Though I'm not quite sure why this is called a Jethro Tull album, there's no denying how cool it is to hear many of these Tull gems reimagined as pure classical flights. Featuring The Carducci Quartet, The String Quartets looks at a handful of favorites from Jethro Tull over the years, arranged by John O'Hara (Tull's most recent keyboard player) with help from Ian Anderson. Of course, Anderson also contributes flute and acoustic guitar, as well as vocals on a few pieces, but it's the violins & cello that are the stars of the show here, lending a majestic flair to "Sossity Waiting", "In the Past", "Songs and Horses", and "Aquafugue", all instantly recognizable despite their slightly different titles. "Farm, the Fourway" is just lovely, the violins & flute soaring to the heavens while the cello takes the part of the keyboards & guitar from the original recording of "Farm on the Freeway". Though Anderson's vocals sound quite frail in spots, his almost gentle whisper on " Only the Giving (Wond'ring Aloud)" drifts alongside acoustic guitar and gorgeous violin, and his charming delivery fits in perfectly on "Pass the Bottle (A Christmas Song)".
Despite the fact that this is a Jethro Tull album in name only, longtime fans are in for a treat to hear these classic songs reimagined with a new twist. Classical music and Jethro Tull turns out to be a marriage that works out quite well.
01. In the Past (Living In The Past)
02. Sossity Waiting (Sossity: You're a Woman / Reasons For Waiting)
03. Bungle (Bungle In The Jungle)
04. We Used to Bach (We Used to Know / Bach Prelude C Major)
05. Farm, the Fourway (Farm On The Freeway)
06. Songs and Horses (Songs From The Wood / Heavy Horses)
07. Only the Giving (Wond'ring Aloud)
08. Loco (Locomotive Breath)
09. Pass the Bottle (A Christmas Song)
10. Velvet Gold (Velvet Green)
11. Ring Out These Bells (Ring Out, Solstice Bells)
12. Aquafugue (Aqualung)