Four Worlds Media USA today confirms February 5 as the North American release date for X, the new album from Dutch progressive rockers FOCUS. Featuring cover art by Roger Dean (Yes), the album was produced by the band with a running time just shy of 60 minutes. It is the first new material from the four-piece in six years.
Largely instrumental, X (pronounced Ten)expands on the band’s traditional base. Jazz, middle eastern, acoustic/adult contemporary and more find their way into the compositions making the album a true must listen for long-time as well new fans. Prog-Sphere says, “FOCUS do not disappoint.” “An album that provides an atmosphere of warm, calm elegance in a way that has become pretty rare,” notes AllMusic.com. DPRP.com adds, “fans of FOCUS should not hesitate and embrace this album.” The North American release follows the successful launch of the album overseas; the band currently wrapping up a tour supporting the album’s initial European release.
FOCUS is regarded as one of the most influential and successful rock bands from The Netherlands. Founded by keyboardist/flutist Thijs van Leer in 1969, the band have two certified gold recordings in the US spurred on by hits “Hocus Pocus,” “House of the King,” and “Sylvia.” Thijs van Leer comments, “it is a thrill to have finally completed FOCUS X. We are all ecstatic about the new material. Our music is evolution, not revolution.”
A renewed interest in FOCUS launched a few years back when Nike included the band’s music in a commercial for the 2010 World Cup; a piece directed by Mexican filmmaker Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (noted for his directorial work on major motion pictures 21 Grams and Babel). In addition, guitarist Gary Hoey re-recorded the band’s “Hocus Pocus;” a recording that rocketed into Billboards’ Top 5.