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Spock's Beard - V CD (album) cover

V

Spock's Beard

 

Symphonic Prog

4.16 | 581 ratings

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The T
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This was actually the first album I bought from this great band, and I have to say, it was a very good start. While not superb like The Light or Snow, it's an excellent effort and probably the best doorway for people who still haven't listened to anything by The Beard.

What I like a lot about Spock's Beard is that, like their american-prog ancestors Kansas, they manage to create complex, progressive music but without getting so extremely technical that the songs lose the "rock" part of the genre's name. But that being said, Spock's Beard's music is more complex and even more in the prog realm that the legendary american band I just talked about. But, as I said, they share with them the notion that rock's songs have to be always ROCK songs, so they never indulge themselves in the extreme technical and musical experimentation that other symphonic legends such as Yes used to. So, in a way, this is more of a "people's prog" than the usual symphonic works of the british 70's legends, off course, keeping in mind that those "people" in the definition I just gave are still usually musicians and progmusic lovers...it's just that even among proggers, there are some that like only the really ultra-complex side of things....for those, The Beard may be too simple, too full of choruses and regular harmonies....

This album is such a great start to dwelfe into Beard's territory because it has a little bit of everything:

At the end of the day (10/10), the absolute highlight of the record, is an epic, fantastic multi-sectional song that is a real showcase of all The Beard's members abilities: it has great melodies, good singing by Neal Morse, it has a symphonic, cyclic structure where there's an intro, a development and a return; it has a jazzy-bluesy part (much like The Light had that spanishdance-flamenco section), which features excellent drumming by great musician (and future SB's frontman) Nick D'Virgilio, jazzy bass lines by master Dave Meros, outstanding piano, mellotron work by Morse himself and Okumoto, and well crafted guitars by Alan Morse. A great song, a long one that never gets boring...a great track

Revelation, (8/10), a good rock-pop song with some prog elements like the great guitars by A.morse and the jazzy influenced keyboards.

Thoughts (9/10), the second best track: a great, short song (too short, that's why I don't give it a 10) that has multi-layered harmonic vocals in a sort of fugue much influenced by the music by prog legends Gentle Giant (a band Morse recognizes as one of his fountains for inspiration). It's the second part of the first Thoughts that was released in the Beware of darkness Cd. But if that Thoughts was playful, even joyful (though with ambiguity), this one reeks of dissapointment, of a kind of apathic sadness... great, great song...I insist: too short.

All on a sunday (7/10), a funny, enjoyable track with allmost no progressive elements....a rock-pop song, sounds like a mix between The Beard, some of the poppy-era-Beatles, and even some of Stone temple pilots in their Tiny Music era. A song you can hear in order to be happy, not in order to be amazed.

Goodbye to yesterdays, (7/10), another rock-pop attempt, much in the vein of the classic Spock Beard song from Kindness of Strangers or Day at Night (not their best albums)...forgettable

The Great Nothing (6/10), this song should have been great as is the longer of the pack but sadly it kind of gets pummeled halfway down....After a terrific introduction, the first warning about the song's quality level is the lack of a good, memorable vocal melody and chorus...but the problem rally is....this song is too long...I love 20+ minute tracks, but those that flow with ease, that pass by like if they lasted only 5 minutes...this one gest boring at some point and from there on...it never recovers.... mediocre track

So, I think V is a good album, but could have been better with some tweaks to the last track...after this record SB released their second best album ever (SNOW) and after that one, Neal Morse left the bnd for religious reasons and D'Virgilio assumed the role of singer and frontman....More on that later....for now....a very good album, if somewhat flawed...

Recommended

The T | 4/5 |

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