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Spock's Beard - The Kindness Of Strangers  CD (album) cover

THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS

Spock's Beard

 

Symphonic Prog

3.75 | 365 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

infandous
3 stars I originally gave this 2 stars, back when I was not a member of the site, and I've wanted to revise that for a while now.

This is still not one of my favorites from the Beard, but I can understand a little more why people seem to like it so much.

The first and last tracks are quite good, and have all the elements that I enjoy about Spock's, while actually sounding a bit less formulaic than future albums (and even previous) would. The patented Neal Morse prog formula is established now, and these two tracks have it, in a good way.

Harm's Way, is an outstanding track, and is why I bumped my rating up a whole star, all by itself. This is prog bliss and Neal and the boys at their best. Again, it's pretty typical in style for this band, but it's just so well written and executed that it's hard not to love it.

The other songs, however, are just not very good. The lean too far towards the pop spectrum for my tastes, and even though sometimes I think Neal does a good job in this area, that is not the case with these song. June was, I guess, a concert sing along favorite, but I find it insufferably cheesy. Even if the harmonies are quite well done. Strange World is even worse though, and a more sappy ballad would be hard to find. Cake Walk seems like it might have been another Gentle Giant type number, but they decided to remove and odd time signatures or counterpoint vocals and we are left with a fairly mundane and uninteresting rock song.

All in all though, a decent effort, and a solidifying of the bands signature sound. So a solid 3 star album, but for me, not really essential unless you absolutely love their other material.

infandous | 3/5 |

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