Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
The Soft Machine - Volume Two CD (album) cover


The Soft Machine


Canterbury Scene

4.07 | 439 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars Soft Machine's second album in line is mostly a continuation of the first, with the addition a couple of elements that weren't present in the debut album, while others are gradually eliminated, due to minor line-up changes that slowly changed the way Soft Machine made their sound. There are faintly noticeable differences between the two albums released in 1969. While Kevin Ayers departed from the band, being replaced by Hugh Hopper, allowing a jazzier sound to develop, with the addition of a couple of instruments, like the saxophone. Also Psychedelic feel of the first album is slowly worn out and substituted by this jazzy addition, even though Wyatt seemed to persist on imitating the first album by creating songs with lyrics, insisting on pop shaped songs. However, an antagonist process can be perceived within the music, as Ratlegde's instrumental passages begin to prevail, and it is this antagonism, not Wyatt's babbling lyrics and persisting song formats that led to the profound changes that made Soft Machine such a brilliantly unique band a little later on.

Even though the line-up changes heavily influenced Soft Machines sound, the transformation noticed during the transition between the second album and the third album also has chronological reasons. The predominant psychedelia of the 60's had begun wear off, as the seventies arrived with a bombastic progressive sound. It seems that Robert Wyatt, in this album, is trying desperately, and without success, to hang on to the sixties with all his heart, while the other band members attempt to move on into further musical explorations. The result of this bipolar sound is a confusing album that seems unable to make up it's mind about it's musical whereabouts.

EMLonergan | 3/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this THE SOFT MACHINE review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives