Spock’s Beard – “The First Twenty Years”

Spocksbeard-greatesthits-coverI am not going to review this new “best of” album by Spock’s Beard in the usual way. I can say that if you’ve never heard the band, this compilation is a very good way to find out all about the band and their various lineups. What I will look at (mostly) is the one brand new track “Falling for Forever” since it’s really the main draw for most people.

As far as song selection goes, like any compilation, it’s easy to argue what songs should be included and what should not. Generally speaking, they stick to one song per album with exceptions given to “Beware of Darkness” and “Snow.” I don’t think either of those are somehow better than the rest of the catalog. In fact, I am not a fan of “Snow” so one song would be plenty.

Whatever though, the new track is the key. “Falling for Forever” is a 20 minute track written by former member Neal Morse. Every current and former member of the band appears on it. Neal sings the verses, Ted Leonard sings the choruses and Nick D’Virgilio sings the middle section. D’Virgilio actually steals the show vocally. It might be his best vocal ever!

The other cool thing is that after he sings, he and current drummer Jimmy Keegan alternate drum solos. Each are in a different speaker which sounds very cool. I was prepared to not like the song but it’s a great song. For as predictable as Neal has gotten over the years, this song has enough highlights to make up for any expected sounding riffs. I am sure those who know Neal Morse will know what I mean.

This is a “cash grab” of sorts. More to draw attention to Spock’s Beard since I have heard that sales have not been great lately. It’s a shame really since, in particular, “Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep” is one of their best albums ever. It might even be my favorite.

So regardless of the motivation, it is somewhat comforting to be called “The FIRST Twenty Years.” Listening to all of these songs reminds me how I have enjoyed ALL incarnations of this band over the years. They survived losing two lead vocalists and their chief songwriter. If for some odd reason this was an epitaph versus a celebration, “Falling for Forever” would be the PERFECT way to go out. I hope we get more though.

Tracklist:
Disc 1
1. The Light
2. Thoughts
3. The Doorway
4. June
5. Day For Night
6. At The End Of The Day
7. Solitary Soul
8. Wind At My Back

Disc 2
1. The Bottom Line
2. She Is Everything
3. On A Perfect Day
4. Jaws Of Heaven
5. Waiting For Me
6. Tides Of Time
7. Falling For Forever

Website: www.spocksbeard.com

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About progmanrob

I have been a fan of progressive metal and progressive rock for most of my life. My music collection is insanely large. My passion for life is music...progressive music!
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