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Focus - Focus 9 / New Skin CD (album) cover

FOCUS 9 / NEW SKIN

Focus

 

Symphonic Prog

3.22 | 100 ratings

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Salviaal
2 stars Thjis van Leer has replaced the drummer with his Focus bandmate from the early 70s, and Jan Dumee with a guitarist I've never heard of before. These are some great musicians, but to be honest van Leer's work is not as vital as it once was, and he takes too much creative control here. Focus 9 is even more nostalgic than it's predecessor, which is a bit of a surprise as one would think they would mature a bit. Like the previous album had an instrumental reworking of "Brother" from the "Focus con Proby", this one reworks one of their earliest tunes "Black Beauty" in an interesting way where it's almost not even recognizable. We have not one, but two new additions into the Focus series, and they are probably the best tracks on the album (as usual). We also have a continuation of "Hurkey Turkey", which also features an arrangment of Mozart's Turkish March, with pretty stupid vocals added in. Another interesting piece of nostalgia is "European Rap(sody)", which is a typical Focus ballad but with an added recitation of what must be all of Focus song names spanning 37 years. Some people might find this clever, but I don't see the point. It's still a cool composition though. Let's not forget "Sylvia's Stepson: Ubatuba" a silly track with a silly name. Overall, what we are getting are some pieces of nostalgia, plus some new tunes from Thjis van Leer, and even though it's all done in the classic symphonic Focus style, it somehow fails to excite. Good addition if you are a hardcore Focus fan, but otherwise you are better off with about half a dozen Focus albums before this one. 2.5 stars.
Salviaal | 2/5 |

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