Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Jethro Tull: Aqualung [Reprise, 1971]
Ian Anderson is like the town free thinker. As long as you're stuck in the same town yourself, his inchoate cultural interests and skeptical views on religion and human behavior are refreshing, but meet up with him in the city and he can turn out to be a real bore. Of course, he can also turn out to be Bob Dylan--it all depends on whether he rejected provincial values out of a thirst for more or out of a reflexive (maybe even somatic) negativism. And on whether he was pretentious only because he didn't know any better. C+