a prevailing woodwind litheness throughout the album, cut by mad piano runs and the granite solidity of the drums. A tension is in the background - even quiet folk pieces such as "Cheap Day Return" seem to be under some kind of inescapable pressure. But it's on the hell-bent "Locomotive Breath" that Tull bring their frazzle front and center, its barrage of clip-clop rhythms doubling and tripling themselves before Anderson can glide off onto one of his harried flute excursions.
Aqualung was a bear to make, Anderson has said, because of the difficulty of hearing all the parts in a Seventies studio. Today, it's the sparse quality of Aqualung you notice - the handmade sound of a band working to convey the kind of anxiety that now gets slapped onto tape with much more booming technology but far less care.
(RS 879 - October 11, 2001)