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Focus - Focus Plays Focus [Aka: In and Out of Focus] CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.47 | 333 ratings

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4 stars The first release from legendary Dutch symphonic prog band Focus, this album is often overlooked and underrated by less attentive Focus fans. The album has a much more quiet acoustical feel to it than their later albums, making it comparable to the early albums of Genesis and Yes in some respects. However, in other respects this album couldn't be any less like the work of said symphonic bands, dues to both the fact that it is an instrumental album, and to the fact that it is incredibly jazz influenced (arguably more of a jazz fusion album than a prog album). The track that stands out most on this album is the jazzy instrumental "anonymous", which is a deliciously technical six and a half minute jam that sounds something like a cross between James Brown and Jethro Tull. Other great tracks on this album include "House of The King", a great folky song with brilliant guitar playing, and arguably the song which made peoples head turn towards the bands legendary guitarist Jan Akkerman. The rest of the album is generally very good, with it's only real weak spot being the elevator music reminiscent song "Happy Nightmare", which is the only song on the album with spoken vocals throughout, which is certainly not the bands strong point. This album is by no means Focus' greatest release, but it should certainly not be overlooked, and is an essential purchase for any Focus fan.
cynthiasmallet | 4/5 |


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