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Spock's Beard - The Light CD (album) cover

THE LIGHT

Spock's Beard

 

Symphonic Prog

3.84 | 594 ratings

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Walkscore
4 stars Second-Best of the Morse Era.

Here I will review some of the Morse-era SB albums (SB can be broken into three eras, the Neil Morse era, the Nick D'Virgilio era, and the current Ted Leonard era). It is easy to see why SB's debut was so popular. Very tight, interesting complex arrangements, virtuoso playing, yet not at all cold like it could have been, but instead warm and emotional. I think this is the second-best of the Morse era (my favourite of that era is V). Among other things, this album is notable for having every track here listenable, unlike virtually every SB album that would follow (including V), although there are a few sections within each song that are a bit hard to take (such as the FU section of 'The Water'). This album comes before Neil Morse would be born again, and so the lyrics are not nearly as preachy as would come later, although this being Morse, some of the singing is downright sappy, or in the case of the FU section of 'the Water', overly self-indulgent and self-pitying. The best track by far, and still to this day up there among the best SB compositions, is the opening track, 'The Light'. This combines the best of the talents and strengths of SB, but with less emphasis on the weaknesses. 'Go the Way You Go', the second track, doesn't fare quite so well, as half the song borders on skip, but the good parts are enough to sustain it and keep it in the track list. 'The Water' is another great track, although I had to make a tape for the car without the FU section, both because I can hardly stand that section (Morse yelling FU at his parents!), and also/even more because I wanted my kids to like SB (and their parents)! The closer, 'On the Edge' is very decent, a nice end to the album. While this is a bit more raw than subsequent SB albums (which I have to say, is a plus for me), and the sound quality is not as good as later releases (they apparently recorded the whole thing in three days or something), it stands as one of their best. If you don't like Morse's later preaching, you might also prefer the lyrics here. Saying this, it is not a masterpiece. I give this album 7.9 out of 10, which is the minimum needed to garner a 4 PA star rating on my 10-point scale.

Walkscore | 4/5 |

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