Ian Anderson's Walk into Light (1983) was an uncharacteristic venture into the world of drum machines and synthesizers, and was partly a collaboration with keyboardist Peter-John Vettese. The next year the two cut the similar-sounding Under Wraps using the Jethro Tull banner. Most of the work, including drum programming, was done by Anderson in his home studio before guitar and (scant) bass guitar were added. The group members were excited about their latest sounds, which brought a cold edginess to the usual intricate music (the acoustic "Under Wraps No. 2" being one exception). Lyrically, Anderson was letting go of his Olde English façade; here he showed his fascination with Cold War-era espionage. While the British audiences didn't mind the changes, U.S. buyers pretty much hated the album. Compared to the U.S. number 19 position of 1982's The Broadsword and the Beast, Under Wraps never got past number 76. (Crest of a Knave, three years later, shot up to number 33.) The original release had 11 tracks, with "Astronomy," "Tundra," "Automotive Engineering," and "General Crossing" appearing as B-sides and bonus tracks around the world. Now the standard release carries all 15 tracks.
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AllMusic Review by Patrick Little