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The Soft Machine - Third CD (album) cover

THIRD

The Soft Machine

 

Canterbury Scene

4.21 | 680 ratings

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Equality 7-2521
4 stars Soft Machine's "Third" may not embody the sound you have in your mind that represents the Canterbury scene. Essentially "Third" is a jazz fusion album, but a very well executed one if that. The instrumental mastery of the musicians is stunning, but what is even more stunning is the restraint that they show. The songs never go off the deep end, and solo pieces never extend their welcome. A wide variety of instrumentation is used with the woodwind instruments coming off most successfully along with Wyatt's heartfelt drumming. Wyatt can pour emotion into his drumming in a way few other drummers can. He also posses a fantastic voice that makes up in emotion what it lacks in range. Unfortunately 3 of the four epics on this album are instrumental and not graced by it.

The album opens with a cacophony of noise and out of it slowly grows the jam, improvised I believe, "Facelift". The songs retains a great sound quality despite being recorded live. Some great guitar work on this track really makes it stand out. The other two instrumental are both interesting fusion tracks but unlike "Facelift" fail to maintain interest throughout. The boring sections come few and far between, but they're still there.

"Moon In June" sounds more like a Canterbury track than anything else on the album. Much more symphonic than the rest of the album, organ and drums propel this song. On top comes Wyatt's fantastically emotive voice singing what seem to be largely improvised lyrics that remain poignant in their ridiculousness nonetheless.

Some slow points in two of the album epics minorly reduce the album enjoyability, a great addition for fans of Canterbury and Jazz Fusion especially.

Equality 7-2521 | 4/5 |

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