orchestrated instrumental "Warchild Waltz," which is really an overture of sorts, quoting from songs off the finished album and mostly a showcase for conductor/arranger David Palmer and the Philomusica of London chamber orchestra; the instrumental "Quartet," which is exactly what it says, a piece of chamber music for the group with some low-level accompaniment from the orchestra; the slightly rambling electric guitar and flute-driven "Paradise Steakhouse"; the silly sounding but catchy "Sealion 2," which is a worthy follow-up to its previously issued namesake; "Rainbow Blues," which ought to have been released before this, as one of the group's better and more memorable hard rock numbers of the period; the gorgeous, folk-like acoustic guitar-driven "Glory Row," which could have been a single B-side; and the hard, crunchy "Sensation," which is superior to at least a third of the songs on the original LP.] ~ Bruce Eder
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 War Child Jethro Tull 4:29
  3. 2 Queen and Country Jethro Tull 2:57
  4. 3 Ladies Jethro Tull 3:15
  5. 4 Back Door Angels Jethro Tull 5:26
  6. 5 Sealion Jethro Tull 3:16
  7. 6 Skating Away on the Thin Ice of a New Day Jethro Tull 4:7
  8. 7 Bungle in the Jungle Jethro Tull 3:32
  9. 8 Only Solitaire Jethro Tull 1:39
  10. 9 The Third Hoorah Jethro Tull 4:45
  11. 10 Two Fingers Jethro Tull 5:2
  12. 11 Warchild Waltz Jethro Tull 4:17
  13. 12 Quartet Jethro Tull 2:40
  14. 13 Paradise Steakhouse Jethro Tull 3:58
  15. 14 Sealion, Pt. 2 Jethro Tull 3:16
  16. 15 Rainbow Blues Jethro Tull 3:36
  17. 16 Glory Row Jethro Tull 3:30
  18. 17 Saturation Jethro Tull 4:18

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