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

THE LIGHT

Spock's Beard

 

Symphonic Prog

3.84 | 489 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

infandous
3 stars I imagine this was quite a joy when it first came out. The 90's Prog revival was just getting started, and no one had heard the patented Neal Morse Prog formula yet. So I could see how this was loved by starving proggers at the time.

For myself, my first encounter with this was probably around 1999 or so, and while I liked it, it never really made much of an impact on me.

The first track is one of their best songs ever, and really lays out the Neal Morse formula quite well. It has all the Neal trademarks; the symphonic crescendos, the catchy choruses, the hard rockin' odd time signature instrumental sections, the pseudo flamenco section, and the soft piano balladry. All in one tight 15 minute piece. Sure, it's not as cohesive as some later pieces, but it sure does move along nicely. Anyway, the best song on the album for sure.

Second track, Go The Way You Go, is similar in construction and features some quite good instrumental sections. Though the melodies are not as strong as the first track, this one still appeals to me, though not as much as the title track.

Third track, The Water, is a disjointed affair that just never really seems to get going. While it promises to be the most "epic" song, at over 23 minutes, it just seems like a bunch of separate, and not all particularly good, pieces strung together. I happen to like the FU part, especially the transition into the So Sorry section. The music of these two is the most interesting I think, aside from the main theme (that we only hear twice in the whole 23 minutes). All in all, a failed attempt at an Epic, with some truly tedious sections.

Final track, Out On The Edge, seems underdeveloped with poor lyrics and seems to go nowhere. The shortest song, and not awful, but really not a particularly good track. My copy finishes with the acoustic improv from a live rendition of The Doorway from the previous album. Not bad, but seems out of place without the surrounding song and not really worth adding to the album.

So basically, an album that was probably stunning at the time of it's release, but now just seems a bit cliche in retrospect. Still, a couple good track make it worth a listen. A solid 3 stars.

infandous | 3/5 |

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