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Spock's Beard - Day For Night  CD (album) cover

DAY FOR NIGHT

Spock's Beard

 

Symphonic Prog

3.25 | 313 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

TheGazzardian
Prog Reviewer
2 stars Day for Night was my first excursion into Spock's Beard, and I must confess that it was a disappointing journey.

Thumbing through the booklet as I put the disc in for the first time, I was surprised by how many times I was seeing the word 'chorus' throughout. While having a chorus does not necessarily make a song bad, I found it unusual to see them used so much by a band that was labelled 'The Kings of Progressive Rock' by the sticker that came on the shrinkwrap (even though I knew such a sticker would be biased). One thing I had loved about early prog bands, like Genesis, was how the music was dynamic and constantly changing, not constantly returning to the same point.

Day For Night started playing, and I was surprised to find how much it seemed, to me, that this sound wouldn't have sounded too out of place on the radio in the '90s (which is not a bad thing, just not what I had expected or been looking for). It had an infective catchy chorus, and the rest of the song wasn't too bad either.

Next came Gibberish, and here I was actually impressed. I have to admit to being a sucker for cool vocal melodies if they are creative and catchy enough, and this song's interweaving vocal lines with it's strange existential lyrics gave me hope that this album would redeem itself. Sadly, after this point, nothing on the album grabbed me quite the same way.

After repeated listens, I found that I had discovered almost all there was to discover on the album the first time through. The first two tracks each had their own strengths, but many of the other songs were forgettable. This is not to say they were bad; Crack the Big Sky has some excellent moments, as does The Distance To The Sun. Skin and Can't Get it Right I find boring and without many redeeming qualities, other than the fact that I can listen to them with my girlfriend and she'll enjoy them.

The epic, "The Healing Colours of Sound", is split into multiple tracks for reasons that are unclear, but to me, it SOUNDS like multiple tracks, more than most epics do, until it reprises the main theme and "My Shoes" at the end. It is actually quite a nice epic, if less cohesive than one would wish, and an enjoyable listen, but you won't be finding any new Supper's Ready or Close to the Edge quality music here.

However, this album has an unsung hero, a song that defies expectations and that has grown on me over repeated listens, and that is The Gypsy. In this song, Spock's Beard actually show how a chorus can be an excellent tool, singing the main part ("Well I can't get nothing that can't be bought, so I just live with what I've got - I'm the gypsy") with various different emotions reflecting the feeling of the song. It starts of nice and quiet, builds up to an epic, almost-grungy, almost-Soul-Asylum-y sounding piece, and then ends quietly again.

I'd say this album is, truly, only good for fans of the band, for a lot of the material here is forgettable. Otherwise, find somewhere where you can buy 'Gibberish' and 'The Gypsy', as single mp3s, and you're pretty much set.

TheGazzardian | 2/5 |

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