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Focus - Focus II [Aka: Moving Waves] CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.09 | 639 ratings

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4 stars Amusing and agreeable: these two words are enough to define FOCUS' second studio album, "Moving Waves", a work which throughout the years have become legendary. This album also helped to establish the definitive band's signature: a blend of rock pastiche, pastoral tunes and uplifting prog melodies, concocted in a manner that sometimes it borders pop elements and sometimes it goes near erudite pieces - but unequivocally very well balanced.

The album is relatively short (less than 42') and it may be one of the reasons for its good reception that lasts until today. Band's musicianship was in a high mood, especially the prime movers Thijs van Leer and Jan Akkerman, two fellows that really play in a league of their own.

'Hocus Pocus', the opening track was a radio hit still remembered, a kind of FOCUS standard, where all previously mentioned mixture appears meaningfully. Apart from the voiced segments, the song itself is much more a catchy hard- rock than a real progressive tune, but anyway tasteful.

The bucolic 'Le clochard' shows a different face of FOCUS: sweet, soft, sorrowful. Nice counterweight for the explosive album overture this time with beautiful acoustic guitar and mellotron sounds. The tenderness keeps going through the following track, 'Janis', a paean to the late Miss Joplin, where the flute overwhelms totally the action.

'Moving waves' has a neat classical cradle; the melody is pleasant but the overall atmosphere is slightly spoiled by the vocals. 'Focus II' brings steadily the band's signature and consequently is the most progressive track in the album, probably their best moment here.

'Eruption', the final track, with its 23' length which occupied an entire LP side, at the time LPs were available, is an attempt to produce an epic-like song that unfortunately derailed a bit. The intended torrent of prog tunes is maculated by excessive jamming and a certain bias to show band members skills. Anyway, many parts are dense and strong, somewhere poignant, very audible indeed.

"Moving Waves", the album, won't let the hearer down. There are lots of appreciable moments and memorable parts that indicate this work to be added for a music collection.

Atkingani | 4/5 |


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