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Focus - Hamburger Concerto CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.25 | 937 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Special Collaborator
Eclectic Prog Team
2 stars I have never cared for Focus to be honest. Overall, I find their work bland and uninteresting. This highly acclaimed album is no exception, but it is decent and for the most part enjoyable.

"Delicate Musicae" A delicate baroque-sounding introduction begins the album.

"Harem Scarem" Closer to the boogie-rock of Uriah Heep, as even the screeching vocals are present in the background, this work tends to be irritating. Things soften up in places, courtesy of accordion and other instrumentation. The guitar playing is good, if a bit brittle sounding. Bert Ruiter's fluid bass exercises make the piece.

"La Cathédral de Strasbourg" This is not a rock track, at least not at first, but piano and organ with passages that range from gentle to haunting. Quiet drums and simple chords pave the way for some vocals and really muffled guitar. It's a fairly sedated piece that doesn't do much for me. The last part is substandard-sounding jazz music.

"Birth" The baroque feel returns as a harpsichord introduces the song. It takes on a more primitive feel with low organ and pounding toms. As instrumentals go, this keeps my interest. The flute work may be easily overshadowed by greats like Ian Anderson, but it is still very good and a pleasing touch overall. The guitar sounds fuller, and the playing is exceptional. While the chord progressions are nothing terribly creative, the overall arrangement is respectable.

"Hamburger Concerto" Strong organ work (although perhaps second rate to other giants of the time like Keith Emerson or Rick Wakeman) begins the epic piece. The first five minutes alternate a simple heavier riff with various orchestral pieces. The vocalizations and the yodeling, whatever their purpose or intent, all but ruin the music for me Following this, there is a very fluid passage with some great organ again. The electric guitar sound is inventive for this sort of piece, and works well in the more delicate passages. The guitar solo is lengthy and I tend to lose interest after several measures.

"Early Birth" The album concludes with a dull piece that has some slight disco sensibilities in the beginning. It mainly consists of woodwind work over the same exact chord progression featured in "Birth." For the most part, this is pointless and adds nothing.

Epignosis | 2/5 |


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