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Focus - 3 CD (album) cover

3

Focus

 

Symphonic Prog

3.79 | 477 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars It would be easy to say that after the success of "Moving Waves" FOCUS caught the ELP disease. In other words they became arrogant and pompous, and so delivered a double album with lots of solos and jamming. Just writing that makes me laugh because though it may be true, it just means we got some amazing prog music out of it. I personally prefer "Moving Waves" but it's the things that a lot people don't like about this double album that makes it a four star record for me. And that would be the amazing solos and the extended jams. I really like the way they just play on and on during the two longer tracks.

"Round Goes The Gossip" is the only track with vocals and they're in Latin ! Something about this song that I liked from the first time I heard it. Still like it a lot. It opens with some cool drumming before becoming an uptempo and catchy song. The guitar, organ and drums shine throughout. We get a calm with vocals 1 1/2 minutes in that is broken by some more fantastic drumming.The tempo seems to get even faster before 3 1/2 minutes. They're flying. Quite the display of organ and bass work as drums pound away. "Love Remembered" is mellow with acoustic guitar and flute. Drums and a fuller sound arrive 1 1/2 minutes in. "Sylvia" is a fun, uptempo instrumental with guitar, drums and organ dominating the sound. I can see why this became a hit for them on the radio. Vocal melodies 2 minutes in are kind of funny. The guitar and organ late are incredible sounding. "Carnival Fugue" opens with slowly played piano melodies for 1 1/2 minutes when tempo picks up and other instruments join in. It becomes jazzy as tempo picks up even more after 3 minutes. Organ and flute follow. "Focus III" is very laid back to begin with, then the sound gets louder 2 minutes in with some good guitar and organ. It returns to the mellow soundscape from the beginning after 3 minutes. This is such a beautiful, pastoral sound. Again it gets fuller just like before at 5 minutes and it ends on this note.

"Answers ? Questions ! Questions ? Answers !" is uptempo with lots of organ. You have to love the guitar style here. Nice contrast with the mellower passage that follows.This contrast continues. Nice guitar solo after 3 minutes followed by an organ solo and then a flute solo. Cool. This flute / drum section seems to go and on forever. Nice. The guitar replaces the flute after 8 minutes. This sounds so amazing as it goes on for over 3 minutes. I could listen to this all day. This is my favourite song on here followed by "Anonymus Two". Next up is "Elspeth Of Nottingham" a title that no doubt gives a nod to the medieval flavour of this song.This is my least favourite song on here. "Anonymus Two" is an uptempo track to begin with as organ pulsates and guitar and drums help out. Check out the Ian Anderson-like flute a minute in. It's aggressive and leading the way. Some powerful organ 3 1/2 minutes in goes on a tear. I love this section as they just jam. The song just stops 6 1/2 minutes in. We then get a long bass solo and the song starts to build 9 minutes in. Organ 13 minutes in is outstanding. The guitar joins in and it's even better ! A change 19 minutes in as the jamming stops and a new melody takes over. Then a long drum solo before the song ends with a guitar / drum / organ melody.

Lets face it, if you don't like the two longer tracks then you don't like well over half of this recording. So I can understand some of the lower ratings even though I belong with those who think this is an excellent double album.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |

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