Spock's Beard sans Neal Morse: Do you Feel Euphoria?

Discussion in 'Music' started by Jim_C, Jul 10, 2003.

  1. Jim_C

    Jim_C Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2001
    Messages:
    2,058
    Likes Received:
    13
    Well the first album after Neal left SB is out and I'm looking for impressions.

    I've only listened to it twice now so I really have to let it sink in before passing judgement. However, I will say that while it's pretty good I feel a little let down. I really liked the past two albums so comparison, albeit unfair, is inevitable. Nothing on Feel Euphoria has that instant lyrical hook, at least IMO. Don't get me wrong, I like the album, it's just that it isn't everything I was hoping for.

    So, who else has picked it up?
     
  2. Peter Mazur

    Peter Mazur Second Unit

    Joined:
    May 7, 2001
    Messages:
    436
    Likes Received:
    1
    I didn't realize this was out already. I will have to pick it up this weekend.

    The last two Beard albums were not as strong I thought as their first three. I preferred the Transatlantic albums.
     
  3. Jim_C

    Jim_C Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2001
    Messages:
    2,058
    Likes Received:
    13
    I love the Transatlantic albums, too. As much as I like SB, they don't come close to Transatlantic. It's very frustrating that Morse not only left SB but also TA. I haven't heard if the remaining TA members are going to continue on or not. I sure hope so.

    I'd say I'm the opposite of you. For my tastes the last two are better than the first three. I'm probably going to take some abuse for that comment [​IMG] but I stand by it.

    Feel Euphoria comes in a special edition digipak as well as a regular CD. The special edition has two extra tracks as well as a sampler from Inside Out Music. The packaging is the same as the special edition of Snow.
     
  4. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

    Joined:
    May 6, 1999
    Messages:
    2,807
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  5. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2001
    Messages:
    4,951
    Likes Received:
    1
    Yeah, TA is finished.

    I also didn't realise this was out yet. I've been meaning to visit Inside Out music anyway...

    As for the last two albums, I thought Snow was good but, as most double albums, had a lot of weaker material mixed in. V is my 2nd favorite SB album (after Kindness)- I think it is absolutely gorgeous.
     
  6. Peter Mazur

    Peter Mazur Second Unit

    Joined:
    May 7, 2001
    Messages:
    436
    Likes Received:
    1
    Jim,

    Actually when I hear most people talk about Beard they say they cannot get into their earlier stuff. I was introduced to the band back in 1995 by hearing the song "The Light" and I was just so blown away by it. I was lucky to see them at the Progfest in Los Angeles that year. It was one of their first shows. They did the whole The Light album plus the song "Thoughts" from their second. That was such an incredible show.

    Anyway, I need to listen to V a few more times. It gets a lot of praise.
     
  7. Jim_C

    Jim_C Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2001
    Messages:
    2,058
    Likes Received:
    13
    I'll agree with you about Snow. It's pretty good as a double album but it would have been fantastic as a pared down single album.

    I've been listening to FE pretty much continuously today. Shining Star is really growing on me. I'd say the first three songs are SB trying to be heavier and the rest of the album is more like their earlier work. It's not surprising that the second half is stronger, starting with Shining Star.

    All in my opinion, of course [​IMG]


    Too bad about TA. I figured with a core of Portnoy, Stolt, and Trewalas they might have been able to scrape by without Morse. [​IMG] Oh well, what can you do. At one point I heard there was supposed to be a TA concert DVD. Does anyone know if this is still happening?
     
  8. Jim_C

    Jim_C Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2001
    Messages:
    2,058
    Likes Received:
    13
    Peter,

    I have a similar thing with Rush. I was introduced to them when Moving Pictures came out. I fell in love with that period of their work as well as their earlier stuff. Try as I might, I have a hard time getting into the newer albums. They always seem to have 2-3 pretty good songs but overall it doesn't stand up. It's been a long time since we've got a "Analog Kid" or "The Camera Eye" out of them.

    I do like the early Beard albums and listen to them fairly often. They just don't get as much play as the last couple.
     
  9. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Producer

    Joined:
    May 12, 2000
    Messages:
    4,118
    Likes Received:
    0
    I was wondering when someone was going to start a topic on this. [​IMG]

     
  10. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2001
    Messages:
    4,951
    Likes Received:
    1
    I visited Inside Out Music's web site. Check this- they don't have a web shop there! Bad marketing, IMO.

     
  11. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Producer

    Joined:
    May 12, 2000
    Messages:
    4,118
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  12. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2001
    Messages:
    4,951
    Likes Received:
    1
    That's cool. I ordered mine from Amazon.com. So it should get here in a bout a year or two.
     
  13. Peter Mazur

    Peter Mazur Second Unit

    Joined:
    May 7, 2001
    Messages:
    436
    Likes Received:
    1
     
  14. Brian Dobbs

    Brian Dobbs Ambassador

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2001
    Messages:
    1,024
    Likes Received:
    162
    Location:
    Maryland
    Real Name:
    Brian Dobbs
    I copied this from my post on sb.com....

    All you naysayers out there need your ears checked. My first experience with this album was very similar to watching Terminator 3. Basically, I went in with no expectations and at the end was pleasantly surprised.

    Believe me, I cried when Neal left. I cried for a couple of days actually. It's really hard for me to find others to appreciate Neal's songwriting ability the way I do. That's why I'm still going to support Neal with his new stuff, even though I never really liked christian oriented music. But as for the album at hand (Feel Euphoria), we focus on the remaining members.

    Did they pull this one off without Neal? In a word, YES. This album has all the dynamics we've come to expect from Spock's Beard. The great musicianship, really cool synth effects, fantastic melodies and fun fun fun energy.

    I think what really made me smile the most was hearing NDV singing as the lead vocalist. I see what he means about coming forth with a stronger lead vocal, and he definitely nailed it here.

    One thing I'll say about this album is that it is probably one of the happiest sounding albums I own. Most of it sounds just plain fun and happy. On another note, SB is definitely a new band now. Some of the piano work reminded me of Neal's, and possibly a very small dose of the vocals too. But the majority of the album is a brand new SB.

    There is no filler on this album, nor is there any on other SB albums. It's definitely not as epic in scale as Snow, but let's hand it to them guys. They are professional musicians with a great sense of melody and rythym. They challenged themselves to stick with it, and they certainly proved to us that they can still write great music without the help or guidance of Neal.

    Feel Euphoria = GREAT.

    Now, I'm ready for a kick ass American Tour. Anyone else?
     
  15. Jim_C

    Jim_C Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2001
    Messages:
    2,058
    Likes Received:
    13
    Feel Euphoria definitely grows on you [​IMG]

    I'm still not sure how I feel about the first three songs but it definitely picks up with Shining Star.

    It's not Morse at the helm but it's still good.
     
  16. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2001
    Messages:
    4,951
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thanks for the lengthy review, Brian.

    I love Morse's songwriting, too, but I don't think I'll go so far as to follow his career after this point. Snow is obviously his brainchild. While its thematic scope is huge, the lyrical and musical scope is narrower. Given Morse's current state of mind, I'm actually kind of relieved he left the band.

    Nick is a great talent. Check out a fun double CD of Nick and Morse doing bar shows in Europe. Nick's singing and playing (guitar) often gives Morse a run for his money.

    I say, enjoy it while you can, until Nick release Top 40 radio singles and does soundtracks for Disney cartoons.
     
  17. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Producer

    Joined:
    May 12, 2000
    Messages:
    4,118
    Likes Received:
    0
    My shipment from The End arrived in the mail yesterday, just in time for me to put it in the car on my way to see "Pirates Of The Carribean" (BTW, go see it. Most fun I've had at a summer film in a long time.)

    My feeling after a couple of listens:

    Onomatopoeia - Perhaps not the greatest song in the world, it obviously is a "statement" song to show what the new Beard is all about. It works on that level.

    The Bottom Line - Not sure what I feel about this song yet. It feels like two different songs combined into one. The individual songs work quite well, but I'm not sure of the whole package yet.

    Feel Euphoria - Don't care for this at all. This song just never seems to get started and drags on.

    Shining Star - It's a nice little song, it a pop sort of way. I like the slide guitar, and something that suits Nick's natural singing voice.

    East Of Eden, West Of Memphis - I really like it. It grooves quite well. The instrumental at the end is almost a seperate song to itself, and still proves that they can kick some ass.

    Ghosts Of Autumn - Great song, probably the best thing on here. Lots of great feeling here.

    A Guy Named Sid - Well, after stuff like TGN and Snow, it is kinda hard to put another suite of songs and have it compare. The Intro grooves well. Same Old Story is only ok, exposing some of Nick's weaknesses as a vocallist. The instrumental break rocks, tho. You Don't Know works well enough. Judge has some nice vocal harmonies. Sid's Boy's Choir is just beautiful, and Change is an ending that I've come to expect from SB. It doesn't quite come together as a whole, but it does have some nice parts to it.

    Carry On - Again, a really nice song. Flows really well.

    Overall Comments - It is nice to see Al come out of his shell and fill the space left by his brother. Some have been disappointed that it wasn't Ryo that filled it, but I'm fine with Ryo taking more of the support role, and soloing occasionally. For all of the critisizm that some thought this didn't sound like SB at all, it leave my scratching my head. It certainly still sound like SB to me. At the same time, it also sounds somewhat different. The basic structure is still there, but the directions are somewhat different. Hard to describe.

    I came in with low expectations of Nick's vocals. What I got was better than what I was expecting, but still a mixed bag. He gets on well by immitating Neal at a lot of points, which is both good and bad. He seems stronger on the slower songs, but when he gets something where he has to rock out, he just doesn't have the voice to do it. I think I'm going to miss that part of the Beard.

    As for the songwriting, I think they need to start with more straightforward songs. Those on this album seem to be the ones that work the best. When they change it up with other songs, it comes off as jarring and doesn't flow all that well.

    That being said, I do still see a lot of good things here. The band still jams quite well with each other, and I can see them pushing themselves forward into new directions. Songwriting and vocals are still a question for me, but they are still interesting to listen to.

    Jason
     
  18. Rob M.

    Rob M. Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2002
    Messages:
    127
    Likes Received:
    0


    Funny, I've been telling my friends that if Nick releases a solo album with a giant picture of his head for the cover, start worrying. [​IMG]
     
  19. Peter Mazur

    Peter Mazur Second Unit

    Joined:
    May 7, 2001
    Messages:
    436
    Likes Received:
    1
    After one listen, I like this one very much. The only song I did not like at all was the title track. The opening song, Onamatopoeia was very good. The suite, A Guy Named Sid was also very cool. The slower songs all worked for me. I really liked the keyboard work on this, as others said before, it's a little bit more subtle.

    Some of the songs remind me of Kevin Gilbert's work. Nick had worked with him on various projects before his passing. Maybe it rubbed off on him a bit.

    Overall I think it is a worthy addition to their catalog. I look forward to seeing where they take it from here.
     
  20. Brian Dobbs

    Brian Dobbs Ambassador

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2001
    Messages:
    1,024
    Likes Received:
    162
    Location:
    Maryland
    Real Name:
    Brian Dobbs
     

Share This Page