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UNDER WRAPS by Jethro Tull... maybe a hi-tech AOR album?
Listened to this controversial album in full for the first time today. It's disowned by the majority of prog-rock fans, who wrote it off as an inexplicable venture into synth-pop.

However, a thorough listen shoots a lot of holes in that narrative. It's really more of a synth-heavy bit of hi-tech AOR to these ears. The songs have a lot of drive - guitarist Martin Barre adjusts nicely to the electronic approach, using percussive riffs to add texture and energy while Anderson does the same thing with his flute playing. The songs, mainly penned by Anderson with keyboardist Peter Vettese, are very melodic and carefully structured with an attention to hooky choruses.

The distinctly mid-'80s synth tones and programming approach give it a definite period piece quality but that's not a bad thing. Vettese's style is heavy on the parping and frills and the band really throws themselves into creating dynamic, colorful arrangements that keep things from getting totally electronic. This is the one Tull album with no flesh-and-blood drummer - it's all electronic percussion programmed by Anderson and Vettese - but it is done tastefully, with plenty of sonic variety and rhythmic drive.

In short, this much maligned album was a pleasant surprise for me and I think approaching it with a hi-tech AOR mindset might open it up for other listeners.
I'm actually a fan of their 80's output all the way through from 'A' up to 'Rock Island'. I'd be keen to write them up, we've doen a couple already.

A few Tull fans here.. computer work*
Don't shoot me..I prefer most of their 80's stuff onwards, especially 'Broadsword And The Beast' which is a monster album.
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