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The Soft Machine - Fourth CD (album) cover

FOURTH

The Soft Machine

 

Canterbury Scene

3.46 | 224 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Fourth is the ( well yes) the fourth album from The Soft Machine. On the previous album Third The Soft Machine was almost transformed from a psychadelic canterbury rock band into a jazz combo. There were enjoyable moments on Third for those of us who are not very interested in jazz, but those moments were far between. The most of Moon in June was great though. On Fourth the transformation is complete. The Soft Machine is now a jazz band.

The music is dominated by sax soloing by Elton Dean who is now a steady member of the band. Mike Ratledge also plays some organ solos occasionally. The drum and bass playing from Robert Wyatt and Hugh Hopper is great as always. Robert Wyatt has dropped the vocals on Fourth which is fully instrumental. There are still a few psychadelic moments and I must say itīs about the only thing I enjoy on this album. Virtually part 3 and 4 have an almost ambient atmospheric sound that I can partially enjoy while the be-bop/ free jazz of Teeth and especially Fletcherīs Blemish is annoying if Iīm in a good mood and downright terrible if Iīm not. I canīt stand this style of music.

The musicianship is good as mentioned so I wonīt say anything negative about that part of Fourth.

The production is also very good.

Third was a great disappointment to me but Fourth drives the last nail into Soft Machines coffin. This is a terrible album if you ask me. This is only recommendable to jazz freaks. Donīt expect what I associate with Canterbury on Fourth which means whimsical vocals, soft prog rock with jazzy elements and great humour. The only reason I donīt rate this 1 star is because of the outstanding musicianship. This is a 2 star album for me.

UMUR | 2/5 |

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