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Focus - Hamburger Concerto CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.24 | 982 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Focus is one of the symphonic progressive rock bands who have always been consistent in writing enjoyable records riddled with energy and fantastic musicianship, while remaining unique among their peers. Hamburger Concerto is one of their best albums, and they let their unique and fast paced supreme musicianship flags fly in the open for all to see.

After the beautiful medieval courtroom styled ditty intro, "Delitae Musicae", the music of Focus comes in fast and furious. "Harem Scarem" is an extremely solid rocker based on steady bass thumps and a simple recognizable piano riff. This track is full of energy and is hard to dislike. Fans of Dixie Dregs would probably enjoy the music going on here. The guitar and flute solos in the middle section of the track are very melodic and add a slightly airy feel to this otherwise hard song.

"La Cathedrale de Strasbourg" starts off on beautiful classical-inspired piano playing, accompanied by soft and powerful guitar perfectly in syncopation. The song eventually gives way to a sound that is somewhat jazzy with spacey sounding vocals and some of the best whistling you'll ever hear. There isn't much more to say about this song without being redundant; it's absolutely beautiful.

A baroque inspired harpsichord solo kicks off "Birth" before pounding drums enter the picture, soon followed by a dark and heavy bass motif. Organ dominates the monstrous, bass full soundscape for a while before a flute dominated motif takes over. It all eventually gets soft and beautiful for the center portion with a terrifically melodic flute solo. There is a lot of blues influenced guitar work on this song as well, and that combined with the amounts flute make this album an obvious crossover appeal for Jethro Tull fans.

The centerpiece, the epic "Hamburger Concerto" itself, is majestic. It's full of fantastically gripping rock riffs, which is one strength that this band has always had. The energy is perfect in that it will allow you to venture through the length of this track without feeling bored at all. Thijs van Leer has a knack for making anything sound interesting with his bizarre but strangely compelling yodel-scatting.

As stated earlier, this album has great crossover appeal for Jethro Tull fans. I highly recommend this to anyone looking for some of the more rock-based symphonic prog with strong secondary influence in jazz-rock.

colorofmoney91 | 4/5 |


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