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Focus - Hamburger Concerto CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.24 | 1020 ratings

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Anderson III
2 stars I figured if I'll start writing reviews, I might as well start making some changes around here.

Ever since the first time I listened to Hamburger Concerto I've been trying to figure out where lies the genius that my friends here in PA all seem to find. The album actually starts out quite promising with a lovely baroque-piece for guitar and flute, which unfortunately makes the transition to the next track so much more painful. Harem Scarem, a commercial jingle of a prog song, for me is a complete waste of space. It sounds like an unoriginal rock jam from your standard garage group and contains zero imagination. I simply can't find anything worth tolerating or even mentioning in this song! Next Focus brings us La Cathédral de Strasbourg, the only real high spot of the whole package. I love the way it goes through all these different states of emotion: there's darkness and grief in the beginning, hope and lightness later on, and finally humor. Check out Thijs van Leer's solo with some awesome whistling! I suppose one of the problems I have with the album is the slightly sloppy sound with this song as an exception. It manages to sound fresh and liquid, but five minutes of great music on an album that lasts for 40 minutes is not that good. Birth is another of those songs with very little to write home about. It's not as crude as Harem Scarem (but nothing is), but there's still nothing above mediocre. Both Leer and Akkerman get to solo, but I'm not a fan to put it gently...

Finally, my friends, I present to you the title track in one word: booooring! OK, I know that was spiteful, but I couldn't resist! Fact of the matter is I've heard the whole thing once, and not because I haven't tried often enough. I simply can't get to the end of it... maybe if it lasted seven minutes?

Anderson III | 2/5 |


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