Exposé Online banner

Focus — Focus 8
(Musea FGBG 4472.AR, 2002, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 2003-08-01

Focus 8 Cover art

Leave it to Thijs Van Leer to recognize the timely need for Focus to return to active duty. Within the past three years he encountered a Focus tribute act in his Dutch homeland and was so impressed he decided to append himself onto their stage show. That in itself is a testament to their credibility. While sadly Jan Akkerman is not part of this line-up, clearly guitarist Jan Dumée handles the job quite well (and that’s saying a lot). His melodic leads are appropriately in the mode of his countryman without being derivative. Van Leer’s own chops are still intact as evidenced by his fine flute playing on Dumée’s piece, “Tamara’s Move.” This song and several others retain that key classical element of the original incarnation of the group. “Hurkey Turkey” is another in a series of goofily named tracks that show off the new members of the group; it’s a mid-tempo rocker with Van Leer’s scat vocal on display. In contrast “De Ti O De Mi” relies on a slow heavy groove and Dumée’s classy but emotive leads. “Neurotika” is the closest the new quartet comes to the frenzied attack that made the group internationally famous in 1972. Closing out the eleven pieces is “Flower Shower,” a quirky track as amusing for its sound effects as for Van Leer’s melodramatic voice-overs. Overall the album signals a return to form for a long lost musical personality that will quell concerns by older fans and find new ones as well.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 27, 2002 releases

Related artist(s): Focus, Thijs van Leer

Latest news

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more

2020-03-17
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music festival world, and music festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more

2020-03-06
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Gerard - Meridian – One of Japan's longest lived symphonic bands, Gerard has produced a long string of albums beginning with their eponymous debut in 1984, featuring an expanded six-piece lineup, which by the second...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues