Saturday, 10 September 2011

Focus - 8

25 years without hearing from Focus except from some compilations and then here we are presented with Focus 8. Its absolutely wrong to say that the brand name Focus was "used" for comercial advantages. Focus 8 is not about revival of a Dinossaur for the sake of the money. Its about a mans passion for music, Thjiis van Leer has this passion. This album has Focus writen all over it. For historical reasons most of oldtime Focus compositions and harmonies was made by Thjiis van Leer. Yoddling, handclaps, flutes and lots of wonderful Hammond riffs fill this recording to the rim, and all oldtime Focus fans can easily reconcile with Focus. As for the line-up, Jan Dumeé replaces the other Jan (Akkerman) with grace and many die-hard fans did recognize the fact that Akkerman was dispensable. Dumeé dd a wonderful job on the guitars, carrying Focus to a new dimention giving Focus the magic that fans always loved; Hammond-Guitar tunes blending jazz and classic music with a Rock approach that characterize Progressive Music. Bobby Jacobs fills in with quite powerful bass lines as in "Rock And Rio"and sometimes delicate as on "De Ti O De Mi". Drumming is executed just as Pierre van der Linden did in old Focus. Bert Smaak is perfect in most of his lines, maybe a bit too "heavy" on the more powerful tunes. Rock and Rio is a hard rock version inspired probably on Hocus Pocus, Tamaras Move has Focus III and House Of The King elements, Fretless Love has downgeared Sylvia cords. Hurkey Turkey is fresh and mingles Rock and Jazz with wonderful guitar and Hammond tunes in perfect harmony. The Title Track mellows out a bit with smooth guitar on piano and bass layers. Sto Ces Raditi...has absolute brazilian rythms with flutes, accoustic guitars as intro, where the song evolves to a bossa nova where the band seems to have a cool time enjoying the tune. Neurotika is another hard prog tune with lots of energy again with Hocus Pocus inspiration. Brother is a blues inspired tune executed first at a mellow pace, but builds up to high energy performance, again with a superb Hammond undertone. Blizu Tebe is the follow up of Brother, mellow and relaxing with unbelivable guitar playing by Dumeé. Flower Shower is the last tune of Focus 8 and believe me, its hilarious ! a minuette which demostrates that Focus dont take themselves too seriously. Its a "must have album" by those who really love Progressive Rock and needs to get away from mainstream revivals of dinossaurs. FOCUS Focus 8 music review by sclemche

Songs / Tracks Listing 1. Rock & Rio (3:27)
2. Tamara's Move (5:17)
3. Fretless Love (6:08)
4. Hurkey Turkey (4:15)
5. De Ti O De Mi (6:30)
6. Focus 8 (6:19)
7. Sto Ce Raditi Zwota (5:26)
8. Neurotika (3:47)
9. Brother (5:39)
10. Blizu Tebe (6:38)
11. Flower Shines (5:41)

Total Time: 59:07

Line-up / Musicians - Jan Dumée / guitars, vocals
- Bobby Jacobs / bass
- Thijs van Leer / Hammond organ, flute, vocals
- Bert Smaak / drums

Focus - Neurotika

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