Sunday 15 December Monday 16 December Tuesday 17 December Wednesday 18 December Thursday 19 December Friday 20 December Saturday 21 December Sunday 22 December Monday 23 December Tuesday 24 December Wednesday 25 December Thursday 26 December Friday 27 December Saturday 28 December Sunday 29 December Monday 30 December Tuesday 31 December Wednesday 1 January Thursday 2 January Friday 3 January Saturday 4 January Sunday 5 January Monday 6 January Tuesday 7 January Wednesday 8 January Thursday 9 January Friday 10 January Saturday 11 January Sunday 12 January Monday 13 January Tuesday 14 January Wednesday 15 January Thursday 16 January Friday 17 January Saturday 18 January Sunday 19 January Monday 20 January Tuesday 21 January Wednesday 22 January Thursday 23 January Friday 24 January Saturday 25 January Sunday 26 January It's pretty different from what we usually do but we hope you like it.
Gibberish Skin Can't Get It Wrong My Shoes Mommy Comes Back Lay It Down The Healing Colors Of Sound - part 2 There is nothing really captivating to be honest. It is just a funky metal track which is difficult to bear. I am not very receptive to this album. It sounds as a melting pot of several great bands from the seventies. But without inspiration. Two stars. There are thirteen fourteen on the european version. Nothing special really songs on the album. The album starts with the best song on the album which is the title track.
The Distance to the Sun is a semi-ballad type song and even though this is not my favorite style I must admit that this song is very beautiful and one of the better songs on the album. Crack the Big Sky is a 10 minute long song. The Gypsy is another progressive rocker. Again I only enjoy parts of the song. It seems a bit unfinished to me.
Can't Get It Wrong is an absolutely dreadful ballad that would have fit much better on Neal Morse weak solo efforts from that time. The musicianship is as usual of high quality. Neal Morse otherwise warm voice sounds cold and clinical. The general sound of the album is professional but too cold IMO.
There are simply too many weak or mediocre songs and parts on the album. There are some moments of excellence though like the title track which means that this is a 3 star album.
I would buy this last of the Neal Morse era albums if I were a newcomer to the band. Here Neal speaks to those who naively idolize and envy musicians with a sarcastic "don't you want to live my way? It's not a song I'd include in their greatest hits collection but it serves well as an opener. Just lately I've come to savvy this band's fascination with all things Gentle Giant and why they put a tune like "Gibberish" on most every album they produced. It's cool stuff to play with. It lacks the usual SB cohesiveness, as well.
The best cut is next, the strong rocker "Skin" that also happens to be one of the more un-proggy songs on the CD. What it has in spades is a hard-as-diamond groove and a melody that sticks in your head like an earwig. And you thought Porcupine Tree had depressing lyrics! This band usually excels when they create long and involved prog epics but "Crack the Big Sky" doesn't even come close to the high mark they set with previous ventures in that arena.
Then an unexpectedly cool jazz segment briefly raises your hopes for something special to occur. The horn section is a spiffy addition midway through but guest saxophonist John Garr turns in a schmaltzy, honking-like-a-goose ride that makes me think he was recruited from the Bill Clinton junior high school marching ensemble. It reeks. I loathe it so much that I'm tempted to hit the skip button which is what the track warrants because the rest of the tune seems cruelly forced.
Ryo and Alan gallantly try to rescue it with some decent solos but it's a lost cause. The words are still on the downside, as well. The lame acoustic guitar tag at the end signifies that they were desperate to find a way out of this song and that's all they could come up with. Neal is usually a master when it comes to taking flight with a power ballad yet "Can't Get It Wrong" co-written with Alan and Nick never leaves terra firma. Don't look for a bright spot in the lyrics, either.
This hot, spirited intro has plenty of fun, exciting prog elements flying about and you begin to think that this might be going somewhere wild. The song's just okay but when they break down to the piano towards the end it's an excellent but short-lived move. Of course, we proggers knew that all along. The abrupt, stop-on-a-dime halt indicates that they felt the same way. The reissue version has bonus home demo recordings of "Day for Night" and "Gibberish. Thanks, boys. The album that preceded this one, "Kindness to Strangers," had an infectious energy throughout as if they were saying to the music biz "back off, we're on a roll that you can't stop.
The album they made after "Day for Night" is arguably their greatest due in no small part to their adopting a "you may not understand prog but there's plenty of folks who LOVE what we do so deal with it" attitude that pervades that superb CD. So I'll chalk this one up as a temporary setback and not a trend for these troopers. I've conjectured ad nauseum about what is wrong with this album but the truth is that I don't know why it is so mediocre.
There's just something vital that's missing. If you do spring for this set of songs prepare yourself to be underwhelmed. Thumbing through the booklet as I put the disc in for the first time, I was surprised by how many times I was seeing the word 'chorus' throughout. While having a chorus does not necessarily make a song bad, I found it unusual to see them used so much by a band that was labelled 'The Kings of Progressive Rock' by the sticker that came on the shrinkwrap even though I knew such a sticker would be biased.
One thing I had loved about early prog bands, like Genesis, was how the music was dynamic and constantly changing, not constantly returning to the same point. Day For Night started playing, and I was surprised to find how much it seemed, to me, that this sound wouldn't have sounded too out of place on the radio in the '90s which is not a bad thing, just not what I had expected or been looking for.
It had an infective catchy chorus, and the rest of the song wasn't too bad either. Next came Gibberish, and here I was actually impressed.
I have to admit to being a sucker for cool vocal melodies if they are creative and catchy enough, and this song's interweaving vocal lines with it's strange existential lyrics gave me hope that this album would redeem itself.
Sadly, after this point, nothing on the album grabbed me quite the same way. After repeated listens, I found that I had discovered almost all there was to discover on the album the first time through. The first two tracks each had their own strengths, but many of the other songs were forgettable.
Skin and Can't Get it Right I find boring and without many redeeming qualities, other than the fact that I can listen to them with my girlfriend and she'll enjoy them. The epic, "The Healing Colours of Sound", is split into multiple tracks for reasons that are unclear, but to me, it SOUNDS like multiple tracks, more than most epics do, until it reprises the main theme and "My Shoes" at the end.
It is actually quite a nice epic, if less cohesive than one would wish, and an enjoyable listen, but you won't be finding any new Supper's Ready or Close to the Edge quality music here. However, this album has an unsung hero, a song that defies expectations and that has grown on me over repeated listens, and that is The Gypsy.
In this song, Spock's Beard actually show how a chorus can be an excellent tool, singing the main part "Well I can't get nothing that can't be bought, so I just live with what I've got - I'm the gypsy" with various different emotions reflecting the feeling of the song. It starts of nice and quiet, builds up to an epic, almost-grungy, almost-Soul-Asylum-y sounding piece, and then ends quietly again.
I'd say this album is, truly, only good for fans of the band, for a lot of the material here is forgettable. Otherwise, find somewhere where you can buy 'Gibberish' and 'The Gypsy', as single mp3s, and you're pretty much set.
It boasts a gentler yet melodic middle section, led by acoustic guitar. Very strong guitar and organ solos follow. The song blends jazz and symphonic rock throughout. It has an ELO sound to it. When things finally do become melodic, it makes me think of very good video game music. Dark, jazzy piano makes up the latter part of the track.
Every Spock's Beard album with Neal Morse on board has a song or two with some really godawful lyrics, it seems. This is it. It refrains from the cheese in which much of the rest of the album greedily indulges. The Gentle Giant complex vocal arrangements are back in Gibberish. Tuesday 5 November Wednesday 6 November Thursday 7 November Friday 8 November Saturday 9 November Sunday 10 November Monday 11 November Tuesday 12 November Wednesday 13 November Thursday 14 November Friday 15 November Saturday 16 November Sunday 17 November Monday 18 November Tuesday 19 November Wednesday 20 November Thursday 21 November Friday 22 November Saturday 23 November Sunday 24 November Monday 25 November Tuesday 26 November Wednesday 27 November Thursday 28 November Friday 29 November Saturday 30 November Sunday 1 December Monday 2 December Tuesday 3 December Wednesday 4 December Thursday 5 December Friday 6 December Saturday 7 December Sunday 8 December Monday 9 December Tuesday 10 December Wednesday 11 December Thursday 12 December Friday 13 December Saturday 14 December Sunday 15 December Monday 16 December Tuesday 17 December Wednesday 18 December Pound away Get it done in just half a day 'Neath the sweltering sky Get it done, don't ask why, why.
Don't you want to live my way? Living day for night Don't you want to live my way?Lyrics to 'Day For Night' by Spocks Beard. Day for night I can't wait 'til the time is right Like a gun waits for war Like the sun waiting for a light.