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The Soft Machine - The Soft Machine CD (album) cover


The Soft Machine


Canterbury Scene

4.03 | 495 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars The first Soft Machine album is the beginning of a long and prosperous transformation that involves many subtle changes and styles mainly due to the frequent change of line-ups, making it a very important album as the start point of Soft Machine, a notable and influential band.

As in all Soft Machine albums, it is important to mention the band members at the time: Robert Wyatt, Kevin Ayers, Daevid Allen and Mike Ratledge. This specific line-up, combined with the cultural environment in which the album was recorded resulted in a form of Cantebury-Psychedelic Rock that draws influences from pop music, as it incorporates traditional song formats such as short song duration and lyric-oriented music. Later on, the line-up modifications would cause a change in tempo, as the band slowly strode towards Jazz Fusion and Progressive Rock.

The music is led mostly by the drums and the singing, while the bass and keyboards seem to simply accompany Wyatt's rhythms and melodies. Long instrumental keyboard solos are always present throughout the history of the band due to Mike Rattledge's influence, even in the debut album, that has strong lyrical and anti-jam feeling compared to the rest of the music that Soft Machine has developed. This album is also possibly the only truly psychedelia-oriented album of SM, due to Kevin Ayers's influence.

An interesting remark about this album is that the tracks sound very similar one to another, one can listen to the entire thing without noticing any major change in the sound. A very fluid and pleasant album. Even though it is not one of Soft Machine's best albums, it deserves a 4 star rating simply for being a solid starting point for a unique band.

EMLonergan | 4/5 |


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