A Prog God returns
Ian Anderson – Homo Erraticus
Genre: Progressive Rock
Best track: After these wars
2014 might just be the year of progressive rock, its grand return. Ian Anderson might just be the man to usher it in. It is easy to assume as his new album has been given significant press, even being streamed for free through Billboard.
Homo Erraticus is billed as the third installment in the Thick as a brick trilogy chronicling the life of Gerald Bostock, or so it is claimed. While Homo Erraticus in theory is the third installment of this series, claiming to be the words of Bostock based on an old historic manuscript, it is so much more than this. Anderson himself claims that the album is about the British people coming to terms with how to connect with the rest of the world. How to deal with the ones who had once been enemies or colonies now become tourist traps.
What Anderson does is give us a guided tour of the history of the British Isles, from the time of the first people to tread those green hills (Doggerland) to the supposed future of the United Kingdom (Cold Dead Reckoning). What Anderson does so beautifully in this concept album is that every song is its own microcosm in the grander macro of all the tracks together. As the album tells a story as a whole every single song does the same. This is especially clear in Enter the Uninvited, a tale of those who invaded England and After these wars, about post war Britain.
Just like the lyrics, the music takes the listener on a journey as well. If the narrative guides us through British history then the soundtrack takes our hand and shows us the wonders of progressive rock. Everything is represented here, from Yes through Jethro Tull and even into the more modern progressive metal we hear today. Anderson proves with this that he’s not only very well aware of the genres past, but of where it is going as well.
When most other “old timers” struggle to be relevant, Anderson does it with ease, both musically and lyrically giving a nod and a wink to those who have come before him and those who will follow.
Ian Anderson’s Homo Erraticus is available now on CD, CD/DVD combo, download, LP and a deluxe issue
C. Marry Hultman