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

THE LIGHT

Spock's Beard

 

Symphonic Prog

3.84 | 493 ratings

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Blacksword
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Some albums impact on you immediately, others take time to sink in. 'The Light' by Spocks Beard was an instant hit for me. I had been unfairly sceptical of US prog after hearing Echolyn, but SB's strong debut has restored my faith. I had expected a collage of re- hashed British prog cliches, without any soul, but 'The Light' is distinctly Amercian, while still managing to capture that classic prog spirit.

The album opens with the title track, a fifteen minute, well structured piece that shows off Morse & Co's obvious technical skill, and moves through a variety of moods and styles. There is humour and Latin groove in the 'Senor Valascos mystic Voodoo love dance' and by contrast anger and drama in 'Return of the horrible Catfish man' although humour is still in evidence. Some of Morses lyrics are best ignored IMO, and I feel he is at his best as a lyricist when expressing rage, an emotion that reapears later on the album. The anger gives way to a gentle reprise of 'The Dream' This opener is a strong and addictive musical package, and my cynicism led me to believe that it probably wouldn't be topped by any other track.

'Go the way you go' follows, and although I dont feel it is as strong as the opener, it is still a great song. With a gentle memorable chorus, 'GTWYG' keeps the listerners attention in place in preparation for what follows; the 'EPIC' 'The Water' weighing in at 23 minutes. As far as epics go I would perhaps hope for a little more. Some chapters are much stronger than others in this song, and for me the 'F*CK YOU' section is perhaps the strongest, certainly the most memorable part of the piece. MY immediate thought was that this is what John Lennon may have sounded like had 'The Beatles' been a punk band! Sorry, but I think there is a trace of Lennon, without the love and peace, in Morses voice at this point. Like all epics this takes time to get acquainted with, but even after many listens I dont think its the strongest song on the album, and according to my own 'stuck in the mud' symphonic prog rule book, the epic should always come out on top. Nevertheless, a pretty good work.

The albums closes with the shortest track 'On the Edge' am upbeat, attention grabbing rocker of a track, once again allowing SB's musical prowess to shine. Fine percussion, good lead guitar work, and strong keyboard work throughout. A fine close to a very strong, well produced, well performed debut album.

Blacksword | 4/5 |

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