Out of Focus

Not Too Late

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    8
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Recorded in early 1974, and finally released in 1999, Not Too Late finds Out of Focus moving even further from their progressive rock roots and into progressive jazz fusion, with mostly long instrumentals, fluid rhythms, and a greater reliance on the horns. The lineup is slightly different, with the addition of an extra guitarist and saxophonist and no organ, a distinct feature on earlier records by the group. The dueling saxophones get quite complex, especially on "X," even as the rhythm section pumps out complex jazz-funk grooves similar to previous works by the band. For a bit of diversity, there is the short track "The Way I Know Her," a pastoral folk piece with acoustic guitars and flute, that perhaps reflects the musicians' move from the city of Munich to the countryside. Otherwise, from the McLaughlin-styled guitar fusion of "Y" to the crunchy rhythm workout that ends "Spanish Lines" to the wild opener "That's Very Easy," Out of Focus is in top form. Not Too Late does not venture as far into experimentation as Four Letter Monday Afternoon, and the vocal tracks, "That's Very Easy" and "The Way I Know Her," are lighter and less biting than earlier Out of Focus songs, though Neumuller's singing does flow more with the music. However, this one is still an exceptional record, full of the creative Krautrock jamming for which Out of Focus is known, and the band neither falls back on the same old sound, nor do they compromise their sound for commercial appeal.

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