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Spock's Beard - The Kindness Of Strangers CD (album) cover


Spock's Beard


Symphonic Prog

3.75 | 480 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars When I first heard SB's music about six or eight years ago the first thing that surprised me were the vocals. And they still do! I couldn't believe that someone was actually singing that way on top of such progressive music.

The music on The Kindness Of Strangers is certainly progressive, with strong leanings toward hard prog. But, the vocals, wow! What can I say? This is yet another one of those albums where I love the music, but wish that the vocalist(cough, cough Neal Morse) had been replaced by someone else. I just don't like his voice on MOST of SB's music. In some places, ie June, his voice is tolerable, but the majority of times it sounds like he's trying too hard to be a punk rocker. I just don't get it.

Is there a VOICELESS release of The Kindness Of Strangers?

Neal Morse has to be one of the most enigmatic figures of the modern music scene. On the one hand he is responsible for most, if not all, of The Beard's music. That means that whatever is good is mostly due to his writing(which is prolific). On the other hand, what is bad is terrible and the blame can be pointed directly at him for trying to take on too many personalities(ie trying to be Peter Gabriel). Morse is too corny to be trying his hand at mutiple voices. He just doesn't have good taste; he comes off sounding poppish and like a reject from American Idol.

I recently read an interview with Geddy Lee where he said that Rush's earliest music was written in particular keys that suited his voice. He had the high pitched vocals and couldn't go real low, so they wrote for his register. That is SMART MUSICIANSHIP. Why can't Neal Morse do the same? Write music that suits his best register and tones, rather than trying SO MANY different voices and personalities; most sounding contrived and silly.

The Kindness Of Strangers is nearly a clone of the frist two SB releases. I can almost copy the same text from one review into either of the other two and it would be a fair review; namely music ranging from good to excellent with vocals ranging from good to horrendous. Same ol' SB formula. It's a shame that Neal's ego did not allow him to yield to a better vocalist(perhaps Nick?). For if he had, The Beard would've been taken much more seriously by the prog community.

MUSIC= 4.5 STARS VOCALS= 2 STARS ----------------------- TOTAL= 3 STARS

wbiphoto | 3/5 |


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