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The Soft Machine - Third CD (album) cover


The Soft Machine


Canterbury Scene

4.21 | 984 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars My problem with this (double) album is that it is fully jazz oriented. And free or symphonic or traditional (you name it) jazz has never been my cup of tea.

To digest the first track of this offering is rather difficult: improvisation, chaos, noise, cacophony. This is my perception of "Facelift". Not for me at all?Zero star, that's it.

So, I guess that I will be more on the side of Easy Livin's review than most other ones while I see all those very high ratings fot his release. I could cope very well with their debut album, not really with their second one. But the toughest is definitely this "Third" one.

Most of these four tracks are pure jazz mania; mostly in a free form which makes it even more difficult to appreciate. There are some good interplay (flute / keys) during "Slightly All The Time" that saves the bill. But I can't be laudatory about this work only for these few minutes of bearable music (sorry Antoine).

A section of this song is also very repetitive: the piano riff being rather boring after a while but it ends up in a quieter and symphonic jazzy part which is much more catchy and elegant.

The third song is really very good. Finally! Melodic vocals, excellent keyboards which are relayed with a superb bass play and a complex drumming. This is Canterbury at its best IMHHO. "Moon In June" is by far my favorite song of this offering: of course, the jazzy mood is not absent but it is closer to "Caravan" style or even "Camel" at times. This is the (only) highlight of this album.

The frenzy of the second part is absolutely delightful. After the first two tracks (but especially the first one), I wasn't expecting such a great track to be honest. It is a solid rating "increaser" in this case. The last track of this album is of no great savour to my taste and draws the whole work down to two stars.

ZowieZiggy | 2/5 |


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