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Spock's Beard - Brief Nocturnes And Dreamless Sleep CD (album) cover

BRIEF NOCTURNES AND DREAMLESS SLEEP

Spock's Beard

 

Symphonic Prog

4.00 | 641 ratings

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FragileKings
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Having only heard "V" before, I had little knowledge of Spock's Beard's sound but I gathered that it was some very talented prog rock combined with some standard pop rock songs. Deciding that this album might be a good follow-up purchase, I gave a brief listen to "A Treasure Abandoned" and loved the chorus enough to order the album soon after.

I was not disappointed at all. The instrumental introduction to the opening track "Hiding Out" is a wonderful example of modern progressive ROCK, at least in so far as some very nice heavy guitar accompanies piano, organ, and synthesizer. Each song thereafter has some great moments such as the 80's Rush sound in parts of "I Know Your Secret" and the wild guitar effects solo, the beautiful melody of the chorus of "A Treasure Abandoned", and the weirdness and humour of "Afterthoughts" (incidentally, this song includes an a cappella part similar to that of "Thoughts Part 2" from "V"). "Submerged" is more of a standard pop rock song that could be played on rock radio.

The real joy comes in with "Something Very Strange" which is where we get a taste of a classically flavoured prog rock song. This song hints at modern Yes when they are at their very best. The momentum continues with "Waiting for Me", which also includes some Yes-inspired music, though there is more of a pop-rock meets prog feel to this one. I also found myself thinking of Deep Purple's "Now What?!" as that album too includes a lot of rockers with parts that allow the musicians to stretch out and be creative.

The second disc includes two more songs in the semi-prog rock mould and one in the order of standard rock. Finally, there's a remix of "Something Very Strange" which I feel is not as good as the disc one version. The track listing here on PA shows a fifth song but my copy of the bonus disc does not come with it.

I have a lot of prog albums that I can't really play in the car stereo when my wife is with me because she'd likely wonder what the heck I was listening to (Van der Graaf Generator, Gentle Giant, Emerson Lake & Palmer, King Crimson). But I've had Spock's Beard in twice ("V" and "Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep") and both times she's inquired about the music, particularly curious about the keyboard playing. She has little knowledge of the history of popular music and doesn't yet know the term "progressive rock", though she knows that a lot of the music I listen to is not your standard pop music. It seems that Spock's Beard is a good band for getting an uninitiated female interested in prog and this album would appear to have the right balance of modern rock with progressive tendencies. Not a prog masterpiece but terrific if you like something more orthodox where great musicianship and songs are the cake and crafty compositions and skillful solos are the icing of a delicious rock album.

FragileKings | 4/5 |

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