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Focus - 3 CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.80 | 514 ratings

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3 stars Success, however modest, went to their head and they had to do a double LP. Predictably, it was overblown and overextended, but not nearly as bad as many. Indeed, it starts off quite promising, with the quite enjoyable "Round Goes The Gossip". The fact that the vocals are in Latin may strike many as pretentious, but it works for the piece, oddly enough. The dazzlingly melodic guitar-rocker "Sylvia" was their biggest European hit. My favourite tunes are "Carnival Fugue" and "Focus III". The former starts off with solo piano, gradually growing fugal as the other instruments enter one by one in fugue formation, and ending with an energetic piccolo solo. The latter is another soaring, melodic guitar-fronted prog-rocker, a splendid spotlight for Akkerman's talents.

It starts to go off the boil a bit for the amusingly titled "Answers? Questions! Questions? Answers!" which begins with a strong and deep 9/4 groove, but is mainly a vehicle for meandering solos that don't have much purpose. But for sheer purposelessness, one need only look at the lengthy "Anonymus [sic] II". It does have some interesting musical content, but such is few and far between in a piece that contains at least two minutes of bass solo and over six of (groan) drum solo. I ask you, did this really NEED to be twenty-seven minutes long?

The answer is no.

Progbear | 3/5 |


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