Review: Warchild

Warchild is the seventh full length studio album from the British progressive rock band Jethro Tull. This album from 1974 marks the bands return to short more uplifting numbers after the dark theatrical concept album, A Passion Play from 1973.

The previous two albums were bold and a great statement of the bands over all abilities. But being so over the top and featured only four tracks between them, they can come across as a little pretentious, as most progressive rock albums do. By comparison, this album is considerably more down to earth with a lot more variety and some short rock based tracks that the previous album was sorely lacking.

Warchild features favourites like the album title track, Back Door AngelSealion and Bungle in the Jungle. There are a couple of tracks from the abandoned Chateau d’Herouville Sessions, Skating Away on the Thin ice of the New Day and Only Solitaire. These songs have some excellent guitar work from Martin Barre as well as some seriously top notch rhythm playing. In fact, the drumming from Barriemore Barlow is one of the highlights of the record. The man plays so many different kinds of grooves and fills that it never gets dull for a moment.

The production of the album handled by Ian Anderson himself is very well done. Each song sounds fresh and energetic, even the acoustic guitar driven songs. The background strings have a lot of space to breathe, not being drowned out by the band or vise versa. Personally speaking, I would have liked to have heard a little more of the low end and a bit of power in the music. There is some great playing from the previous mentioned Barlow and bassist Jeffrey Hammond. It would have been nice to have heard them more prominent in the mix, but that is a extremely minor gripe at worst.

As far as the bands ’70s back catalogue goes, Warchild is down the bottom of the list just above Too Old To Rock N Roll: Too Young To Die. It isn’t a bad album by any means and is enjoyable enough for fans of the band. But I find it is simply lacking the kick that the previous albums (and the one that followed) had and suffers a little too much for it.

Rating : 7 / 10

Where to buy :

Track Listing :

  1. War Child
  2. Queen and Country
  3. Ladies
  4. Back Door Angels
  5. Sealion
  6. Skating Away on the Thin Ice of the New Day
  7. Bungle in the Jungle
  8. Only Solitaire
  9. The Third Hoorah
  10. Two Fingers