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Spock's Beard - X CD (album) cover

X

Spock's Beard

 

Symphonic Prog

3.81 | 554 ratings

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Arbiter
4 stars Like many others, I have agreed that Spock's Beard was better with Neal Morse in the line-up. The first Neal-Morse-free release, "Feel Euphoria" had some interesting musical passages, but was inconsistent and lyrically very weak. Octane had some very strong songs, but also had some mediocre filler. Their 9th CD "Spock's Beard" had some really classic cuts, but was also plagued with inconsistency. I was beginning to wonder if they could put it all together - musically profficient, lyrically strong, and consistent throughout. Their 10th CD "X" comes very, very close to achieving this.

The depth and texture of rythm of this album is more along the lines of Rush or Alan White era Yes, but melodically pleasing enough to put them on more than just the fringes of symphonic prog. With the exception of "Their Names Escape Me" where they fulfiull a marketing device of having a select group of CD purchasers actually having their names in the lyrics, I very much like the album lyrically as well. It is very creative, even amusing, and always in a good way.

For me, the true test of an album's worth is it's staying power, and I'm still discovering things I very much like after multiple listens. I like the variety of moods throughout as well.

I have often wondered if Spock's Beard would fade slowly off into the sunset with Neal's departure, but if this album is any indication, and if future works take as much care to satisfy on all fronts, Spock's Beard is here to stay. And for Prog fans such as me who like symphonic and art rock, this is very good news indeeed.

Arbiter | 4/5 |

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