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The Soft Machine - Softs CD (album) cover


The Soft Machine


Canterbury Scene

3.88 | 242 ratings

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4 stars WOW! What an excellent album. When I bought this album in 1982, I though that I would get a music that is soft as the album tells. But in fact, the music is quite heavy and complex. I would say that this album has inspired (and probably influenced) Ozric Tentacles because in some segments I can get the nuance similar with the music of Ozric Tentacles.

The album kicks off with an ambient music which features John Etheridge's acoustic guitar fills accompanying Alan Wakeman's soprano saxes in "Aubade" followed almost seamlessly with second track "The Tale of Taliesin" through a nice piano solo (by Karl Jenkins) that later (with the entrance of drumming) brings to a floating music with piano as rhythm section accompanying electric guitar solo. The music turns into a fast tempo style with powerful guitar solo and dynamic drumming by John Marshall. It reminds me to the music of Colosseum II. Wow man .. I love this part and I'm lucky that this part takes relatively long guitar solo with solid bass lines by Roy Babbington. "Ban-Ban Caliban" follows with great synthesizer work by guest musician "Mike Ratledge" with a style that reminds me to Ozric Tentacles. Soprano saxes augment the music and give a richer texture. During soprano sax solo improvisation the music is performed in relatively fast tempo. It's really an enjoyable music that any Canterbury or jazz rock fusion fans would enjoy very much. The changes in style and tempo happen nicely - for example when the solo improvisation changes from soprano sax to electric guitar, the transition happens wonderfully. Drum work is awesome. This kind of music reminds me also to artists like Billy Cobham, Jean Luc Ponty (especially "Enigmatic Ocean" album), The Flock, Mahavishnu Orchestra and also Return To Forever. The music then turns slower with "Song of Aeolus" where guitar is taking the lead melody role in slow tempo style.

With Side 2 the band offers another stream of good composition where it opens with soft piano touch in "Out of Season" combined nicely with acoustic guitar. It serves like a musical break after enjoying hard-edge music in fast tempo. The guitar changes to electric and plays a role as lead melody with piano as rhythm section. also contains excellent drum solo in "Kayoo" which reminds me of Billy Cobham's drum solo. I do enjoy John Marshall drum work - it's dynamic and produces excellent sounds.

It's a highly recommended album - an excellent addition to any prog music collection. If you like jazz rock fusion or Canterbury, this album is yours. Keep on proggin' ..!

Progressively yours, GW

Gatot | 4/5 |


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