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The Soft Machine - Third CD (album) cover


The Soft Machine


Canterbury Scene

4.21 | 983 ratings

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3 stars Soft Machine's "Third" is got heavy emphasis on jazz, and the crew is augmented with brass section. Although they are all skillful musicians, this album is just not on the same level as their first two albums. Brief but effective psychedelic tunes are gone and replaced by long jazz pieces sometimes almost in a free form. The album is produced better then it predecessors (although far from perfect) but the lovely buzzing bass & organ sounds are gone.

This huge 2-record album contains four sidelong tracks. Wyatt is blessing us with his charming vocals only once, in "Moon In June" with its funny lyrics and daring complexity. That track is probably the best on the album. The rest of the tracks are instrumentals, clocking between 18 and 20 minutes and they are not bad, but they are not very remarkable neither.

Opening "Facelift" utilises free-form/avantgarde/chaotic opening on organ and it's full of scary noises that really remind me of face lifting. Intro is a bit too long, but when the brass section stars with quirky line, tings get much better,but until the end, for next 10 minutes, track becomes boring and too repetitive. Good idea, but not developed enough.

The same problem persists in tracks "Slightly All The Time" and "Out-Bloody-Rageous". You can find some fine movements here and there, even the touch of meditative electronics, but ideas are just not developed good enough to catch the listener's attention during the whole tune.

This album is sort of a dead end, magic and humour from the first two albums are gone, and it's not mature enough to be a statement of the new style. The band will have to wait for Mr. Holdsworth to find a new ground, but they will never be so charming again.

Overall, it's not bad, there are some excellent moments and you can give it a try, but be very, very cautious.

Rating: Slightly less than 3,5 stars.

clarke2001 | 3/5 |


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