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Focus - Focus II [Aka: Moving Waves] CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.09 | 639 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A classic album, a good one, but that's it!

Now that I read a review about this album I felt it was time for me to review it, since I've been meaning to do it for some time. The fact is, that despite I like the album I've never found it awesome or unique, so my feelings toward it are not actually that positive, or at least as positive as I would like. When I listen to albums like Hamburger Concerto or Focus III I always have that predominant smile, but here, I simply can't find that boost that leads me to feel completely comfortable.

A similar case happens to me with Rush' Moving Pictures, which is an album I know its good and I enjoy in moments, but in the end I can skip it, it is not essential to my collection actually. "Moving Waves" released in 1972 has to be one of Holland's most important albums ever, and probably the most successful when progressive rock is about. So it is (in my opinion) mandatory to listen to it and own it, because you can judge by yourself and understand why that success, and then, make your own opinion.

In my opinion, I believe the fact that this album features "Hocus Pocus" helped a lot with its commercial (and non commercial) success, that song is an icon within the prog realm, I am sure almost everyone has listened to it, if not, you should (which does not mean you will like it). So this 41-minute album opens with that song, a heavy-symphonic track where electric guitars and flute conduct the music, making a good sound that in moments could be repetitive, and you can get sick about it after three minutes. The main reason of that "sickness" are the horrendous vocals, you can laugh and sing, but as an artistic thing, I think they failed with them, it would've been better without vocals.

Then, there are four short tracks in a row: "Le Clochard", "Janis", "Moving Waves" and "Focus II". The first one out of this bunch has a delicate acoustic guitar sound with keyboards as background, a nice piece, maybe too short, but nice. The second opens with flute and drums appear seconds later, the music here has nothing to do with the opener song, here the sound is soft and comfortable, what I would call a Focus sound. This is probably my favorite track on this album. Then the title track, with gentle piano and later some not so bad vocals, but again, I would have preferred an instrumental track. And the last one is another charming track, with that clean and calm symphonic sound provoked by guitars and keyboards. Nice song without a doubt.

Now, the longest, more challenging composition was placed as the final track."Eruption" is its name. I won't write a lot about it, to be honest their musical skills and composition abilities can be noticed here, we are facing a great band with trained and talented people, there is no doubt about it. However, there are moments here where I felt uncomfortable, I think to myself that in their will of experimenting and be original, they reached a point where they could not offer more, where the music sounds plain and don't has that continuity, I mean, in this song it is easy to me to lose the track, in moments I am listening but at the same time I am not here.

However, there are great moments on the song, It is not only about bad criticism, I have to say that there are a couple of nice movements here where I feel interested and keep my complete attention, the guitar work in general is pretty good, accurate. But well, as a whole, despite I consider it was a wonderful effort, I never fell in love with this song, nor with the album. So forgive me if you think this is a masterpiece, it simple does not do anything to me. My final grade will be three stars.

Enjoy it!

memowakeman | 3/5 |


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