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The Soft Machine - Third CD (album) cover

THIRD

The Soft Machine

 

Canterbury Scene

4.20 | 684 ratings

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kingsweet2
5 stars What a fantastic album. What an eye-opener. What melodies, time sigs, solos ... what interesting words to "Moon in June." Absolutely fantastic from start to finish.

I had always been a little bit of a jazzer here and there but this record really opened my eyes because when I first heard it I was starting to get into Miles Davis's 70's stuff and didn't get it. Listened intently, but didn't get it.

So I switched to this album and learned it inside out, because I'd read somewhere that Soft Machine had gotten it with Miles. I was intrigued by the sound of it more than anything -- it reminded me of the wonderful jazz I would hear on very rainy days inside a deli when I was a child, or the little bits played on public television between the programs way back in the day while they were ID'ing the station.

"Facelift" -- what a wonderful song, the only one on the album to be a side-long track despite the titles. From the opening freakout to the backwards coda -- just a wonderful piece of music. Fantastic tune that defies humming but gets stuck in your head.

"Slightly All The Time" -- what a great suite. It starts off with the song "Slightly", and then goes into the "Mousetrap · Noisette Backwards · Mousetrap" sequence normally associated with "Facelift." But they never play the head of "Mousetrap"! This was a great key as to what jazz (especially the new thing) was about.

"Moon In June" -- Wonderful vocal section (three songs welded together so seamlessly its no wonder that a lot of people don't realise it's three songs), into a fantastic jam, into a Xenakis-meets-a-rock-band groove, in which you can hear them reprise a Kevin Ayers tune. This one tickled my academic music background -- made it cool and fun and brainy at the same time.

"Out-Bloody-Rageous" -- oh MAN!! I wish I had written this. Starts off with a Terry Riley type excursion, something like one of his Keyboard Studies, then into the actual song itself, followed by "Eamonn Andrews", and then the Terry Riley excursion is reprised. I remember the first time I played this I just *stared* at the record spinning -- all that tape phasing, then suddenly 15/8? And then a pretty song in 5? This was so good it made me want *heavy sex*. And the funny thing is that after 25 years, it *still* does that to me.

After learning it, I dove heavily into jazz especially new thing jazz -- to me this is still a prog album, despite some comments above. Great mixing of the genres, no wonder it was so influential. It provided so many keys as to how music can be organised outside an ABA song format, and it opened up my ears so much, that it's a cornerstone in my world, and will probably remain one of the top ten favorite albums of all time for me as long as I live.

| 5/5 |

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