Picks and Pans Review: Storm Watch
For a decade-plus, Tull, led by writer/guitarist/ flutist Ian Anderson, built its potent reputation by strenuously avoiding rock cliches. The group forged a distinct music from elements of blazing rock (drums, bass, electric guitar soloing), English folk (flute, acoustic piano and guitar harmonies) and Anderson's eccentric lyricism. All of it was performed with inventive, precise dynamics and sparkling sound quality. This LP has all that, best rendered on such oldies as Songs from the Wood, Benefit and Aqualung—but little more. Anderson has, in a way, played his band into a corner with its own clichés, however creative. Though there is fine, gripping Tull here, ranging from hard-rock (Dark Ages) to delicate folk (Elegy), the band seems to be in a holding pattern.