This is one of the best news of they year... the comeback of one of the most classic bands which have a moment of glory decades ago. Focus never was in the premiere league of progressive bands like Yes or Tull, but they´ve always been one of the most influent bands of the genre. The alma-mater of this band has been always the tireless Thijs van Leer, who has been very clever choosing his mates for "Focus 8" without staining the legendary name of the band. In fact the story of this comeback is very curious.. three guys were playing in a Focus tribute band in order to release a tribute album, Thijs listened to their skill and he decides to rebirth the band with a new line-up.
The new members (very young), are Bobby Jacobs (bass), Bert Smaak (drums) and an amazing new star named Jan Dumee (guitar). Apart of making me forget Akkerman, he´s the composer of the best track of the whole album, “Tamara´s move” (5:17) –I´m sorry, I have no words- and other two great tracks: “Blizu Tébe” (6:38) and “Sto Ces Raditi Ostatac Zivota?” (5:26).
The eleven tracks inside "Focus 8" have a special style and they´re great. All of them have lots of quality, instrumental variation. In fact, Focus 8 has the same level (at least, is my opinion) of the best albums of the band. Thijs bet has been high and the result has been very positive.. and we can notice it in the energy and optimism inside tracks such as “Rock & Rio” (3:27), “Neurotika” (3:47), and even in the new version of “Brother” (5:39) as if it was another new track of this new album, showing that the classic and recent material have the same style.
I´ve read several reviews of this album and different reviewers have different feelings and points of view. I´ve been listening without prejudices to this album several times after listening to the whole discography of the band and, sincerely, I think the band still have the same quality. In the same way, I don´t miss Akkerman, even I think Dumee guarantees Focus a long life if Thijs wants to. I hope the south american convinces him for releasing more albums like this.
Ten great tracks and a bizarre bonus track (“Flower Shower" (5:41)), plenty of music that will make you enjoy a lot. Focus is another band that, along with Camel, shows that the classic progressive style is still alive.