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Focus - Ship Of Memories CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.16 | 179 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars "Ship of Memories" is a compilation of unreleased tracks (mainly form 1973).

I am always reluctant with "unrealeased" material. IMO, most of the time it should have remained so. And there are very few exception to this rule, IMHHO (in my humble and HONEST opinion). I even rank Led Zep and "Physical..." in this category (and believe me, I like them an awful lot). So, let's hear what "Focus" has to propose after their extremely weak "Mother Focus".

The opener is quite strange : two different tempos. One is purely folkish and a bit dull, while the other one features some fabulous guitar work from Jan. "Can't Believe My Eyes" is on the very heavy side of their production. Dull and repetitive. Almost jamming, but we know that they like to do this. At times, the riff reminds me with the one of "Kashmir" from who you know. It should have been titled "Can't Believe My Ears".

A well established tradition comes next with "Focus V". As usual this "Focus" theme is very pleasant. All in harmony and subtlety. A nice symphonic & jazzy song with beautiful guitar and flute. This is exactly what a Focus fan is expecting (at least it is my case). Of course, one might argue that they lack in diversity with these "Focus" songs but at the end of the day Carlos did it over ten times with "Samba Pa' Ti" and I always have found these songs one of the best of each corresponding "Santana" album. and I have the same feeling with "Focus".

Jazz ("Out Of Vesuvius") and funk ("Glider") will respectively be on the menu. Some short background yodeling during the latter. Let's say that none of these two songs will be remembered as great ones.

My favourite song (and the longest one, almost six minutes) from this album is without any doubt "Red Sky at Night". Symphonic "Focus" just as I like them. Poignant melody and emotional keyboards. A classic "Focus" song after all. The listener will be brought back down to earth with "Spoke The Lord Creator". This is a real bad song. Country type. But it is not the frst time that they are flirting with this genre, unfortunately. Remember ""All Together...Oh That!" on their previous album.

The funky / disco "Crackers" could have remained for the vaults. Press next to reach the title track. This one sounds completely unfinished. Some useless 1'46" of music.

The closing number is better known as "Hocus Pocus Fast Version". It is a short version (not an excerpts) of the song we all know over here (in Europe, I mean). It was released as a single for the US market. It holds more wild moments that anything else (hence the title...). A nice touch to close this average compilation work.

So this work follows the rule. Two stars.

ZowieZiggy | 2/5 |


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