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Focus - Hamburger Concerto  CD (album) cover

HAMBURGER CONCERTO

Focus

 

Symphonic Prog

4.24 | 694 ratings

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jude111
5 stars This album has a certain consistency and magical quality lacking in their other releases. While other albums contain many great *moments* (e.g. the "Tommy" section of "Eruption," "Love Remembered," "Sylvia," "Janis," etc.), they were often weakened by other moments of long jams that do absolutely nothing for me.

As others have noted, the two highlights of not only this album but their entire career are probably "La cathedrale de Strasbourg" and "Birth." What's amazing about these two songs is that they don't follow the normal rock song playbook; it's therefore hard to say exactly why they work as well as they do. Pure magic. The only other song I rate as highly by this band is the "Tommy" section of "Eruption" (my absolute favorite Focus moment. Interestingly enough, it's actually a cover of another Dutch band named Solution, the song is called "Divergence." Definitely seek that one out; it lacks the mellotron ambiance of the Focus version, and features a sax, but it's great as well.)

As others have also noted, "Harum Scarum" somehow weakens the album somewhat. While in the tradition of "Hocus Pocus" and "Sylvia," and every bit as hummable, it's not nearly as satisfying as those two tunes. The thing is, it *could have been*. The song is, at less than 6 minutes, too long and repetitive, and lacks something to put it over - a killer guitar solo, perhaps, or a change in tempo.

And as others have noted, the "Concerto" itself is that unique Focus sidelong that never meanders, never degenerates into a "jam," and seems much shorter than it's 20 odd minutes.

jude111 | 5/5 |

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