(All Album Reviews by Burgess Penguin)
This for me was painful to revisit after many years.
By this point, it was obvious the once-brilliant Soft Machine had run out of ideas, and worse yet, made a very bad choice in its lineup, namely Karl Jenkins. Don't misunderstand, Jenkins did not lack talent, but he was NOT a good choice for SM as his interests and sensibilities were far better suited towards minimalism.
Despite the presence of ace jazzers like drummer John Marshall and bassist Roy Babbington, it's just not enough to lift this thing out of the doldrums. The songs tend to be simplistic and repetitive riff-based things or just very non-descript wallpaper instrumentals. The worst thing though is "Days Eye" which is a rather blatant and baldfaced rip-off of John McLaughlin's "Follow Your Heart", FOR SHAME GUYS!!! Although Mike Ratledge is on this, he's just barely there, and quite often deferring to Karl Jenkins' far less interesting playing. The total picture just adds up to a lot of efficient and competent, yet horribly uninspired and mediocre playing and writing.
For die-hard completeists or insomnia sufferers only.