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Focus - 11 CD (album) cover

11

Focus

 

Symphonic Prog

3.54 | 43 ratings

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SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars La Cathedrale de van Leer

Focus is back with a new album! Being a fan of the band, I pre-ordered their 11th studio album and have been playing it a lot since it arrived about a month ago. I thoroughly enjoy Focus 11, as will anyone who enjoyed Focus 8, 9, and 10. If you heard those previous few albums, you pretty much know what to expect here. The musicianship is impeccable and the sound is 100% Focus. Thijs van Leer is the leader of the band and responsible for composing all of the album's material with the sole exception of Mare Nostrum which is credited to bassist Udo Pannekeet. Drums are again handled by Pierre van der Linden, and guitars by Menno Gootjes.

Fittingly enough given its chronology, Focus 11 features 11 tracks. How Many Miles? is the only cut that features lyrics, the rest being instrumental with occasional vocal acrobatics from van Leer (though, no yodelling this time!). A few of the numbers are recycled, including opener Who's Calling? which originally appeared on the 1985 Jan Akkerman and Thijs van Leer collaboration album Focus. The original CD version of Who's Calling? is 16 plus minutes (while the vinyl LP has a shorter version), but this new version is only 5:28. Winnie and Clair-Obscur were previously included on The Focus Family Album, which came out a couple of years ago.

The cover art is by the great Roger Dean which is instantly recognizable. This time he has drawn a church. Looking closely, one can see the crosses on the spires and the mosaic glass windows typical of churches. There's even a minister standing in the door, welcoming a visitor. However, there seems not to be any religious theme to the music itself.

Another good Focus record, and a recommended addition to any comprehensive Focus collection.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |

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