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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
3 stars "Third" is an all round epic album with every song running for 18 minutes or over and being majority instrumental. There are vast arrays of instruments used on "Third" which range from the lowliest Flute to Saxophones and Guitars. The most prominent instrument through out the whole album is the Saxophone, but it in no way dominates the music. There is a lot of that crazy Canterbury organ sound in Third and each song seems to have a very strange introduction (excluding Moon in June), usually involving the organ.

The opening song "Facelift" has a odd beginning which consists of that crazy organ synthesizer punctuated by other queer sounding instruments. After about five minutes some of the wind and brass instruments come in and the song really stars. Facelift is apparently recorded live and the sound quality is excellent!" Facelift" isn't initially appealing to the listener, but the songs grows it's self on you.

The next song, "Slightly All the Time" gets started a lot faster than its predecessor and it is an all round more lively and interesting song. The saxophone and flute lines in the song are tremendously enjoyable. To me, Slightly All the Time seems to have more content than "Facelift" and it is a very enjoyable song in full.

"Moon in June" is the only song on "Third" that has any vocals on it, and unlike the other songs on the album it starts immediately. "Moon in June" is a more melodic song than the rest of the album and the vocals is a very enjoyable part of the album as the rest is vocal deprived.

The closer to the album is another 19 minute instrumental epic and it is very like the rest of "Third." "Out-Bloody Rageous" has an large amounts of strange sounding synthesizers which have a long solo section starting around the seventh minutes. There is a certain pattern to the entire album, it goes intro, Woodwinds and brass sections and then strange synthesizers. The pattern usually repeats through the entire album.

1. Facelift (Hopper)(3/5) 2. Slightly all the time (3/5) 3. Moon in June (4/5) 4. Out-bloody-rageous (3.5/5) Total = 14 Divided by 4 (number of songs) =3.375 = 3 stars Good but non essential

"Third" is in summary one of the best Canterbury albums I've ever heard. It is a very good album and experimental.I think any real prog fan will appreciate "Third" and I recommend it to prog fans across the board, although I'm sure many people will not like it at first. A high three stars. (edited version)

Australian | 3/5 |


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