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Spock's Beard - Snow CD (album) cover


Spock's Beard


Symphonic Prog

3.86 | 722 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Oooh, a concept album. Tricky fellow, johnny concept-album. I've heard dozens over the years, and, dear friend, Snow, is probably my favourite. Yes, even more than 'The Lamb'.

The narrative is far clearer and less pretentious than most - I'll leave it to other people to interpret it (it ain't rocket science!). Self conciously pretentious is still pretentious.

Following on from 'V', which was a very accomplished album, Snow takes the band further, and produces some of the their finest moments. You somehow get the feeling all the way through that they knew that Neal Morse was about to jump ship (whether they did or not I don't know), because everyone seems to be on the top of their game. Of course, as with any double CD with nearly two hours of music on, there are a few lulls, and the odd suspicion of a filler, but not many, and I don't think they detract from the quality of the album.

A lot of people seem to be comparing this to The Lamb, which I think is like comparing apples and hand grenades. The Lamb was an album borne of conflict and in-fighting, and I always had the impression that had Tony Banks heart and soul been in that album, then it would have been a far more coherent piece. In contrast, Snow has a polish which the Lamb doesn't, and, although this is sometimes a bad thing, I think it adds to Snow's charm. One more point is that I think this album proves that the whole of Spocks Beard was far greater than the sum of it's parts - nothing that either the remainder of the band nor Morse himself have done since comes close to the quality and heart of Snow.

The main thing about Snow, though, is something you just can't measure - how it makes me feel. The first time I heard it, I thought it was okay, but it was a grower, and over a year after first hearing it, it's one of the few albums that I can still play again immediately after it has finished. It drags me in, makes me go through the ups and downs that the lead character goes through, and at the end, I can't help but smile, and I'm sure that everytime the coda of "Wind at my back" plays at the end of disc two, the sun ALWAYS breaks through the dark english clouds. No, honestly, it does. Even if it was a flawless blue sky before. God, I might be turning into a romantic! I'll get me coat!

Not only do I think that this is Spock's Beard's finest album, it is one of my favourite of all time - and for an old git like me, that's saying something.

Dobbin | 5/5 |


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