NDV - Karma

Year of Release: 2001
Label: InsideOut Music/SPV
Catalog Number: SPV 085-41682 CD
Format: CD
Total Time: 64:26:00

Karma is the first solo release from Spock's Beard drummer Nick D'Virgilio (hence NDV). D'Virgilio plays a variety of instruments along with percussion and vocals. Three tracks feature Nick playing everything, doing a Todd Rundgren for us. A talented supporting cast including Mike Keneally (Beer for Dolphins/Zappa), Kevin Gilbert and fellow beardmates Alan Morse and Ryo Okumoto lend a hand. The late Kevin Gilbert contributed piano and guitar as well as having co-written "The Game". D'Virgilio has played on Gilberts solo efforts, and Kevin worked with Spock's Beard early in their career. So after all of Nick's supporting roles he finally steps out on his own.

Karma is aptly described as 10 cuts of progressive pop. The songs do have a musical punch that separates them from ordinary pop. I do not get the feeling that D'Virgilio felt trapped into putting out a progressive tour de force, as this is a song oriented disc. "Dream In Red" is a catchy tune, reminding me of Nik Kershaw (good call by John Bollenberg), especially in the vocals. Nick shows he can rock on the heavy guitar riffage of "Forgiven." "The River is Wide" settles into an Alice in Chains feel during the verses, after its acoustic guitar intro. What initially hit me about Spock's Beard are the great melodies, and "The Water's Edge" contains the ear-catching tune of the disc for me. The title track "Karma" features vocals and percussion exclusively, reminiscent of Todd Rundgren's "Acapella" release. D'Virgilio is impressive as lead vocalist, and my only criticism is that the songs don't have that lasting impression that many of Spock's Beards best tracks do. The closing "Paying The Price" is three songs loosely tied together to form one long piece of music. "II-Paid The Price" offers another dose of heavy guitar prior to Alan Morse interjecting bluesy licks in a slower mid-section. The final "III-Unknowing" opens with a funky groove and includes some excellent vocals.

A prosperous time for Spock's Beard fans, as these guys churn out quality music, and lots of it. Hopefully the extracurricular activities of D'Virgilio and Morse do not effect the lifespan of The Beard, but rather provide them with a healthy outlet.

Released in North America by the now defunct InsideOut Music America (IOMACD 2026), also by Ear Candy (ECRCD004)

The River Is Wide (7:12) / Dream In Red (4:35) / Forgiven (3:09) / Karma (3:12) / The Game (4:07) / The Waters Edge (6:29) / Come What May (5:11) / Untitled (3:26) / Will It Be Me (4:16) / Anything (3:55) / Paying The Price - Dysfunction (4:32) - Paid The Price (5:45) - Unknowing (8:45)

NDV - vocals, drums, guitar, keyboards, programming, percussion, bass
Mike Keneally - guitar, piano
Bryan Bellar - bass
Rick Mussallam - guitar
Dave Carpenter - bass
Peter Plumeri - background vocals
Kevin Gilbert - piano, guitar
Alan Morse - guitar, cello
Ryo Okumoto - keyboards
Mike Johnson - Wurlitzer

Spock's Beard - The Light (1991)
Taja Seville - Fountains Free (1991)
Kevin Gilbert - Thud (1994)
Various - Tales From Yesterday - Yes Tribute (1995)
Spock's Beard - Beware of Darkness (1995)
Spock's Beard - The Beard Is Out There Live (1995)
Spock's Beard - Official Live Bootleg (1996)
Various - Supper's Ready - Genesis Tribute (1996)
Spock's Beard - The Kindness of Strangers (1997)
Kim Cuda - Waiting For Solace (1997)
Genesis - Calling All Stations (1997)
Spock's Beard - From The Vault - 1995-1998 (1998)
Neal Morse - Neal Morse (1999)
Spock's Beard - Day For Night (1999)
Spock's Beard - Live At The Whiskey and NEARfest (1999)
Jonatha Brooke - Live (1999)
David Baerwald & The New Folk Underground - A Fine Mess (1999)
Sasha Sitkovetsky - Emtpy Arena (1999)
Spock's Beard - Don't Try This At Home (2000)
Neal Morse & Nick D'Virgilio - Two Seperate Gorillas ? Live In Europe (2000)
Duncan Faure - Pronounced Four-Uh (2000)
Spock's Beard - V (2000)
Kyle Vincent - Wow & Flutter (2001)
Roland Orzabal - Tomcats Screaming Outside (2001)
Neal Morse - It's Not Too Late (2001)
Karma (2001)
Spock's Beard - Snow (2002)
Paul Alan - Fall Awake (2002)
Ryo Okumoto - Coming Through (2002)
The Rubinoos - Crimes Against Music (2002)
David Baerwald - Here Comes The Folk Underground (2002)
Kaviar - The Kaviar Sessions (2002)
Lana Lane - Covers Collection (2002)
Spock's Beard - Feel Euphoria (2003)
Bryan Beller - View (2003)
Various - A Fair Forgery (2003)
Spock's Beard - The Light - The Artwork Collector's Series (2004)
Mike Keneally Band - Dog (2004)
Live And Acoustic (2004)
Spock's Beard - Octane (2005)
Spock's Beard - Gluttons For Punishment (2005)
Spock's Beard - Spock's Beard (2006)
Big Big Train - The Difference Machine (2007)
Spock's Beard - Live (2008)
Big Big Train - The Underfall Yard (2009)
Spock's Beard - X (2010)
Big Big Train - Far Skies Deep Time (2010)
Big Big Train - English Electric Part One (2012)
Big Big Train - English Electric Part Two (2013)
Big Big Train - Make Some Noise (2013)
Big Big Train - English Electric: Full Power (2013)
Big Big Train - Wassail (2015)
Spock's Beard - The Oblivion Particle (2015)
Big Big Train - Folklore (2016)
The Fringe - The Fringe (2016)
Big Big Train - Grimspound (2017)
Big Big Train - The Second Brightest Star (2017)
Spock's Beard - Noise Floor (2018)

Spock's Beard - The Beard Is Out There Live (VID) (1995)
Spock's Beard - Don't Try This At Home & The Making Of V (DVD) (2002)
Spock's Beard - Live And Acoustic (DVD) (2004)
Spock's Beard - Live (2008)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: October 26th 2001
Reviewer: Eric Porter

Hits: 817
Language: english


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