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Jethro Tull - The Zealot Gene Award winner

Jethro Tull
The Zealot Gene
by Sarah Tijan at 02 May 2022, 2:00 PM

How does one remain relevant after forty plus years of writing and releasing music? How does one find or decide on topics to write about, how to express their emotions and share those with the world? It is clear that Ian Anderson and JETHRO TULL know how to, whether they ever share that secret, we may never know. Releasing The Zealot Gene earlier this spring, was a long time in the making with several push backs to do to the events that occurred 2020 and on, between pandemic and time to press, all seemed to be a roadblock for the album's release.

“Mrs. Tibbets” starts the album out with the familiar sound of flutes and piano that is a signature to JETHRO TULL. What Ian and the band are singing about, is up to you to decide. Known for their non-conforming views, leaves the door open for interpretation, holding true to their style and sound, the sound remains refreshing and honest while staying relevant to the times.

The title track to the album “The Zealot Gene” is a well written concept track, a story that stands out and holds your attention, again open to interpretation. Joe Parrish James and David Goodler stand out with their playing on this track, upbeat and strong, one you could really get into when seeing live, “The Zealot Gene” holds the title of heaviest, if you can call it that, track on the album.

“Barren Beth, Wild Desert John” is a track flowing with flute and guitar, with lyrics that you can feel, you can hear the frustration and anger written within, the struggles that the band felt and experiences come out in this track. A track that you can relate to with the time that has been taken from all of us, felt with the songwriting and the music on this track.

“Three Loves, Three” concept or progressive writing, or a mix of both? JETHRO TULL has never been afraid of pushing the limits, writing about topics that others feel are taboo, again this is that experience. What one person hears; another may hear totally differently. With the amount of time that this album took to write, record and release, “Three Loves, Three” could have a variety of messages, only Ian Anderson and the band would know, the sound is familiar yet isn't, with a Progressive rock sound to it, listening to the album through you can hear the concept feel as well.

Rounding out the album “The Fisherman of Ephesus” is a track that a fan from the start to a new fan first discovering the sound of JETHRO TULL can listen to and enjoy, its familiar flute and instrumentation, the lyrical genius of Ian Anderson meld together, vocals that are calming and strong pull you in, and tell a story, that you can't help but follow along, and get lost in the track. A sensation that you don’t get to feel very often anymore in music, again a secret that the band has had since the start, one we may never know how they create that feeling, but one we are glad that they do.

The Zealot Gene, released earlier this year, could be called a blessing in disguise or a happy accident after the delay of release, ultimately aging, like a fine wine. Longtime fans questioning its release, aware yet so many unknowns standing in the way of release, lead to many questions about the album. New fans seeking out new music, in a time when music seemed to be the answer to many, needing an outlet for emotions and understand of a world unknown to most, JETHRO TULL delivered what could be described as a 70’s throwback concept album, or a Progressive rock album that has concept sound. One thing is for sure The Zealot Gene is an album with new and old, comfort and pain, one for the ages.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 10


4 Star Rating

1. Mrs. Tibbets
2 .Jacob’s Tales
3. Mine Is The Mountain
4. The Zealot Gene
5. Shoshana Sleeping
6. Sad City Sisters
7. Barren Beth, Wild Desert John
8. The Betrayal of Joshua Kynde
9. Where Did Saturday Go?
10. Three Loves, Three
11. In Brief Visitation
12. The Fisherman Of Ephesus
Ian Anderson - Flute, Acoustic Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals
Joe Parrish James - Guitar
Florian Opanle - Guitar (album only)
John O’Hara - Piano, Keyboards and Accordion
David Goodler - Bass Guitar
Scott Hammond - Drums
Record Label: Inside Out Music


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