Ian Anderson’s second solo album since quietly deep-spacing the Jethro Tull band moniker, and to boot his third excursion into his avatar Gerald Bostock, a child prodigy turned troubled adult. Only this time Bostock mostly stands in for deep-time, since Homo Erracticus stretches
back to circa 6200 B.C.E. and ends here, now, honoring a rough chronology but flying forth and back as the master pleases, often to the tune of his Pied Piper silver aerophone.
Bostock may be dissolved in the ages, but other honored Tull trademarks represent. That flute, of course, and the surge of electric organ through the deeper tradition of U.K. folk dancing, not to mention U.K. folks’ foibles in fable. The craggy, ruined vagabond from Aqualung and elsewhere, peered out over binoculars from the cover of 1979’s Stormwatch, gloating as a tempest overtook an oil rig. Thirty-five years later, oil rigs are blown, seas are rising, we’re deeper in goop than previously conceptualized, even as the disc reminds how trouble’s been with us always. We’ve just moved onto bigger, more dangerous toys.
Anderson digs how fans can Google anything they don’t get, so he’s not shy about piling on history, Doggerland to Morris Traveller to “Neil, Buzz, and Michael.” And what’s next for history? One politician just claimed he deserves to serve because the “man” who beat him is actually a robot. We’ll see more of that — robots and protests. The Piper calls us children down the path and doesn’t hide his sly grin between toots.
- Album: Homo Erraticus
- Artist: Ian Anderson
- Label: Kscope
- Songs: (1) Doggerland (2) Heavy Metals (3) Enter the Uninvited (4) Puer Ferox Adventus (5) Meliora Sequamur (6) The Turnpike Inn (7) The Engineer (8) The Pax Britannica (9) Tripudium Ad Bellum (10) After These Wars (11) New Blood, Old Veins (12) In for a Pound (13) The Browning of the Green (14) Per Errationes Ad Astra (15) Cold Dead Reckoning