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Audio CD, Import, November 6, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

2012 album from the veteran Dutch Art-Rock/Prog band. With their unique Progressive Rock, Focus manifested themselves at the start of the '70s as the most successful and the most appreciated of all the Dutch Rock exports. The band is still fronted by founder and musical genius Thijs van Leer. A new Focus era has arrived. There is a rejuvenated passion in the new compositions that adorn the album, which features a full scale Roger Dean painting on the cover. Thijs van Leer commented It's a thrill to have finally completed Focus X; ''We are all ecstatic and looking forward to playing the new material on the forthcoming Focus X Tour. This album -and the following gigs- will surprise the loyal fans. They will hear once again all the classic Focus tunes and they will be surprised at the strength and depth of the new material.

Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 6, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Eastworld Records
  • ASIN: B0094UADXG
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #168,955 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Olav M. Björnsen on November 6, 2012
Format: MP3 Music
Dutch outfit FOCUS are among the veterans of the European rock scene. Initially formed in 1969, it was the first few years of their career that saw them make a big impression with tracks like Hocus Pocus and Sylvia, where the former is a staple on classic rock radio stations even today. Towards the end of the 1970's Focus called it a day, but some 20 odd years later Focus was revived courtesy of Thijs van Leer. X is the tenth studio album by this veteran act, and the third to be released after their revival.

The core style explored on this production is one with half a foot or thereabouts placed inside 70's jazzrock. It's a smooth and melodic variety of the species, with melancholic oriented guitar soloing backed by smooth organ textures and wandering piano motifs as core elements throughout. An often used and effective detail is how the flute and guitar will take turns in providing lead motifs, and even while relatively brief in length the compositions tend to contain multiple themes, or at minimum distinctly different lead motifs. The various themes and motifs are repeated, and the use of recurring elements in general are the main identity providers.

Most pieces have been given additional elements that separates them somewhat from the rest too. Like the spirited, bass riven insert in the otherwise slow melancholy of Victoria, the whimsical lead vocals of All Hens on Deck, the careful rare lead vocals of Le Tango or the spoken words that appear in Hoeratio. And for Talk of the Clown Focus opts for a dramatic shift in style, this brief piece with marching drums and elegant playful flute comes across as a theme tailor made to be used for a 70's children's TV show more than anything else.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dave van der Spank on February 7, 2013
Format: Audio CD
Focus on it's 10th album anniversary comes up with a really good pack of songs, but it does have to grow on you.
And where at first it all sounds a bit too familiar, the nice surprises uncover on repeated listening.
With 10 songs this album is also pretty compact compared to its predecessor "Focus 9 - New skin", certainly if you consider two songs to be a bit below their standard ("Hoeratio" and "Talk of the Clown").

The rest is quite strong though, with many highlights:
1. "All hens on deck" is rocking harder than Focus ever did before. Sharp interplay of all 4 guys, with a great guitar riff supported by the growling organ and goofy vocals of Thijs van Leer. This should have been the opening track really!
2. Then Victoria with some fanatasy could be the single candidate, with a lovely melody including a funky midway tempo change, possibly a nice follow up to their classic Sylvia.
3. Amok in Kindergarten: a jazzy light touch, but a complex puzzle of a song, still very enjoyable though. This reminds me of the sound on "Focus 3", and at the same time elaborating on recent ballads from the recent "New Skin" album.
4. Father Bacchus: great new track by Menno Gootjes, rocking hard & expanding on former classics with a fresh flute melody.
5. Focus X: this song grows on you, just like the album does as a whole. Beautiful!
6. Crossroads: this is the surprise at the end, Pierre van der Linden really gives this song it's irresistable drive. He is drumming extremely well throughout the album.
7. Birds come fly over: A nice remake of the song "Le Tango" from the Akkerman & van Leer album in the 80's. Ivan Lins sings it very carefully with a bit of an unstable voice. But he does add in some "emotional" extra value to the song.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By jitka suchankova on December 7, 2012
Format: Audio CD
On Focus X we can once more enjoy the warm and eloquent sound of the Thijs van Leer compositions. Title piece 'Focus X' is again a beautiful composition, although I have to confirm that the van Leer compositions have lost a bit of their earlier lustre. The excitement and the tension (probably due to the incompatibility of characters between Thijs van Leer and original guitar player Jan Akkerman), resulting in the sparkling and convincing sound of the old days in which brilliant albums like Hamburger Concerto and the already mentioned Moving Waves were recorded, is nowhere to be found on this new album. Instead the music on Focus X is far more stable and soft- edged with a more deep inclination towards jazz and this new Focus album is what you would call an album to lay back and enjoy. Focus do not disappoint.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Thomas C. Davis on December 15, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A great return to form, the playing is world class, great production, well crafted compositions and still VERY much in the FOCUS tradition. The Roger Dean cover is great, too.
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