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Focus - Hamburger Concerto  CD (album) cover

HAMBURGER CONCERTO

Focus

 

Symphonic Prog

4.25 | 700 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Philo
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Baroque and Roll is only one of the many eclectic ways to describe the wonderful sound of Focus on the Hamburger Concerto album. The baroque influence shines through here more than on any other album previous but the music is consistently as strong as the previous two studio albums at least. No yodelling here as on "Hocus Pocus" which kicked off Moving Waves but the opener proper (after "Delite Musicae" served as a fine gentle prelude) on this album while not being the forceful driving rock anthem that "Hocus Pocus" was still bears an identity to the hard rock traits of Focus and especially the guitar playing of Jan Akkerman and in fact both songs come from the same common ground musically and even the names of both have a trait in common too but it would be wrong to state that Focus were trying to achieve the same effect as both tunes are quite different, "Hocus Pocus" is a unique track that could never be copied without it sounding too blatant. I even heard some whistling in there somewhere... If Focus are a progressive rock, which they have been cited as, then they are like no other. In my opinion the typical prog rock outfit takes themselves too seriously but Focus add humour to their depth of textures and allow some fun to creep into the songs while never losing face. The rocking "Harem Scarem" has some odd noises thrown in for good measure alongside some fluid and clean musicianship as is par for this entire album which is joyful and a fine exploration of varying styles like the afore mentioned baroque with the lute making sweeping moves. But it is the guitar playing which is the biggest draw for me when listening to Focus and in that department they never fail to excite. Hamburger Concerto is an electrifying album with a sense of theatre involved in the execution and arrangement, especially on the 20 minute plus title suite. It is unlike anything else in my book and certainly works better than previous lengthy workouts. I still cannot split their first three albums, they all have their own merits but they might just have progressed a little more with the Hamburger Concerto. A band this consistent merging good songwriting talent with carefully executed musicianship must be heard. Focus is an apt name for a band who play this sharp.
Philo | 4/5 |

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