Sunday 3 March 2019
Focus - 11 (2019)
The 14th album from this Dutch band.
The band is now a quartet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, vocoder, percussion, Hammond organ, flute and vocals.
Thijs Van Leer is the only remaining member after the Focus comeback some albums ago. The band is touring and is still reminding fans and others how great they once were.
I am by no means saying that this version of Focus is bad. They are actually very good. But the proof is in the pudding... the albums.
And this album mostly have the good old Focus sound. There are some references to one of my all-time favourite albums; The Hamburger Concertos. And there is plenty of other references to other of their great albums too.
Five tracks is re-written from previous albums. The rest of the songs are new songs. Most of this album is new songs and they are in the good old Focus style. That means a mix of jazz, folk and symphonic prog.
There is only sporadic vocals here. Most of the fifty minutes worth of material is instrumental.
...And this stuff really works. Yes, the sound is a major factor here. But the pieces are really good and is by no means shaming Focus good name and reputation. The band will probably even get new fans from this album. And that is great.
I have really enjoyed this album, indeed.