Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Focus - Focus II [Aka: Moving Waves] CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.09 | 677 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Prog Reviewer
3 stars Focus' second album had been probably their commercially most successful one and the fact that it contained their best-known song and biggest hit "Hocus Pocus" contributed a lot to this. I think almost every middle-aged rock fan whether into Prog or not has heard at least once in his life this unusual hard rock song with its funny yodeling. Being undeniably still a very entertaining listen yet one has to admit as well that this song isn't anything special in terms of compositional quality. Side one of the original vinyl continues in a pace that drastically differs from this rocking and catchy opener with the short acoustic guitar piece "Le clochard" and the flute-dominated "Janis" which are both pleasant tracks but not any reason at all for ranking this album as a masterpiece. Then there's the title track which is also short and consists mainly of solo piano plus vocals that sound a bit too cheesy at least to my ears. That one isn't a real winner for me, rather the next one "Focus II" which is probably still the best one of this side. It's a theme that has been followed up by the band like a thread over several records and also taken up in the Eruption-suite which, typically for Focus, occupies the whole second side. I would rather disagree to some people's assessment this lengthy track consisting of altogether 15 small pieces is mere jammin'. Though revealing that the band's strength lies more in the extraordinary skills of the individual musicians than in songwriting and composing qualities it's nonetheless an enjoyable versatile piece of music combining influences from classical, jazz and rock. Switching back and forth from classically inspired, sometimes Emersonian keyboard parts with pleasant Mellotron choirs to more jazzy and jam-rocking ones with brilliant solo demonstrations by all musicians it's neither a perfect composition nor a boring affair at all. This second half is for me clearly the better one of this album and would deserve a rating of 3 if not 4 stars which isn't the case for the first side. Thus I'd rank this one rather as a very good but subdued effort compared to their next two albums which I consider more essential. But as usual it depends on personal taste preferences and anyway this one might be worth to be checked out by fans of skillful solo presentations.
hdfisch | 3/5 |


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 FOCUS 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