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Focus - Focus Plays Focus [Aka: In and Out of Focus] CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.49 | 329 ratings

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the philosopher
3 stars Focus and Supersister were the first Dutch progressive bands, following one year later (1970) than the British movement. Focus's members consisted Jan Akkerman, who was already famous in Holland since he showed his guitarskills in one of Holland's most popular band of the late sixties - Brainbox (cross-over prog/ psychedelic rock/ folkrock / pop). Well, while Jan Akkerman really got famous for his absurdistic excellent guitarskill in Focus (especially Moving Waves and Focus III and his solo carreer), Thijs van Leer was the most important and consistent member (Jan Akkerman left Focus in the mid seventies). Thijs van Leer plays the flute and organs and is also the band leader and most important songwriter.

In and Out of Focus starts with the bands titletrack which shows the soundscapes that became typically Focus. This symphoprog composition has slow melodies and faster solo's and is totally instrumental. Besides the funny yodelling and other funny vocals, Focus became mainly an instrumental band. In and Out of Focus however was an exception to this rule; Why Dream, Happy Nightmare, Black Beauty and Sugar Island were some rock/pop songs that sounded like sixties pop/rock with slightly jazz added to it. These songs did remind me of the sound Brainbox, but the sang of Kaz Lux was much better than those of Thijs van Leer on this record.

This debut of Focus does (only) contain two progressive rocksongs; the titletrack and Anonymus. These songs are the longest in length however and are great. They show the smart songstructures which even became better on Focus's later efforts.

This album ends with House of the King which is an happy folk/rock song with a great melodie. A perfect ending and a well-played live-act as well.

This debut shows some of the real distinctive styl of Focus and is some kind of bridge between Brainbox and the later efforts of Focus. This record is especially recommended for fans of Focus and Brainbox. Everyone who wants to try out this Dutch band for the first time could better start with Moving Waves or Focus III. 3,5 stars.

the philosopher | 3/5 |


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