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Focus - Focus II [Aka: Moving Waves] CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.09 | 639 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Focus' second release 'Moving Waves' signifies an undoubtful symptom that the band has already conquered their own musical maturity. No question about van Leer's and Akkerman combined (and competitive) genius in terms of writing and performing are more polished and more ambicious as well... but the main factor of this evolution is the entry of drummer extraordinaire Pierre van der Linden, whose mastery in precise and powerful capacity to handle demanding time signatures is only equalled by his ability to influence effectively on the melodic aspect of the tracks with his cleverly administered rolls and other percussive tricks. His work therefore becomes the anchor that sustains the flow of the main writers' efforts and performances. 'Hocus Pocus' is a notable example of energetic rock infected with exhalarating humour: no wonder it went on to become one of Focus' most celebrated and emblematic tunes (I'm sure there's myriads of us prog-heads that every now and then do that catchy yodelling, at least mentally). But it is melancholy and reflectiveness that get hold on most of the rest of the material - the classically oriented trend of 'Le Clocharde', the half-contained sadnesss of 'Janis', and the ethereal mood of the title track consecutively show us the most overtly elegant side of Focus' music. That same sense of elegance goes on in 'Focus II', a classy exercise in jazz fusion, still infused with the general ambience of melancholy displayed in tracks 2-4, yet enriched with a copule of well crafted high-spirited interludes. And then... the intense suite 'Eruption' covers the last 23 minutes of the album, making endless transitions from languid grace (the Orfeus parts) to pompous fire (the Answers parts) to slow blues (Pupilla/Tommy) to red hot excitement (The Bridge) to serene beauty (the Euridice parts) to impending doom (Dayglow)... and let's not forget the stunning drum solo, performed by a van der Linden that feels more like a "force of nature" than an actual person. All in all, 'Eruption' is a superbly conceptually organized piece of music that closes the album with grandeur and class. Ive got nothing else to say - 5 stars!!
Cesar Inca | 5/5 |


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