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Spock's Beard - The Light CD (album) cover


Spock's Beard


Symphonic Prog

3.86 | 666 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars This is a very good start to the band. I don't have much depth to add to what else has been said, but here goes with my opinions:

The Light - this track, while more than just a tad overrated, is nonetheless pretty consistent. A lot of the keyboard sounds are pretty dated to me (which seems to be the case only in the pre-Ryo stages of the Beard). But this song proved to the world that, yes, Spock's Beard could rock; yes, Spock's Beard could write cohesive epics; and yes, Spock's Beard has a great sense of humor. I can't think of any other band I've ever listened to who could pull of yelling, I AM THE CATFISH MAN! I CAN'T HEAR YOU! Pure gold, lyrically. It makes no sense, except maybe the bracketing from which the song got its name, but it's fun. And I think that's the general aim the Morses and their bandmates are taking here: Spock's Beard are going to be fun to listen to. The instrumentation is pretty fiery, the drums as always inspiring, and the vocals raw and quite different (I think) to later SB and Neal Morse solo work. His voice sounds different--thinner, lighter, raspier. It's not bad, but if you have only listened to, say, V before, Neal will sound completely different.

Go the Way You Go - I'll admit it. The first half of this track really drags for me. I love slow starters, and I love mellow songs, but I always catch myself staring at the timer, waiting for that magical moment to kick in at 6:11 or so. Alan here proves he's in possession of some amazing guitar chops. Once some of that musical wizardry plays out in the midsection of the song, the ending is much more fitting and interesting. Not a song I liked at all on my first listen, but I really do appreciate it now. Mostly.

The Water - My favorite song on the album, even though as far as epics go, it's not particularly cohesive. The title section carries a very strong Run Like Hell Pink Floyd vibe, at least for me, except it sounds completely fresh and not derivative. Really cool. And throughout the entire song, Neal is on fire. The man sings like he has nowhere else I've heard. What's more, there is a section full of some rather graphic language which to me, who before this album was mostly only familiar with Neal's solo Christian work, sounds absolutely ridiculous. The same voice that embodies Oh Lord, My God to me is now screaming, And I don't give a shit about anything, so fuck you! It throws a very eerie, abnormal light on the whole part. Fans of Neal's Christian work need to be warned about this, because it will color everything you hear the man sing now.

Out on the Edge - I don't have a lot to say about this one. It's a fairly standard song, at least in my mind. More the direction of how Spock's Beard's shorter songs will sound. Fun and more cheerful than the last two. I don't skip it ever, but I never start with it, either.

All in all, a fine and worthy album. If you like Spock's Beard or Neal Morse or Transatlantic, I think it's worth checking out. They do get much better over the next five albums, though. At least in my opinion.

LiquidEternity | 3/5 |


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