I like both versions but this version just seems more energetic and the production is better as I mentioned.
Album #6: Ian Anderson - Thick As a Brick 2
April 4, 2012
This is an interesting release simply because of the banner it was released under. Why is this an Ian solo album instead of a Tull album? Only thing I can figure is that it appears that Anderson and Martin Barre have had some sort of split and Tull may not be active at this point. In that case, props to Ian for not using the Tull name without the second most important component of the band. This album is not as good as it's predecessor but who expected that really? However, there is some good material here and Ian's backing band does a good job. I really like Banker Bets, Banker Wins, Adrift and Dumbfounded, Wooten Bassett Town, and What-Ifs, Maybes, and Might-Have-Beens. And it wins the award for album with the most long-winded song titles this year.
It's not as riffy as Tull, and not nearly as guitar driven as the first TAAB. That part is kind of a bummer but Ian seems to make more laid-back music nowadays. I saw Ian and company play this album and TAAB live last month, both came off really well. In fact a lot of these tracks were better live than on album. I also got to meet him and got my copy of Aqualung signed. He seemed tired but he was nice enough to stick around for everyone that was waiting to meet him so that was cool.
I'd give it a 7.7.