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Focus - Focus II [Aka: Moving Waves] CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.08 | 639 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Mr. Mustard
4 stars Moving Waves is the second Focus album and is one of the two essential efforts from the band, with the other being the great Hamburger Concerto. Moving Waves solidifies Focus as a true prog rock band, as if the presence of flute, mellotron, some crazy musicianship, and a 23-minute epic weren't obvious evidence.

The album opens with the band's most (if only) commercially successful song, and perhaps sort of an anthem for the band. Hocus Pocus shows off the quirky nature of the band. It is fast-paced, loud, and just plain rocking. This song also showcases the ridiculous talent of Thjis Van Leer in which he pretty much plays every instrument, including the yodeling.

Le Clochard is a short, yet beautiful song with tons of mellotron under some acoustic guitar work. Perhaps my only problem with this tune is that is isn't longer!

The same could be said for the next song, "Janis," which is absolutely stunning with great melodies played on flute.

Unfortunately, Moving Waves is the only true weak link of the album. The instrumentation is nice, but the vocals are very weak and add nothing to the song, which may be why much of the band's work is indeed instrumental.

Focus II is a lively, yet soulful tune with some amazing guitar work. The jazz influence is undeniable on this one as well, which is always welcome.

But the staple of the album is the song that takes up half of it, in Eruption. The piece is the first attempt at an epic, and while I would say the later Hamburger Concerto is a more polished attempt, this one definitely has its moments. The melodies are fun and catchy, and the structure is pretty diverse, containing tons of heavy riffs, softer, yet energetic organ parts, and an overall beautiful atmosphere laced with mellotron. My only problem with the song is that it is sometimes prone to excessive noodling, but other than that, Eruption is a great addition to the longer songs of prog.

Overall, Moving Waves is an undeniably strong album from beginning to end with only a few minor hiccups along the way. A solid addition to symphonic prog collection.


Mr. Mustard | 4/5 |


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