Top positive review
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Second album from top American prog rockers
on 30 March 2004
Spock's Beards first album, "The Light" was always going to be a hard act to follow. That album was a bold first statement from these American prog rockers. It's four tracks, three over 12 minutes in length, mixed the classic prog sounds of Yes and Genesis with the bands own already well developed style. That album firmly established the band from the outset. This second album didn't try to repeat the formula but included shorter as well as the lengthier pieces. Although not as audacious as that first album, Neal Morse's songwriting never fails to impress with strong melodic ideas. This is more of a full band effort, with keyboardist Ryo Okumoto now fully integrated. They effortlessly tackle the vocally and instrumentally complex "Thoughts", the first in a series of Gentle Giant inspired pieces. The lengthy "The Doorway" is classic Spocks' Beard, beautifully developed over it's 11 minutes plus. Particularly pleasing is the almost radio friendly "Waste Away" with it's very catchy chorus. This remastered release is part of InsideOut's re-issue of the first three albums and comes handsomely packaged. The booklet includes insightful notes on each track by Neal Morse and a couple of demo versions are included for completeness. Easily recommended to anyone interested in progressive rock.