This album, along with Aqualung and Thick As A Brick, constitutes Ian Anderson's
thrust for serious music credibility--unlike the two Tull albums, however, this one started out with a serious intent and seems to be roughly Anderson's equivalent to Paul McCartney's
Liverpool Oratorio, except that there's nothing remotely as embarrassing here as there was in that piece of overblown North England drivel (also done for EMI, on should recall). The familiar voice is absent, as Anderson confines his work to the flute and, with keyboard player/arranger Andrew Giddings
, gets backing from various size classical ensembles. The result is a kind of New Age pastiche, drawing together contemporary classical and folk/pop music influences into a smooth, pleasant, at time soporific whole, a tour around the religious world by way of Muzak-style instrumental tunes, some of which ("In A Black Box") will recall specific Jethro Tull tunes out of the past.