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Focus - Hamburger Concerto CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.25 | 945 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars This baby is really one of those rare no-brainer ratings. Hamburger Concerto is a unique masterpiece.

I have been a Focus fan for a while, though of course the only common ground I had with most of my friends was Hocus Pocus (and even recognition of that great tune was spotty). When I first saw the title, I thought that Focus was going to present some pompous, overblown, rediculous piece of prog. Fortunately, what I got was one of my top 25 albums of all time. Here are the highlights (though the entire album is a highlight in my book):

Harem Scarem. One of those goofy Focus songs that may or may not work. In this case, it does. It reminds me of a 70s dance-off, but it moves around enough and has sufficient musicianship to move past being simply worth of some foot-tapping.

La Cathedrale de Strasbourg. This tune really makes me want to visit the city of Strausbourg. The tasteful instrumentation is prominent: haunting piano, striking church organ, a lazy whistle, beautiful vocal harmonies, and of course excellent guitar.

Birth. Just another example of a new surprise waiting behind every corner on this album. Harpsichord leads into a very funky (and catchy!) groove, and we're all set for the great melodies and instrumentals that await. The guitar, flute and drums are especially well-done here.

Hamburger Concerto. One of these epics that won't kick you in the butt, but the Concerto will always deliver when you need to sit down and appreciate some great music. Here's the VERY brief synopsis: a tasteful classical intro builds into a very nice melodic refrain, then slows down for a groovy section featuring a killer guitar solo, followed by a brief church-choir-esque section, perfectly setting up the EPIC grand finale. This is simply the best that Focus has to offer, and the diversity is impressive and staggering.

The final word is that everything on this album is well-done and enjoyable. The varied instrumentation never overshadows the music that it is embedded in, and here Focus never attempt to be too "proggy" (the main reason why this gets five stars and PFM's Per Un Amico only gets four). Get yourself a Hamburger Concerto and enjoy (even for vegetarians!).

Flucktrot | 5/5 |


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