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Neal Morse - The Neal Morse Band: The Similitude of a Dream CD (album) cover


Neal Morse


Symphonic Prog

4.13 | 483 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Just to be up front, I am reviewing as a big Neal Morse, Transatlantic, Spock's Beard, Flying Colors fan; I am not going to change the mind of those who don't like Symphonic Prog, neither will I convince NM haters that complain every time he comes out with something that you've heard it all here we go. Initial Attraction - 8/10; because it is a double album it is like trying to eat an elephant; it takes a while to get through it. With that said, most every song is short and there are an awful lot of catchy hooks, riffs, melodies, and choruses. Longevity - 9/10; because it is a double album I like it more each time I go through it. I am not tired of any of it, and the only song I'm skipping is the Overture because you hear it in the rest of the project. BTW, Mr. Morse, I don't think Overtures are a requirement or add very much to a project. Lyrical Content - 8/10; it is pretty typical NM, very good -- parts that touch your heart, parts that make you laugh, parts that make you say "Huh?" I like spiritual substance and due to the source of the concept (John Bunyan's Pilgrims Progress) it is full of symbolism and weirdness, both of which I like. Production - 10/10; crisp, clean, dynamic range great, vocals and all the instruments are easily heard but nothing is ever out of order. Technicality/Musical Proficiency - 9/10; we have some of the premier musicians here and they each have a turn in showing off but never at the expense of forward progress of the concept or story. My fav instrument is guitar and Eric Gillette has a number of very very tasty solos. MP and RG are typically great but never hijack a song, we have some very strong vocals by 4 of the 5 members, and Bill Hubauer does very good work here on keys. Not really a big space for much key solos, but that is nit-picking. Overall Project - 8.75/10; some may be disappointed that there isn't an "epic" length epic on the project, and yes I love me a good long awesome song, but the overall project moves from one song to the next, where you have your large epic in the whole. We can say that we've heard it all before, but seriously how many projects have come out in the last 50 years that is so transformative you can honestly say you haven't? Consciously or unconsciously, they give nods to Pink Floyd, Yes, Kansas, The Who, Queen, Rush, etc etc, as well as some bluegrass, jazz, and gospel fusions. There are songs of many different tempos and styles; there is a whole lot to like and very little to detract. Slow deliberate loud clap, Neal Morse Band. Bravo
ProgthankfulRich | 5/5 |


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