Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
The Soft Machine - Fifth [Aka: 5] CD (album) cover


The Soft Machine


Canterbury Scene

3.42 | 299 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars After 4 albums, Soft Machine made it big in the Canterbury Scene. They started off with a more psychedelic sound with The Soft Machine and Volume Two. Then they experimented and became a more experimental, free form jazzy band with Third and Fourth. And now we see the fifth culmination of that, which so happens to be called 5. I had no idea where Soft would go after Third and after the more lack luster Fourth. I wanted to find out and have an open mind about the album.

The first song, All White, kickstarts the album with a slowly building tune of basses and saxes until it bursts into a freeform tune of drums and keyboards. The song is a very cool and fusion based tune that sounds very wild and crazy. The next song is Drop. It builds up the song with a cool and crisp keyboard and a worbly synth sound in the back. This song also has some kazoos? Or guitars? I can't really tell. But nonetheless the song has this aura of cool and crispness to it. The next song is M C. This is a very experimental song. It has weird instruments all over the place. Now I am perfectly fine with that, however I think I know why some might think it's kinda strange and dumb. But personally I like when Soft Machine goes into more avant-gard-ish territory and do something experimental. I like it. The next song is As If. The song feels like a interrogation scene to a detective film. As the scene rises in tension so does the instruments and it sounds like the sax is pleading for life. It is very very awesome that Soft Machine can give life to so many instruments like they are talking and having a convo with one another. Also that cello is just super creepy I love it. The next song, L B O is basically a drum solo. If you like drum solos than you'll like this song. Other than that, it's a drum solo. The next song is Pigling Bland. It is a cool and jazzy song with an awesome drum beat. 5 to me sounds like a experimental detective film and this song feels like a detective sitting down in a rainy street, about to have a smoke when he gets a call. This song and all the other songs reminds me of just some cool noir stuff. I know it's a bit off topic but it just does. Also this is the best song on the album, it's cool, it's crisp, it has a great beat. I love it. Now we have the last song, Bone. It is another experimental track except instead of a jazzy sound, it goes for a wavey sorta creepy sound. No more horns, just weird eerie noises and a deadly synth. Pretty creepy, I like it. Now the biggest issue to me about this album is how experimental it is. It's not one of those albums where everyone can dig it and while I do enjoy experimental music, I know most people won't which would make this album pretty hard for some people to listen and like it, which is fine but that could be a big turn off for a lot of people.

So I thought this album was really good. It has a lot of personality and experimentations that I love this band for and it feels like the best direction the band took after Fourth. After this was a good experience and I am starting to see the full scope of Soft Machine's sound and the potential of it. Very cool band. Very cool.

Dapper~Blueberries | 4/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this THE SOFT MACHINE review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.