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Spock's Beard - V CD (album) cover


Spock's Beard


Symphonic Prog

4.14 | 813 ratings

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Quirky Turkey
4 stars Spock's Beard's V has all the ingredients of Symphonic Prog used intelligently, and it's enjoyable. It looks back to the past a lot and utilizes 70s music styles, but at the same time sounds new and modern. It sounds like they've had a lot of influence from Yes and Genesis. And is that Chris Squire playing bass for them?

V begins and ends with an epic; At The End of the Day starting the album and being the best song here, mainly because of its balanced structure. The other epic, The Great Nothing, took some time to appreciate because I heard it got compared to Supper's Ready. This gave me the wrong idea and thought, 'how could it live up to that 70s classic?'. But if heard just as another song by Spock's Beard with no comparisons, it's really good. Both the epics have the standard symphonic prog structure with reoccurring themes, dynamics, and the standard instruments (organ, synth, mellotron.) The songs are written very well, using perfect moderation to incorporate all the elements that make epics great.

Then we have the more commercial stuff in the middle. Revelation is a good, simple song with soft verses and heavy choruses, although my least favourite of the bunch. Thoughts Pt. 2 is a very complicatedly arranged song for less than 5 minutes and reminds me of Gentle Giant. All of a Sunday is a pure pop rock song, but with prog instruments (organ, mellotron, etc). I shouldn't like it but I do. It's incredibly catchy. Then there's the soft and sweet Goodbye To Yesterday. There are no bad songs or moments between the epics, but no amazing ones either.

There are a few issues I must address though. First, it's Symphonic Prog outside the 70s, so it's hardly very new or innovative. Secondly, and more importantly, there's Neil Morse's singing, which sounds too overconfident and indulgent, and the incredibly noticeable American accent is kind off putting as well.

While V isn't a masterpiece, there are enough redeeming qualities for repeated listens. The variety of prog epics, complex moments, and prog pop make it a worthwhile listen. 4 stars.

Quirky Turkey | 4/5 |


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