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Spock's Beard - V CD (album) cover


Spock's Beard


Symphonic Prog

4.14 | 805 ratings

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The Pessimist
Prog Reviewer
5 stars This is, in my opinion, the second best spock album ever created. It features 4 of their greatest songs and 2 pretty average spock ballads. Now I am a massive spock's beard fan, but that will not stop me from making true critical notes on each piece. My criticism is as follows: -

1. At The End of the Day (9/10) - An excellent track with a great melodic keyboard intro, a good main theme, the traditional spock's beard adventurous middle section, some nice vocal interludes and a great finish. One thing that is desperately wrong with the song however would be the shear repetitiveness from 7:40 - 10:50. Sure, there are some great vocal lines and quite inventive harmonies, but would it really hurt the band to cut that bit down to 1 or 2 minutes? The whole idea of the song is to keep you on your toes (demonstrated by the massive twist from a melodic "Yes"esque theme to a latin american middle section), so why bore the audience with a huge ballad section? it doesn't work and without that part, the song has potential to be one of, if not one of, THE best prog song of decade.

2. Revelation (8/10) - Not exactly a prog song, more of a non-commercial hard rock tune, still I'm not going to because of genre. The tune is fine, the verse is fine, the bridge and guitar solo are both fine once again. Spock are now almost experts at the instrumental by this point, but an issue with the length need once again to be mentioned. The extended jamming at the end i have a massive problem with. I hate minute long choruses with any band, but this really takes the p***. About 30 seconds of a double chorus and 1 and a half minutes of solid "whoa-oh"s with repetitive drum fills just makes me want to switch over the song after the guitar solo to be honest. Otherwise, a top song once again.

3. Thoughts (Part 2) (10/10) - THE BEST SPOCK'S BEARD SONG EVER CREATED. Neal Morse has really brought some of his solo work home with him on this, and i absolutely think that this is their greatest song. No criticism whatsoever (apart from maybe a bit of sloppy keyboard playing), and i have listened to this song about a million time without getting bored. Nice little intro with good, cheesy lyrics, fantastic "Rush"esque riff for the main theme (including the traditional vocal rounds of Neal Morse), leading into a 7/8, 12/8 prog perfect jamming session that could even wipes the floor with some of the 70s prog rock classics, a good drum and bass jam with chamber fills complimenting Rio's keyboards, back to the main tune and finishing abruptly on the 7/8, 12/8, yes and even 5/8 jamming session this time and back to the acoustic ending.

4. All on a Sunday (5/10) - Average, mainstream, bubblegum pop tripe in my opinion, but it may appeal to some people. Simple verse, chorus, verse chorus, bridge, chorus arrangement, some catchy parts but nothing special, and completely disposable.

5. Goodbye to Yesterday (8/10) - Like "I Talk to the Wind" by KC and various classical pieces, this does take a few listens to for a prog rocker, and can be seen as empty, even boring. But if you appreciate melody like a true musician, you will find the joy in this song. It has some real heart-warming, melodic moments with a happy aura following it all the way through. Short and crisp, the way most songs should be, and is one of Spock's better ballads. Very nice.

6.The Great Nothing (10/10) - This song has almost everything a prog-rocker wants in a song: catchy classical guitar, heavy riffs, keyboard and guitar jazz solos, uplifting fanfare-like vocal parts, peculiar time signatures, drum fills, blah blah blah... I can't see anything wrong with this song. Other than the appalling length of the guitar solo at the end which doesn't seem to progress anywhere at all. Other than that, including the nice one-chorded piano finish at the end, this is a great musical adventure that can almost comete with the likes of Genesis' "Supper's Ready", Yes' "Gates of Delerium" and Jethro Tull's "Thick as a Brick". Masterpiece.

Altogether, this album just scrapes the surface of being a masterpiece. 8.1/10

The Pessimist | 5/5 |


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