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4.2 out of 5 stars 114 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 22, 2000
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Editorial Reviews

Audio CD

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. At The End Of The Day
  2. Revelation
  3. Thoughts (Part II)
  4. All On A Sunday
  5. Goodbye To Yesterday
  6. The Great Nothing

Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 22, 2000)
  • Original Release Date: August 22, 2000
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Metal Blade
  • ASIN: B00004WF55
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #143,340 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Spock's Beard Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Steve Marshall on October 14, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Spock's Beard frontman Neal Morse has been a busy man lately. So far this year, he's released a solo album, collaborated on discs by Ayreon and prog supergroup Transatlantic. On top of all that, there's been a live Spock's Beard album. As if that wasn't enough, the band has just released its fifth studio album, cleverly entitled V. There's nothing here that Beard fans haven't heard before, but the songwriting has improved over the years and they seem to have truly found their musical niche. They move seamlessly between `pop' songs like "All on a Sunday" with its sweet harmonies to 27-minute epics like this CD's centerpiece, "The Great Nothing." You won't find many groups who can do that.
The album kicks off with "At the End of the Day." The song is 16 minutes of sheer brilliance and one of the best things the band has ever done. It's got great melodies, and the musicianship is outstanding--particularly in the last section. Dave Meros' bass lines are enough to make Geddy Lee stand up and take notice. "Revelation" is another great song with a killer melody. It starts off quiet and unassuming, then rocks out on the choruses. Alan Morse's solos after the bridge are the epitome of power guitar leads. For me, the low point on the CD is "Thoughts (Part II)." Vocally, it's the most complex thing on the disc, but unless you're a Gentle Giant fan, you probably won't truly appreciate it. But you don't have to be a Gentle Giant fan to get into Meros' manic bass solo on the cut.
Inspired by the late Kevin Gilbert, "The Great Nothing" covers an enormous amount of musical ground.
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Format: Audio CD
Combine several 70s prog influences (Genesis, Yes, etc.), a bit of pop, and Neal Morse's own markedly delineated style and you get Spock's Beard, one of the best progressive rock bands since the glory days of the aforementioned bands. The Beard sound very fresh and original with each and every release. With V, their novel sound has worn off (at least for me), but this is compensated for by the bands remarkable musicianship. To me, their best album up until this point has been Beware Of Darkness, and I can safely say that V gives that superlative record a run for its money.
V includes 2 prog epics (16 and 27 minutes) which are the highlights of the album. Each song is brilliant, and the different tones and tempos flow together more nicely than those in, say, The Light (where some of the song structures struck me as slightly disjointed). The Great Nothing, the album's grand finale, is one of their most interesting compositions, weaving a gamut of intricate sonic textures beautifully. I would say that this is one of my favorite of the band's many excellent songs. While The Great Nothing's length means it takes a while to sink in, the other epic, At The End Of The Day, is the most accessible prog epic I've ever heard. And while both songs are long, they never break down into monotonous plodding. The lengthy and complex instrumental passages are wonderful, and the lyrical portions - which are strange at times - are concurrently catchy and thought-provoking.
Balancing out the epics are four shorter songs for 'normal' people, although I think the prog-meisters and SB fans can still appreciate them. Thoughts Part II is probably the best of these, as it stands as the most 'proggy' of the shorter tunes.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
OK, as a first time SB listener, and based on all the reviews, good and bad, I bought "V" and "The Light." I hear bits of Genesis, Styx, Kansas, Yes, Gentle Giant, Pink Floyd, among others, and some original SB sounds all layered and melded together in there, but there is something missing that bands in the golden days of the progressive music movement expressed. I wish I could say what that is, some kind of energy or mood, but I can't put my finger on it. V is good for what it is, and the band is skilled but it certainly is NOT the kind of music that Genesis or Yes used to put out. Maybe I'm looking for something that is no longer possible to create. Progressive music was a phenomenon of the times, so maybe I wanted Spock's Beard to "be" something they can never be because the age we live in is not conducive to that same mood. The 70s was indeed a very different time and we all had different mindsets then. Perhaps Spock's Beard is a prog band for the new Millennium. For me, there was too much pop, too sweet, too much of a contrived feel at times, too much of some things, yet I can't shake the feeling that something is missing something a bit strange. Also, and I apologize for this if I'm way off, but can someone clarify this for me? At times I get this weird feeling I'm listening to some form of "christian" rock. The themes, the lyrics, the song titles sometimes feel kind of like an "up with people...for christ" disk. Does anyone else get this vibe? Maybe I'm reaching on that one, but it nags at me in a way that makes me slightly uncomfortable when I listen. Despite my reservations, there is some good stuff layered in there, and I did enjoy some of the songs, riffs and melodies. The band has a sense of humor, and there are some very interesting musical ideas laid out. Finally, as a 60's child, I was really hoping to feel that old Genesis, Yes progressive rock energy but I just can't say they hooked me on this one.
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