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The Soft Machine - Alive & Well - Recorded in Paris CD (album) cover

ALIVE & WELL - RECORDED IN PARIS

The Soft Machine

 

Canterbury Scene

2.78 | 51 ratings

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clarke2001
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
1 stars What is this?!? What a strange record... Well, here's another slippery one that is difficult to pin down...this is highly experimental...but not "noisy" or "cacophonic", no... It's actually very melodic and jazzy. But all the SOFT MACHINE works are jazzy and melodic to some extent, so I guess that's not a good description.

However, forget about the frequent line-up changes of the band; this one is nor similar to the beginning, nor tho the "Third", nor to the "Bundles"... It is a standalone piece.

It just does not stand very tall. Well, I guess the band missed the point here. This is a short live document, and it's not very inspirational. Implementation of ideas is just weird...you can find a traces of, of course, jazz; acoustic guitar work, French easy listening music, ambiental sounscapes and highly electronic passages...with very repetitive sequences - something that will be common in music ten years later, but this one is obviously a child of the late seventies...you can't miss that keyboards...and flanged bass guitar.

My problem with this record is the fact that I can't find any traces of emotions here, and all the songs are just patchworks of badly implemented ideas - and these ideas aren't very good at first place. There are few good moments here and there - brilliant bass work, good keyboard tapestries, but that's about it. Guitar work is aslo outstanding, but that doesn't mean that it's good - it's technical just for the sake of virtuosity.This album simply passed badly on the test of time. No, I'm wrong. It was never a part of the era or an opus. It's simply cold live document, band's black sheep, useless.

The difference itself shouldn't be a problem, but this one never had grown on me. It's just a bad experiment, a failure. I would rather listen to punk rock. This is the thing that killed prog.

Never mind. Let's move on.

clarke2001 | 1/5 |

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