Crest of a Knave released in 1987 is a very mixed bag IMO. This is the first album after Ian Anderson's throat problems kicked in and that affects his singing quite a bit. Listen to "Said she was a dancer" and you'll be wondering if Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits is JT's new lead singer.
Ian's 80s fascination with the programming of synthesized rhythms and keyboard-patterns is also still apparent on some of the tracks (which is not my cup of tea, I must confess). The "proggy" side of JT is not gone- but almost on this release and many of the tracks are simply straight forward rockers ("Steel monkey" etc.). IA's lyrics are also not as inspired as in the past (IMO).
BUT....in spite of all these negative things there are still a few things I like about this album. "Budapest" is one of them. A great "symphonic" song with wonderful almost neo-classical themes on flute and acoustic guitar (I've heard that this is also Ian Anderson's favorite track from the album). "Farm on the freeway" is also a nice little tune with some prog-elements. I also kind of like the bluesy "Jump Start".
Anyway, this is not one of JT's classic releases and I wouldn't recommend this to a JT-newbie but if you know your Tull there are bits and pieces that are worthwhile on this offering.
My rating: 3 out of 5
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