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The Soft Machine - Fourth CD (album) cover


The Soft Machine


Canterbury Scene

3.47 | 273 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars There is a quality about Fourth that is carried on from Third but to me is more warmer in a very subliminal way with a touch of '50 jazz played with a late '60's early '70's rock'n'fused mentality. For a long time Fourth has been the most played Soft Machine album I possess and while certainly not as diverse or as strong as Third it does have a very endearing feeling. But then again Soft Machine are a very unique band and played a music they possibly could never be masters at but with Hugh Hopper and Elton Dean bending and driving notes would help cover up any limitations/overindulged and frustrated noise that may have ebbed through. "Teeth" is a continuous rolling piece of Soft Machine filth that becomes hypnotic and embedded in your brain like a stoned out daze. All parts of "Virtually" are equal to it and this would be the nearest the Softs get to recreating a full blown almost side long jazzy jam as it shuffles along at will. The fact that Robert Wyatt does not add any vocal to any of the compositions on Fourth is in my book a blessing. His voice is certainly an acquired taste and I much preferred the complete instrumentation running from start to finish. The one big factor he provide to the Soft Machine was his drumming, he provided a raw and rocking looseness. But as he exited the Softs soon after the release of this album his replacement John Marshall lacked that edge and instead added a schooled discipline as the Soft Machine fragmented.
Philo | 4/5 |


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