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Focus - X CD (album) cover

X

Focus

 

Symphonic Prog

3.51 | 77 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

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4 stars When I unwrapped the latest album by Dutch progrock band Focus, I got a nice surprise: drummer Pierre van der Linden is once more holding the drumsticks. Van der Linden, who re-entered Focus on their previous album 'Focus 9', is probably the best drummer ever in the Dutch rock scene and he was already playing with Focus on their most important albums 'Moving Waves' and 'Focus III' and he was also playing a major role on the fantastic Trace debut album 'Trace' of 1974 and he still hasn't lost his touch after all these years !! Listen and enjoy his drumming in guitarist Menno Gootjes composition 'Father Bacchus', it's like time stood still.

On Focus X we can once more enjoy the warm and eloquent sound of the Thijs van Leer compositions. Title piece 'Focus X' is again a beautiful composition, although I have to confirm that the van Leer compositions have lost a bit of their earlier lustre. The excitement and the tension (probably due to the incompatibility of characters between Thijs van Leer and original guitar player Jan Akkerman), resulting in the sparkling and convincing sound of the old days in which brilliant albums like Hamburger Concerto and the already mentioned Moving Waves were recorded, is nowhere to be found on this new album. Instead the music on Focus X is far more stable and soft- edged with a more deep inclination towards jazz and this new Focus album is what you would call an album to lay back and enjoy. That's exactly what I did.

In compositions like 'All Hens On Deck' you can still feel the old fire burning with once more some great flute playing by Thijs.

The vocal contribution by Ivan Lins in 'Birds Come Fly Over' is awful and it is one of the weaker spots on the album.

'Crossroads' is a worthy conclusion of a very nice album. It's probably the best composition on the album, dynamic and with a strong and catching main theme and it shows us a great Bobby Jacobs on bass guitar in the final fade out.

I enjoyed listening to this album a lot and I would like to give it a 3.5 rating, but since you can only do full stars and the album is closer to 4 than to 3 stars, I cannot but give them four stars !!

Drawbars | 4/5 |

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