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The Soft Machine - Seven CD (album) cover

SEVEN

The Soft Machine

 

Canterbury Scene

3.59 | 178 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The Seventh album from The Soft Machine called Seven is a step in the right direction for the band. I can´t hide that their last four albums really haven´t been to my taste but with this album they have left the very unstructured and jamming jazzy approach that has haunted their music. Seven is much more streamlined and pleasant to listen to. Fans of the more avant garde jazzy parts of The Soft Machine will be disappointed with Seven. The Soft machine has a much more accessible sound on this album and there are even traces back to their Canterbury roots which I find very enjoyable.

Nettle bed starts the album and it´s a great song. IMO it´s obviously the best song here and it points toward their early Canterbury sound. Untill D.I.S. all songs are good. There are some really good jazzy themes in songs like Carol Ann, Day's eye and Tarabos. D.I.S. is one of those songs where I have to ask why I should waste my time with something like this which seems to be random notes played just for the sake of it. A step back on an else good album. Unfortunately Snodland continues the bad trend as it is a short interlude which is really unneccessary. Penny Hitch and Block seque into another. Penny Hitch being the structured part with themes and Block being the solo part. Down the Road is a pretty good song too while The German and the French Lesson songs are short rather unnessassary songs.

The musicianship is good but the bass is a good deal more subdued after Hugh Hopper has left which is a real shame. Roy Babbington is also a great bassplayer though and delivers what he should. Mike Ratledge is as a pleasant surprise very dominant with lots of soloing as a contrast to the constant wailing sax soloing on Fourth and Fifth. John Marshall is a great drummer and he delivers some good tight playing on Seven.

The sound quality is becoming more modern but it´s still great seventies sounding.

Seven has ignited my almost dying interest in The Soft Machine again even though the jazzy part of The Soft Machine´s sound never really appealed to me. This album is much better than the previous three and deserves a 3 star rating for that.

UMUR | 3/5 |

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