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The Soft Machine - Third CD (album) cover

THIRD

The Soft Machine

 

Canterbury Scene

4.21 | 652 ratings

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snobb
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Welcome to the Strange and Magic World of Soft Machine! This, third, album is near classic, but in fact is album in transition. If two first band albums were kind of psychodelic pop songs, there we have very different sound. Album ( originally - double LP) consists of just 4 songs,what means that that each song took one LP side. Only one song contains vocal ( of very specific Robert Wyatt voice), all others are fully instrumental.

First album composition is complex psychodelic piece without structure and with some avantgarde elements. To be honest, for me it's a weakest album song, with roots somewhere in earlier band period.

Other three songs are all excellent jazz-rock fusion gem! Well balanced mid-tempo compositions with complex drums and filled with sax solos are fantastic pieces of serious rock based jazz fusion. All them have structure and rhythmic textures, all are deep and fresh at the same time. Differently with usual jazz-fusion ( as RTF or Mahavishu Orchestra), that music is coming not from jazz roots, but from psychodelic and symphonic rock roots. It's rare balance between very intelligent rock ( without pose, without overdrive,etc) and best jazz of it's time.

Of course, the band's line-up is in it's top-point, with added great session brass section.

As often, Canterbury Scene there is more social and geografical name, not musical style. As for me, speaking about Canterbury sound I am waiting for some folk-psychodelic rock with jazz elements in the vein of early Gong ( which in fact, was French band established by Australian beatnik). Here you have different sound, less "hippie" atmosphere, more jazz-rock and fusion oriented sound.

Whenever Soft Machine has few different musical periods in their history, I can recommend their "third" album as perfect example combining both some early psychodelic roots with jazz- rock fusion of highest level. Really great album!

snobb | 5/5 |

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