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The Soft Machine - Third CD (album) cover


The Soft Machine


Canterbury Scene

4.21 | 984 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars I studied jazz for quite a few years, and I had enough. I hated jazz. In my honest opinion, Soft Machine created for me the ideal jazz album. Eratic, interesting, confusing, intense, again interesting, melodical (but still enough interesting free jazz improv aspects to be still allowed to be called at least fusion). Absolutely beautiful in certain parts and absolutely mind blowing in others, this is a work of art.

Let's start with "Facelift"- Wow. Well I should probably say more. The beginning has Ratledge playing the creepiest sounding keyboards (I honestly don't know what he exactly plays but it's fantastic) I have ever heard. The piece slowly builds up to the main melody and then to pretty much about 13 minutes of insane solos. The ending is particularly good, with a very strong use of tape loops (I assume as being courtesy of the amazing bassist Hugh Hopper). Now without a doubt the jazziest piece from all the four is "Slightly All Time" Which consists of the a fairly known jazz structure, more or less. The song goes through several rhythm changes (yes that's the name of a famous jazz standard) and through several different parts before reaching another fantastic ending. Overall the jazziest piece, but still very very good and very groundbreaking.

The second record starts with the wonderful "Moon In June", which has the incredible Robert Wyatt singing. This is a beautiful song, with a very melodic first half, while the second is this furious and very dissonant soloing. I don't know what happens but the song just explodes to into this insane free jazz fiesta. I don't what this album has with endings, but I find that all four pieces have absolutely perfect endings. The insane electric violin at the end of "Moon in June" is one of the most amazing things I have ever heard. Beautiful yet very weird (in a good way of course), I honestly don't understand how they thought of such a brilliant thing to end the piece with. Possibly my favorite song from the whole record is "Out-Bloody-Rageous". The song starts from this absolutely incredible use of tape loops. I have never heard such a beautiful build up to a song. Absolutely genius. The beginning has a very ambient/electronic feel to it, which I personally love. The piece progresses into the fantastic main melody. And later into a very nice piano interlude by Ratledge. I have to say that this ending here takes the cake, as the piece returs to the tape loop beginning to give the album as a whole a "closing" of sorts.

Overall this is a masterpiece. I can put this record amongst my top 3 favorite records ever. Probably not for everyone (just like anything else), especially for the some who really dislike jazz just from hearing the word. But I suggest this record to all, and this record should definitely be given a proper chance and much attention to be fully appreciated.

frippism | 5/5 |


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