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The Soft Machine - Volume Two CD (album) cover

VOLUME TWO

The Soft Machine

 

Canterbury Scene

4.05 | 566 ratings

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Dapper~Blueberries
3 stars After I listened to their first album, I was pretty interested in more Soft Machine. How will this Canterbury band improve on the sound they established in their first album. So I listened to Volume 2 to see how they'll do it. Did they improve the things that were wrong with the first record? I wanted to find out.

The album starts with an introduction. A prelude of sorts, introducing the album and introducing the next song, A Concise British Alphabet Pt 1. Immediately I recognized one thing. I looked at how long the album took to finish and it being 33 minutes worried me a bit. While the intro was pretty fun, I didn't really dig the alphabet song. After that we get to our really real song, Hibou Amenone and Bear. Immediately I noticed the loud and overdriven guitar. The more the song went on the more it gotten like a jazz band creating an awesome chase theme. It's very cool. After that we got another alphabet. Nothing to wright home about. Than we got Hulloder, a fun little track. Than we have Dada Was Here. A very hypnotic yet very loud and bassy song with a very sweet yet sorta somber sounding piano. Thank You Pierrot Lunaire to Pataphysical Introduction Pt 2 are nothing to really note worthy, though it definitely seems like they improved on the shorter tracks that were kinda dull and unnecessary on the first LP which is actually pretty cool. Always love bands improving what was a problem in their last LP and making it work. The end of side 1 is Out Of Tunes. It is a mess of a song but it definitely is a pretty good closer. It is kinda creepy in some points and it definitely feels like the band going crazy on their instruments. Very nice.

After side 1 we got side 2. The first song, As Long As He Lies Perfectly Still is the best song on the album. It still holds true with the sound of the previous sounds but it goes a lot harder. Especially with that sorta metal-ish guitar, even though Metal wasn't really a thing in 1969. The next song, Dedicated To You But You Weren't Listening is a very pretty acoustic and rhythmic song that makes you have a small break after all of the previous songs. Very nice. Fire Engine Passing With Bells Clanging, yeah no this song isn't good and it just feels like Out Of Tunes but not good. I don't know why it is here. The album can definitely go without it. After that mess with got Pig. It reminds me of a ELP song surprisingly enough. It definitely has a vibe that is more sinister and a little more authoritative in it's sound. Orange Skin Food is alright I guess. It is kinda a bit too weird for my taste. The next song, A Door Opens and Closes is a pretty cool, sorta jazzy little tune. Feels like another chase them for a spy movie like Hibou Anemone And Bear but shorter. The last song on the album, 10:30 Returns To The Bedroom is pretty wicked. It feels like the precursor to post metal with the slow moving, very bassy guitar. Though that's only for the first few seconds, after that, it's that same good ol' Soft Machine sound.

So all and all, I thought this album was better than the first. It improved on the sound in some areas and made the shorter songs not feel like useless tracks that don't really hold much. However I still think in some areas it is a little rough and I think it can be kinda nonsensical and dumb sometimes. But overall this album is a pretty good improvement for the band, so I hope to hear what they have in store next time. I bet it'll be good if these songs are of any sign of that.

Dapper~Blueberries | 3/5 |

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