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Focus - Focus Plays Focus [Aka: In and Out of Focus] CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.49 | 329 ratings

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4 stars It's amazing and fascinating to know how FOCUS were (and still are) popular in Brazil. They are good and really deserved that distinction but I also realize that their first output came in a moment that part of the younger generation was eager to some new sounds, experiences and perspectives - a new focus, indeed. Those kids that became teenagers in late 60s had received musical information coming from BEATLES, MOODY BLUES, PROCOL HARUM, early FLOYD and CRIMSON, and so they were naturally looking for novelties, a niche filled amongst other by FOCUS.

"In And Out Of Focus" has a fair content of progressiveness, nothing really spectacular but with the exact dosage to amuse many, myself included. Their sound shows several directions and influences: hard and pop-rock, European jazz, psych & space, folk & erudite and even some of then recent acts like JETHRO TULL. All together could produce a tasteless and confusing salad but the result is agreeable since the production got to separate their backgrounds clearly.

The album begins and finishes with the same track, the band namesake song 'Focus', being the first provided with vocals and the later instrumental only - a catchy and soft tune much more in the romantic pop vein with some real rock passages. Vocals in English could have been weird if that was one's native language however for a non-English speaker it sounded interesting.

'Black beauty' rocks pleasantly and a certain smell of 60s pop-rock may be felt while 'Sugar Island' blends Latin and psych tunes - either songs are not remarkable but are perfectly hearable. 'Anonymous' is a fine and real progressive track, the varied atmosphere changing associated with nice musicianship makes this one of the best album moments. This song has also some segments which in the future will shape FOCUS signature.

'House of the king' opens lovably the last part of "In And Out Of Focus". The short song was a hit and became a band's standard. 'Happy nightmare' brings back the vocals, together with catchy folk and jazz tunes - not special but nevertheless hearable. 'Why dream' is simply an average non-skipable track with psych spices.

FOCUS debut album is the starting point for a lengthy and successful career that should be not overlooked when diving into the band's discography. "In And Out Of Focus" could be a plain good album however the legend of FOCUS recommends it as a meaningful addition for all music collection.

Atkingani | 4/5 |


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