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The Soft Machine - Third CD (album) cover

THIRD

The Soft Machine

 

Canterbury Scene

4.20 | 684 ratings

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Neurotarkus
4 stars This is certainly a monster of an album. Over seventy minutes of music, spread over only four songs. This format has been used afterward by Yes and Godspeed You! Black Emperor, both of which I find too long-winded for their own good- however, I think differently for Third. To me, Third is an album that you can either use as a backdrop to whatever you're doing- reading, going to sleep, or just sitting and thinking, or you can let your mind slip into the music and explore all the cracks and crevices of the avant-garde, free-jazz styles of The Soft Machine.

Facelift is, in my opinion, the weakest of the tracks, but it's not bad- it just offers less than the others. It was recorded during two live shows, put together, and released on the album, and it sounds as natural as the other songs.

Slightly All The Time is my favorite, starting with a powerful yet calm bass line, eventually becoming a soothing monster that does exactly what I said in the introduction- it can either drift along the listener as his or her attention is with something else, or it can be experienced with full attention, and both methods are immensely rewarding.

Moon in June is the only song with vocals, which is a very good thing- it helps differentiate the song from the others, along with giving it more organic feeling and emotion. Besides that, the first half is led by organ, and then the second half turns into strong free jazz, not unlike the previous song.

The concluding track is Out-Bloody-Rageous, which truly lives up to its name- it's not too different from the other songs in that it's instrumental jazz that flows like a river out of the speakers and into the listener's brain.

The music on Third is truly great; there's no shortage of talent here, though I personally am most impressed by Wyatt's amazing percussion work. This album is, in my opinion, excellent, though certainly not for everyone- the mostly instrumental and often experimental nature of the work will disappoint many but impress many more. On the border between 4 and 5 stars, but I'll give it 4 because it's not quite perfect all the way through.

Neurotarkus | 4/5 |

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