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




Symphonic Prog

4.09 | 639 ratings

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Prog Reviewer

Focus released a rather decent debut album in 1970. This one is better constructed and avoid those blunders and folkish songs featured on their first album. OK, "Le CLochard" is probably not their best one : very, very quiet piece. When you listen to "Janis", the fantastic flute and so nice keys automatically reminds you of Camel. This link could already be noticed in "In And Out Of Focus". "Focus" will definitely influence the work of Latimer & Co some three to four years later. "Janis" is a jewel of a symphonic number. Little known, but worth to be discovered.

Press "next" while reaching the title track (the only weak song here). You'll hurt "Focus II" which is another very pleasant song : more complex, diversified with sublime and emotional guitar. It really brings me lots of relief while needed. A beautiful instrumental.

Now, B-side. If the word "Eruption" reminds you something but you don't know precisely what; don't look further. It's the first movement of "Tarkus" of course. Several similarities between both numbers I should say : pompous, grandiose, wild, melodic, lenghty, same year of release, imposing, etc. At least this how I feel about it.

This lenghty piece will transport you from the softer and sweetest guitar sounds to the quiet keys breaks; but at the same time, you will have to face some of the wildest guitar and heavy keys. Fantastic theme and mood changes. The second half of the song is probably too long (jazz improv, some noisy guitar moments, drum solo...) but all in all, I consider this "suite" as a great prog epic.

This album is almost fully instrumental (and this is not a bad news). I would strongly recommend it if you would like to discover "Focus". It is a very well balanced album and the band is reaching full maturity in a very short period of time (like most of the legendary bands from the early sevenites).

Four stars.

Oh yes, I forgot to tell you. There is also an opener. "Hocus Foc.. oups Pocus". This is REALLY an exceptional moment of rock music. It features classical, prog and hard-rock all together. The guitar breaks are truely devastating; like a hurricane (at least). These combinations put all together are fantastic. They work so brilliantly. A fabulous number.

When you SEE van Leer performing this song at the time of release, the filiation with Ian Anderson is obvious (not talking about the flute of course, because van Leer is almost born with this instrument). Now, which one influenced the other one ? Who cares actually ? Both are giants.

ZowieZiggy | 4/5 |


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