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Spock's Beard - V CD (album) cover


Spock's Beard


Symphonic Prog

4.14 | 813 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Spock's Beard always have been quite interesting and this album proves it again. With all those interesting, diversified and fresh ideas they keep the listener's attention and that for many listens.

"Thoughts II" is the perfect example. It starts with an acoustic part, a blend of chords and arpeggios with Neil Morse's fantastic and typical vocals. After that it turns into a harder direction, with a guitar and bass only first but afterwards a piano and at last another synthesizer. It develops to a kind of confusing multi-theme- session, introducing a recovering a capella multi-voice part, broken up with a fragment of the instrumental session before. After the second part of that a capella section, the vocals fade out with a medium-fast piano. With the continuation of that piano melody a guitar joins with few tones and the instrumental part follows again. The next step to the end is the part from the beginning with some soft synthesizer in the background and the acoustic guitar, which was the usual accompaniment of this part, joins a bit later as well. With the line "What's the point?" the arrangement changes from this thoughtful, soft theme to a heavier one, reminding me a bit of the piece in Genesis' "Foxtrot", at about 9 or 10 minutes, where the music stops and Peter Gabriel sings/speaks this phrase, "A flower?" to introduce the heavier part. Now the drums come in and I don't really know what this is, either a bass or a strange sounding guitar. The melody of the first verse is repeated with some strings and the drum/bass (or guitar) part continues. The songs proceeds with the replayed instrumental part, the multi-voice-session with accompaniment, the part with the medium-fast piano recurs and at the end, the guitar part from the beginning closes the song. And keep in mind this is just a 4-minutes song!

A great musical performance by everyone, especially Nick D' Virgilio who's really brilliant in this album, e.g. in "At the End of the Day", the first track here on this album, the second longest and definitely on of Spock's Beard's greatest songs.

Right at the beginning the drums stick out, together with this bass or this percussion part with the acoustic guitar and all the other lines he plays. Simply great. But a song is not just an aggregation of different drum parts. While they can wonderfully support the song and strengthen its character, structure and rhythm the other instruments are necessary to endue the song with a melody and feelings. And they do it really well. Already the first part is so cheerful and has such an amazing melody. That part is quite surprising after the partly dark and sad section at the beginning. The bass plays a very interesting line here and Neil Morse's vocals are so impressive, as well as the drums! This is the first part of the song with a verse and a chorus. With some sustaining vocals the melody of the prelude is introduced, but this time expanded. The next part is that Latin-American sounding acoustic guitar part with this amazing percussion. A synthesizer melody launches and the next theme follows. Really heavy now (for Spock's Beard's circumstances). But it's over quite fast and a jazzy part, with an interesting synthesizer and stunning drums again, replaces it. The next part is a part with fanfares and the heavy part follows again. It changes again, really a great variety, to a softer more emotional part with some trumpet-synthesizer. Wow, another part, simply incredible, now with just a piano and a bass joining shortly afterwards and the drums/synthesizer at last. A guitar solo next and then another soft, soulful part. I ignore the next parts, because they are all similar and this would take to much time, due to they are all really short. So I skip them and come to the next significant change, where the whole arrangement turns to a heavy session with a shrill synthesizer solo that calms down a bit afterwards. And a call and response begins between the guitar, bass and drums and some weird synthesizer sounds. Another very soulful section begins and at the end the first verse and chorus is repeated!

As I said in my description this song is extremely varied. No part last longer than 30 seconds, and there are many different parts and also different moods. What a joy to listen to this song. Also very positive are the wonderful melodies. Really interesting is the jazz-part! There is another one in the second track "Revelation", using the same kind of accompaniment and the same synthesizer.

The songs starts with a moony part and the first verse. The chorus is then is really stunning and much heavier, but also wonderful melodic. Now the jazz-part follows, using the same accompaniment as the verse, but the vocals are replaced by this synthesizer. Afterwards the verse and the chorus are replayed. A short interlude connects the chorus and another verse. The jazz-part is repeated again and the second half of the first verse is used to introduce, after a short silence, the guitar solo and the chorus. The end is a blend of chorus and solo. Another great track!

Actually this album is partly pop-orientated. As I read in a brochure by "Inside Out", the label of Spock's Beard, this album went into the German Top 40. That supports my predication. Tracks like "All On A Sunday" could be even a single-chart hit. Wonderfully harmonic and again a nice melody and regarding its overall style, it fits into the concept of those charts, as well as the kind of dreamy and soft "Goodbye to Yesterdays". The Highlight of this album is the last track on that album, the longest on that album and as well the longest Spock's Beard ever created. I won't describe the whole song, because it would last too long. This track is amazing, never boring and traverses all the different kinds of musical arrangement used in the tracks before and it has a wonderful finish.

I tried to show you the brilliance of this album, but I think I couldn't reach my aim, so go get it, you won't regret it. I cannot understand how anyone couldn't like this album!

Cheers, 5/5

W.Chuck | 5/5 |


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