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The Soft Machine - Fourth CD (album) cover

FOURTH

The Soft Machine

 

Canterbury Scene

3.47 | 232 ratings

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Zac M
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars It was clearly obvious by this time that Soft Machine had changed for good. This album, while good, doesn't live up to the three previous albums. The band, with little Wyatt influence (this was infact his last release with the band), had decided to head in a more avant jazz/rock direction. I agree with Hugues remark about this album seeming "cold" compared to the band's previous albums.

The incorporation of wind parts by Dean and co. make this album particularly interesting. Elton Dean is a remarkable artist and free jazz musician, and his influence on this album is even more pertinent than on Third. I may be the only one, but I particularly enjoy the album opener. It's probably my favorite track on the entire album, although Hopper's side-long suite is particularly good as well. It's too bad this was the last album with Wyatt on drums, but I can see why he left. The band were obviously treading in one direction and Wyatt in another.

Like I said, this is a good release, but to me, it is no more interesting than Wyatt's The End of an Ear, which was released earlier. While an essential release for Softs fans, I can still only award this album 3 stars, although 3.5 would be more like it. It's just not quite good enough for four stars.

Zac M | 3/5 |

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