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The Soft Machine - Fifth [Aka: 5] CD (album) cover


The Soft Machine


Canterbury Scene

3.40 | 254 ratings

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Zac M
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Well, what do you expect after Fourth? This was the logical follow-up to the previous release. Many people claim that Six and Seven are incredibly similar, it's Fourth and Fifth that are the most alike. The avant-jazz feel is still there, although Elton Dean is the only wind player left. This is actually his last album with the band; he went on to create a plethora of extremely interesting avant-jazz projects with his own band.

The best track here is "Drop," which starts with slow, water droplet effects. The compositions here are less interesting than those on Fourth. John Marshall (ex-Nucleus) makes his first appearance on half of this album and even has his own drum solo ("L.B.O."), a tradition which he started on Elastic Rock and restarted on this album. He is a technically proficient drummer, but to me, his drumming lacks the spirit and umph (a technical musical term if I've ever heard one) that Wyatt had. Actually, his drumming gets more interesting as the years go on. "As If" and "All White" are pretty good, but still do not reach the level of interest in "Drop." The other tracks are somewhat forgettable.

In my opinion, this is the worst of the "numbered" releases. Again, this album is of interest to mainly already initiated Softs fans and is of little interest to the average Prog fan. Again, I award this three stars, but in this case, it's more like 2.75 stars, still good, but not remarkable by any means.

Zac M | 3/5 |


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