On his new solo release Homo Erraticus, Ian Anderson showcases his flutist ingenuity more than his distinctive voice. Anderson’s command of the instrument has gotten to the point where he is a flutist first, and rock singer second.

The song bookends, “Doggerland” and “Cold Dead Reckoning,” are the most intense of the Homo Erraticus set. Even though the lively instrumental “Tripudium Ad Bellum” is a strong runner-up. The guitars of Florian Opahle and the keyboards of John O’Hara serve well as an undercurrent to Anderson’s flute lines — playing in unison to emphasize the flute’s melodies. The musicians (no slackers in the bunch) only free themselves for a rare solo break or in the thunderous rhythms of a masterful song like “Cold Dead Reckoning.”

Better than both Thick as a Brick 2 (TAAB2) and Anderson’s last solo attempt, Homo Erraticus is filled with musical and intellectual intensity. It is an album that brings renewed life to a man whose talent is inextricably linked to the iconic Jethro Tull.

There’s a bit of the modern and the ancient in Homo Erraticus, too. A sort of Renaissance Rock for our society on the go. Proggers will love it most. Alternative/indie rock fans will enjoy Anderson’s unpredictable creativity, and hard rockers will appreciate it when things get intense.