Sunday, December 13, 2009

Focus - Focus 9 New Skin

After some 35 years after Dutch progressive rock super group Focus was formed, its founding member keyboardist/flutist/vocalist Thijs van Leer reunites with former member of the 70’s line-up, drummer Pierre Van der Linden to produce “Focus 9” in 2006. This time they enlist two younger players, Bobby Jacobs on bass and guitarist Niels Van Der Steenhoven. Together they manage to recapture the original sound of the band as if this production was a follow-up to any of their 70’s albums. The classic van Leer Hammond organ leads the baroque jazz-rock mixture typical of Focus although his distinctive flute is not a present as before and his yodeling and vocal effects have turned from the humoresque/burlesque to the grotesque. Van Der Steenhoven guitar playing, although not as raw as Jan Akkerman’s, (former Focus guitar player), brings a new dynamic rock edge to the band and Jacobs bass playing blends perfectly with the old school sound of Van der Linden drums. The songs are reminiscence of the main beautiful compositions of the old Focus repertoire and even incorporating various titles of Focus songs and albums and even from Van Leer’s solo work. This is a great effort to recapture the fan base and attract new listeners by going back to basics. Unfortunately, this CD is being sold at Amazon at ridiculous prices but you can find it at Red Bullet Records for 10 Euros.

Track Listing:
1. Black Beauty
2. Focus, Pt. 7
3. Hurkey Turkey, Pt. 2
4. Sylvia's Stepson – Ubatuba (sampled above)
5. Neils' Skin
6. Just Like Eddy
7. Aya-Yuppie-Hippie-Yee
8. Focus, Pt. 9
9. Curtain Call
10. Ode to Venus
11. European Rap(sody)
12. Pim
13. It Takes 2 2 Tango
Buy it at Red Bullet Records or  
Buy Focus 9/New Skin at Amazon

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