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The Soft Machine - Bundles CD (album) cover

BUNDLES

The Soft Machine

 

Canterbury Scene

4.10 | 436 ratings

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Dapper~Blueberries
5 stars Seven whole albums. Soft Machine really has done it all. With the psychedelic jazz of their debut and Volume 2, to their Canterbury mix of Fusion and experimental jazz with Third and Fourth, and their experimental masterpieces of 5 and Six. However in some cases they sort of fell off in some albums. Seven especially, with it's more lack luster performances on it's songs. That album sorta made me have second thoughts on the band as a whole. Did they fell off? Did they become a bad Prog band? However all and I mean ALL of these thoughts were immediately swept away after hearing this, absolute masterpiece. A new start for the band, and a damn good one at that. Their album Bundles.

The album's first song, or songs, are Hazard Profile Parts 1 - 5. This 17 minute suite is such a good way too start a Soft Machine record. Each part is a gold mine to get through with the most favored one being Part 1. This 9 minute groovy and jazzy song with some amazing guitar work and drumming leaves no other impression than awe inspiring. It is such an incredibly iconic song in the band's discography for a reason. The next part is a sweet and beautiful piano song. It is a sweet little tune that perfectly calms the mood and head after such an amazing song that Part 1 was. Part 3 is a pretty short track. Despite this, it has some great electric guitar playing, plus a pretty cool keyboard on top of it. This leads to Part 4, a surprisingly even shorter track, however packed into this small brick of a song is even more great guitar playing, drumming, and some great bass playing. After all of that, Part 5 leads in and we got some amazing tunes here. Some of the best horn work I have heard on a Soft Machine song. It's wild, it goes everywhere and enhances the already amazing bass and drums. I am surprised Part 5 isn't as beloved as Part 1, personally I think both are excellent songs from the album and are staples of the Soft Machine sound. Anyways, this suite is amazing, but I wish it was even longer.

Now we go into the next songs on the album. Gone Sailing is a little track played on a neat acoustic. It sounds like that Yes song I forgot about a little bit. I like it. Now we have the title track, Bundles. It is a pretty wild song. It is pretty groovy and the guitar work is still as good as ever. The next song is Land of the Bag Shark. This song is absolutely epic with that pretty hard drumming and keys that make the song feel so, so tubular. After that we got The Man Who Waved At Trains, this is a pretty cool track. It has some good bass and key playing despite the short time the song takes. After that's done we got Peff. This song is pretty fast, and it's pretty wild. It feels like a jazzy sprint to some unknown destination. Very nice. Now fair warning the next song is pretty weird, it's Four Gongs Two Drums. If you like percussionism than you'll enjoy this song, but if you don't really care than you may not like this song at all. Despite this, it's pretty cool. The gongs are super loud and the drums feel tribal like. But now we reached the culmination point, with The Floating World. This track is pretty lo fi in a way with some nice keyboarding and some interesting woodblock percussion, and some very beautiful woodwinds. This feels like the perfect ending for this perfect album, it's calming, it's relaxing, and it's a good end point for this record.

So if it isn't obvious, this album is amazing too me. It does everything right in a Soft Machine record and it makes these sounds that were established before even better. The only critic I have is that I wish it was longer, so I can love it even more.

Dapper~Blueberries | 5/5 |

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