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Focus - Hamburger Concerto  CD (album) cover

HAMBURGER CONCERTO

Focus

 

Symphonic Prog

4.25 | 694 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer
5 stars If I except, "Focus III", I quite liked all the "Focus" albums so far. And the story will go on with this one.

As its title warns, "Delite Musicae" is a delicate instrumental. Light music for this moderately appreciate track. The contrast with "Herem Scarem" is abrupt, to say the least. This one rocks like hell and its struture reminds me of "Hocus" except that there is no yodeling here.

One of the highlight of this album is "La Cathédrale De Strasbourg". Fully symphonic, this song works crescendo. Almost classical during the intro, it features very nice vocal harmonies and subtle piano play. Superb whistling as well (although I am not a devote fan of this exercise). The whole track is really a prog gem : pure beauty.

The start of "Birth" reminds me "Rain & Tears" (Aphrodite's Child). This instrumental track is well in the "Focus" tradition. Catchy guitar and flute are the mix. And it works perfectly well. Another beautiful Focus moment.

The epic and title song "Hamburger Concerto" is a brilliant symphony. Or a rock-opera. Whatever you like. Some classical themes brought back to live and "Focus-iced" in a fantastic manner. Lots of keyboards but maybe not enough guitar during this excellent prog masterpiece. Some vocals in Dutch around minute fifteen are fortunately very short. This is the only weaker part; but after this "Focus" delivers a great finale full of synthesizers. Extremely solid.

And please, don't forget the good "Early Bird". It closes this magnificent album with brilliance at times.

As far as the rating is concerned, it is not really difficult. There are very few albums on this site which are so much praised as this one. Exclusively four or five star ratings (except one) if you take only the ones with comments ! Mine will be at the highest end.

This is how "Focus" sound when they decide to stick to the symphonic prog genre. Gone with the jazzy influences and those useless improvisations.

A "chef-d'oeuvre. Bravo !

ZowieZiggy | 5/5 |

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