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The Soft Machine - Softs CD (album) cover


The Soft Machine


Canterbury Scene

3.88 | 242 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Interesting album especially when it lists Mike Ratledge as a guest player. What ! Karl Jenkins has taken on Mike's role completely and so they've added Alan Wakeman to play saxes.The other change is Allan Holdsworth leaving and being replaced by John Etheridge.

"Aubade" is a beautiful track with sax and gentle guitar throughout. "The Tale Of Taliesien" opens with piano. Drums and guitar join in. I don't know why this is so moving for me. Marshall sounds amazing as usual. The tempo picks up after 3 minutes and some ripping guitar follows. It settles back before 5 1/2 minutes. "Ban-Ban Caliban" is spacey to open with what sounds like electronics. Ratledge is responsible for this. Drums then sax comes in. Guitar and drums take the spotlight after 5 minutes. Nice bass from Babbington too. A change after 7 minutes as guitar backs off. Lots going on with all these intricate sounds. "Song Of Aeolus" opens with spacey winds as piano, drums and synths build. Guitar before a minute. The guitar is gorgeous. The wind is back to end it.

"Out Of Season" opens with piano as it slowly builds. Synths, guitar and drums lead. Piano replaces the synths as it winds back down slowly. Cool song. "Second Bundle" is spacey and electronic sounding like the start of "Ban- Ban Caliban". "Kayoo" features percussion sounds with no beat or melody. Eventually this turns into a drum solo. It blends into "The Camden Tandem" as drums continue. The guitar comes in lighting it up. "Nexus" has a nice full sound of piano, drums and guitar. "One Over The Eight" is kind of funky, especially the prominant bass .Sax plays over top. Great sound 2 1/2 minutes in. Big, big finish 4 1/2 minutes in then it settles to end it. "Etika" features intricate acoustic guitar melodies.

While I prefer "Bundles" to this one, i'm very impressed with this album. Easily 4 stars.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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