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Focus - Hamburger Concerto CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.24 | 1013 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Focus' finest hour by a pretty wide margin. The aimless jazz-wannabee noodling that made up the bulk of FOCUS III is only a memory here. This is Focus Concentrate-nothing inessential, only the good stuff.

The band's interest in "early music" continues unabated, with Akkerman's lute piece "DelitiŠ MusicŠ" opening the album, and also featuring the faux-liturgical pipe-organ tune "La CathÚdeale de Strasbourg". "Birth" is the band at their soaring best, continuing in the line of the numbered "Focus" pieces stylistically. And "Harem Scarem" is a wacky little rocker, the progeny of "Hocus Pocus" most likely.

But it's the title suite that's surely the highlight of the album, perhaps even the highlight of the band's entire career. With sub-sections whimsically named for the various cooking times of meat, the blend of classical and "ancient" sounds with rock textures and Akkerman's frequently jazzy guitar reached its apex here. The sound is wondrous, and you really get the feel of going on a musical journey.

And best of all, no drum-solo bringing the piece to a grinding halt at any point! It's not too much to ask, really.

Progbear | 5/5 |


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