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Texel - Zooming Into Focus CD (album) cover



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Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A 21st Century FOCUS imitator! And a very good one, I might add! From the opening swirls of the organ to the arrival of the JAN AKKERMAN-imitation guitar, one knows this sound. Intimately! But then, lo! and behold! the music is quite great--these guys are really good at their instruments as well as their perfect imitation. The song constructs are so FOCUS-like that you know that this band has done their homework--and yet these are all original pieces--like variations on previous FOCUS songs.

1. "Medusa" (5:26) tight whole-band construct like "Janus." (8.5/10)

2. "1975" (6:42) like Focus's almost disco-infused songs from the post-Hamburger Concerto era. Even uses the electric guitar voice-tube of Mother Focus. (8.75/10)

3. "Organic" (5:18) electric piano, slow pace, background organ, and soft flute and bass give this a "Sylvia" feel. When it kicks into full gear around 1:20 it has a great groove, chord, and electric guitar melody. (8.75/10)

4. "Ambitious" (8:02) more in the realm of AL DI MEOLA, this hard-driving song sounds a little more rock oriented and a little less classically-infused as Jan and Thijs would have done. But then that shifts at the end of the second minute for brief classical flute-driven bridge. I guess this is supposed to be their "Hocus Pocus/Eruption(Tommy)" tribute--though it's nowhere near up to the standard set by those originals. (7.5/10)

5. "Impressions" (5:57) kind of a cross between the sounds and structures of "La Cathédrale de Strasbourg" and "Soft Vanilla": a bluesy guitar lead over organ and piano and slow rhythmic structure. (8.25/10)

6. "Modus Operandi" (7:45) the most divergent from 1970s Focus sound and structure, a little more church-blues like than I remember, and a little too plodding and simple chord structure . Perhaps the imitation here is of later stuff of which I'm unfamiliar (stopped buying/listening to Focus releases after "Con Proby." There are even a few moments here in which I find myself reminded of other 1970s bands like Journey and REO Speedwagon. (7.5/10)

7. "Kingmakers Parade" (4:11) another march/parade-like Focus-like song with very clearly delineated A-B (and C) sections--as was so typical of Focus. (8.25/10)

It's so difficult to render ratings unto an album of such blatant imitation--but it's so good--so refreshing to hear these "variations" on old, beloved songs. Perfect imitation: in sound, in song construction, in instrumental command and performance. I'm not sure which Focus drummer Max Saidi and the band are trying to emulate, as this may be the weak link for me. Bass, flute, keys, and especially guitar are very close to being spot on, but something's a bit off with the drum style.

3.5 stars; a nice addition to any prog rocker's music collection--especially if you're a fan of 1970s FOCUS.

Report this review (#2109211)
Posted Thursday, December 20, 2018 | Review Permalink
3 stars Really strong and very pleasent from start to finish, intresting art work aswell, a nice one . They capture with this album entitled very evocative zooming into focus released in 2018 the essence what made famous dutch band Focus so great in their glory days , 3,5 stars for sure for me, in fact their bandcamp page describe it quite well:

"This is an anglo-danish collaboration featuring Neil Gowland and Steffen Staugaard. The music is all instrumental inspired by the dutch band Focus. It´s an homage to the bands musical style"

All in all, fans of the genre might take some spins, worth it.

Report this review (#2234626)
Posted Wednesday, July 3, 2019 | Review Permalink

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