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Focus - 3 CD (album) cover

3

Focus

 

Symphonic Prog

3.79 | 508 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

friso
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Focus' third album - a 2 LP - is perhaps most representative of their live performances of the seventies. The album has some great melodic jazz infused symphonic prog pieces, but also a lot of jazz-rock jamming ('Anonymous Two') with all musicians taking leads. Jan Akkerman reaches the hight of his fame in these years and his fast played Les Paul is just outstanding; fierce when jamming and gentle and melodic when playing the composed pieces. The compositions of organ player and flutist Thijs van Leer combine classical music, jazz, rock and folk in a natural way. The instrumentally performed song 'Sylvia', originally written for a Dutch cabaret singer (stand-up comedian) who rejected it, is an important chart hit for the band. Its optimistic - if not heroic - appeal, its classic guitar chords & leads and the high pitch wordless vocals of Van Leer (no yodeling this time) make this a standout track. 'Round Goes the Gossip' is a great progressive opening track with fast paced jazz-rock attacks of Akkerman & Van Leer and a magical ever-rising chords lick in the end. Focus III is among their best instrumental / melodic pieces. The jamming of the band is quite good, but I do think this album would have had higher rating if the composed pieces and the jams had been separated better on the vinyls. One (mostly) composed album and a bonus LP full of jam-based pieces would have probably made this a classic prog album.
friso | 4/5 |

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