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Focus - Focus Plays Focus [Aka: In and Out of Focus] CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.49 | 329 ratings

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Prog-Folk Team
2 stars FOCUS' debut spreads their typically diffuse field of sight into two streams, one familiar from their follow up work and the other never to be rekindled. The first is the symphonic fusion with space for lead guitar, organ and flute soloing. I have already expressed my tepid reaction to this style as practiced by the group. The second is a vocal oriented psych axis that actually comprises 4 out of the album's 6 tracks.

While Van Leer's voice is smooth and spaced out enough for the time frame, and some folky and jazzy touches make these tunes inoffensive enough, they are nothing special and barely progressive to boot. I do prefer them to the "Anonymus" "Focus" of the lengthier pieces. In particular "Why Dream" and "Happy Nightmare" sport an acoustic side that was only briefly taken up in more progressive garb on the next disk. But here it's honestly not far removed from early DONOVAN via PINK FLOYD if you get the gist.

Considering one of the tracks is subtitled "Mescaline", it's no surprise that the focus wavers throughout, which makes this a more typical band album than at first blush, other than being a product of its time period in general. Fans of the group might be glad to know I'm done for the foreseeable future with my reviews of this promising yet consistently disappointing cooperative. For others, as I've said before, start with the sophomore release "Moving Waves".

kenethlevine | 2/5 |


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