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Spock's Beard - Feel Euphoria CD (album) cover


Spock's Beard


Symphonic Prog

3.25 | 387 ratings

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Eclectic Prog Team
3 stars Neal Morse departed from Spock's Beard following the band's sixth studio album. Of course the parallels between Spock's Beard and Genesis have not gone unnoticed: The creative helms and lead vocalists leave their respective bands following a complex and enigmatic double album to have successful solo careers, only to have their drummers assume front man responsibilities and their former bands begin to create more commercial and accessible music. This album uncomfortably wavers between simplistic pop and intricate progressive rock, often within the same track, yielding some awkward transitions (or no transitions at all) as well as some rather questionable overall compositions. Nick D'Virgilio is a fantastic drummer, but it would not be until the next album that he would shine as a lead vocalist. Although not a bad album, Feel Euphoria is considerably weaker than anything else in the band's discography.

"Onomatopoeia" The band crashes through the gates with this hard-hitting opener. Right from the start I can sense the band's uneasiness in coming together as a quartet, because this song seems like it's overcompensating. The sudden stop and subsequent acoustic section is certainly out of place. As with the album, "Onomatopoeia" is not a bad work, but nothing wonderful either.

"The Bottom Line" Crunchy guitar riffs and a whining synthesizer start this song, which has, over acoustic guitar, a vocal hook that sounds very much like John Mayer's "City Love." As with the previous song, there is a serious disconnect between the sections; each passage just tapers off and the next one begins. The acoustic guitar and Mellotron at the end is beautiful, but bears no semblance to anything that came before.

"Feel Euphoria" Insipid electronic percussion and sputtering tones, lazy vocals, and ridiculous lyrics make for a terrible title track. Not even the organ loitering in the background salvages this unbelievably dragging song.

"Shining Star" Bearing a sound comparable to The Eagles of the 1990s, with fretless bass, acoustic guitar, light lead, and easygoing vocals with occasional harmonies, this song has a very simple but pleasing chord progression. The heavier chorus has a melody that is almost identical to "Drive" by Incubus.

"East Of Eden, West Of Memphis" I quite enjoy this number. The bridge is situated on a bed of Mellotron, but it's the catchy chorus that I appreciate most. Speaking of the Mellotron, the fast-paced synthesizer solo is introduced by a Mellotron duet. The drumming is a highlight of the instrumental segment.

"Ghosts of Autumn" Cold piano and hushed singing create the softest song on the album. It has a delicate but memorable melody and touching lyrics.

"A Guy Named Sid: pt. I - Intro" Spock's Beard attempted some semblance of the progressive rock of their former years, but this suite is a mixed bag- the electronic-dominated opening is a bit of a sign. Alan Morse's guitar solo and Ryo Okumoto's synthesizer work are praiseworthy, but the strange vocalizations sound kind of embarrassing.

"A Guy Named Sid: pt. II - Same Old Story" The narrative begins, alternating between first-person and third-person lyrics, but the music is too weak to support any kind of believable story.

"A Guy Named Sid: pt. III - You Don't Know" The lyrics don't leave me with much sympathy for old Sid, who seems to be whining in a rather vague manner. Again, the music is too bland to really take notice of.

"A Guy Named Sid: pt. IV - Judge" Dave Meros has some excellent bass playing on this part, and while I think the catchy little refrain is okay, the arrangements toward the end are excellent.

"A Guy Named Sid: pt. V - Sid's Boys Choir" Hearkening back to their Gentle Giant imitations (think of "Thoughts"), this is a multifaceted vocal bit.

"A Guy Named Sid: pt. VI - Change" The suite returns to the beginning, but the remainder of it all is far more convincing (especially musically) than anything that preceded it. The dual guitar lead is especially remarkable.

"Carry On" The album probably could have done without this schmaltzy song tacked on after the lengthy suite. Perhaps it is the band's rallying cry after their leader stepped down- I don't know.

Epignosis | 3/5 |


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