http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/7461406a50da707311dc4676b71b01f2d7589357.jpg The Jethro Tull Christmas Album

Jethro Tull

The Jethro Tull Christmas Album

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December 17, 2003

Jethro Tull wear the holiday spirit well — think Aqualung after the Christmas ghosts have had their way with him. The originals simmer with eccentric, eclectic, folky energy, rocking ditties threaded through with Celtic stylings, jazzy undercurrents, Ian Anderson's distinctive flute and wry humor. The spry "Last Man at the Party" celebrates the excesses of the season, while the wistful "First Snow in Brooklyn" is a winter's tale about cooled romance. Though the Tull tunes lilt with carol-esque abandon, the reworked traditional songs are the tracks that really sparkle. On "Greensleeved" the band spices up the seasonal classic with a dash of bossa nova flair; "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" and "We Five Kings" swing sassily with jazzy syncopation; and "Holly Herald" is a sprightly take on "Hark the Herald Angels Sing." Few things are more festive than accomplished musicians having a dickens of a good time, and that's what this album is all about.

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