For Jethro Tull's "Thick as a Brick" album, Ian Anderson writes the lyrics, composes the music, sings the songs, does the arrangements, and then finds time to play the flute, acoustic guitar, violin, saxophone, trumpet and whatever else is lying around. On top of that, he creates Gerald "Little Milton" Bostock, the eight-year-old prodigy whose scandalous poem "Thick as a Brick" was deemed unfit to receive first prize from The Society For Literary Achievement And Gestation (SLAG), and Julian Stone-Mason B.A., who reviews the Jethro Tull album "Thick as a Brick." All of this is chronicled in the four pages of the St. Cleve's Chronicle, all of which is faithfully reproduced for the little booklet that comes with this CD. The review by "Stone-Mason" concludes: "One doubts at times the validity of what appears to be an expanding theme throughout the two continuous sides of this record but the result is at worst entertaining and at least aesthetically palatable." Who am I to argue? I enjoy the satirical articles in Anderson's faux newspaper (e.g., "Non-Rabbit Missing") almost as much as I enjoy the music on the album. Thematically "Thick as a Brick" is similar to "Aqualung." Again the writing is dense and enigmatic, but of course this is part of the fun. Anderson bemoans the social decay but he sees salvation down the road, but ultimately the lyrics take a back suit to the music and the brilliant arrogance of creating sections on the "single track" that are unique and yet clearly part of the whole. The thematic unity of the songs on "Aqualung" is now more than matched by a musical integration of various styles into a complete whole. You can recognize aspects of English folk music and classical bits in the mode of Handel, along with various types of jazz. One of the nice results of this grand design is that for the first time Anderson's singing seems well suited to the music. By this point in the group's history Anderson had surrounded himself with the musicians who would finally allow him to explore his unique artistic vision. In the end just remember: "your wise men don't know how it feels/to be thick as a brick." This is Jethro Tull's best album from start to finish, although certainly they come close to reaching this same level on their "Passion Play."