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Spock's Beard - V CD (album) cover

V

Spock's Beard

 

Symphonic Prog

4.14 | 809 ratings

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ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer
3 stars This fifth album from "Spock's Beard" is not really different from its predecessors. Still, I far much prefer the harmonies featured throughout "V" that the poor stuff available on their previous recording.

This album is kind of back on the roots; which means more YesOriented, more bombastic, more symphonic. I guess that fans can only be enthusiast with such a return to the core of their sound. This being said, the same lack of originality is almost felt at every corner of this CD.

The opening epic offers some fine instrumental parts as well as tender vocal sections. Steve Howe's typical guitar play is often copied (but never matched) and there are truly gorgeous keys moments as well. In all, this epic is quite enjoyable and well performed. It could have been excellent if "Yes" wouldn't be responsible for half of it. Still, this is a highlight of the album.

This album sounds definitely better than 'Day For Night" (which is rather easy). Even if most songs feature strong links with wonderful bands of the greatest prog era, the album is quite OK to listen to. I particularly like the heavy organ available on "Thoughts". But I understand that these Gentle Giant and later Kansas oriented vocals might irritate more than one prog fan.

The closing number and second epic is also a quiet enjoyable track. Another "Yes" revisited long piece of music. You'll get the instrumental intro, the acoustic Howe oriented savours, the melodic vocal lines etc. Still, it is quite a journey (twenty-seven minutes!). One goes through many musical experiences: jazzy, bombastic, melodic, and symphonic. Did I say Flower Kings?

It is obvious that if you like TFK, you will love the Beards (and vice-versa of course). But "The Great Nothing" is more of a combination of several distinctive parts with little interaction with each other than a true epic (I guess that it is needless to tell the ones I am referring to). The whole sounds pleasant, diversified enough to avoid boredom, for sure.

"V" is a good album. Much more interesting than "The Kindness Of Strangers". It should please new prog fans. But in terms of pure inventiveness, I have to say that this album just falls short. Some good musical parts which brings us back into the early seventies. But the ones who were there (like myself) might not be fully satisfied with these "déjà entendu" type of music.

Three stars.

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |

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