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Focus - Focus II [Aka: Moving Waves] CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.09 | 674 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars An album I've heard for a long long time, which I find myself surprised for not reviewing it before as it is an album I played numerous times and Hocus Pocus was a favourite of mine when I was little. This is an album where the band has two styles: the Rocking Focus and Camel-like beautiful passages.

Hocus Pocus starts the album with a bang. This is a timeless rock&roll piece mixed with a bit of humor. The main riff is played throught the whole song's verses, yet it is so energetic that it never bores you. The bass and drums are virtuosic and perfectly done. The choruses contain descending yodeling (hilarious) accompained by a great sounding hammond organ. There are some instrumental breaks with solos including guitar (rocking), overdubbed flutes (crazy), accordeon+whistling (funny) and goofy vocals+organs (funny). It never bores me, and should be a great tune to show to your friends about what a prog band can do with rock&roll.

The rest of the album doesn't dissapoint either, unless you want the album to be humorous. It isn't. It actually sounds nothing like Hocus Pocus:

Le Clochard is a romantic acoustic interlude that helps you get in the mood to the more melodic side of Focus.

Janis is a laid back romantic song with a gorgeous flute melody. This song's style is similar to Camel's mid 70s sound. That being said, if you like Camel, you'll go nuts over this gem.

Moving Waves has the singer singing in a style that reminds you of Greg Lake. You could think of this song as what would have been if Greg's ballads had piano instead of acoustic guitars.

Focus II, like Janis, is a Camel-like song that blows away that band! A beautiful song with amazing melodies played by soaring guitars. The guitars are excellent in this track and the other instruments follow it perfectly, especially the drumming. Even better than Janis, this is a perfect song that will give you goosebumps. Magical!

Eruption is the reason why I don't give this album 5 stars. It loses "focus" after the great first 8 minutes of the song (It is still great though) and ruins itself once the drum solo begins. Still, there is a lot to enjoy in this track, especially the beginning of it which may be a highlight of the disc. I LOVE that Santana-like guitar playing on minute 6 for example. I won't describe the track's evolution during its 23 minutes, but I'll tell you it's mostly all good, even if it is not very consistent.

This is probably the best album I've heard from the Netherlands, but I have yet to discover their Hamburgo Concerto album.

Highlights: Hocus Pocus, Janis, Focus II, Eruption's first 8 minutes.

Let Downs: Eruption's last 6 minutes.

My Grade : B+

Zitro | 4/5 |


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