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The Soft Machine - Fifth [Aka: 5] CD (album) cover


The Soft Machine


Canterbury Scene

3.36 | 234 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
2 stars (fifth of a series of eleven)

2.5 stars really! The logical follower to four and not only numerically so: the musical evolution takes another leap "forward" towards the fusion of later albums. Wyatt is replaced by Phil Howard for the first side and John Marshall for the second side. This is the start of a "progressive" invasion from similar group Nucleus alumnies.

As opposed to their previous one , most of the number are penned by Ratledge except for a boring drum solo from Marshall. The album has the same very cold feeling as 4 and rendering the appreciation of the music difficult. This is probably due to poor (or strange) production. Babbington provides some strange bowed double-bass sounds and there is a fair bit of improvisation throughout the album.

Best seen as a transitional album (but most of their album are) , this one misses slightly the mark, and is probably their poorer effort until their last album.

Sean Trane | 2/5 |


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