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Neal Morse - Lifeline CD (album) cover


Neal Morse


Symphonic Prog

3.13 | 282 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

2 stars I really like his work since One, ?, Sola Scriptura, and his other outputs in Transatlantic and Spock's Bead before. Neal Morse has been prolific, but not all of his output is sweet progressive rock. I heard a few tunes from his non-prog albums and they are good but just not the kind of things that i or people who come to this website would generally like.

Then along came Lifeline. I was afraid that one day the line between the two sides of his music would blur, and his music fused but with the side that i generally stay away will outshine his proggy side. This album is exactly what I feared.

The unique characteristics of his music that i have always liked is how the songs flow well within the album, and there are usually strong lyrical and musical cohesion in his songs. These are particularly strong since Testimony upto ? and Sola Scriptura. As far as his prog stuff goes, none of these strengths can be found in Lifeline. I havent listened to Testimony 2 but from what the reviews Ive been reading the same Morse is back. In this album, whilst Morse usual epics like So Many Roads and the title track themselves are symphonic prog with a blend of hard rock, some tracks in this album (i.e. The Way Home and God's Love) can easily shine in his non-prog categories. Their inclusion here in my humble opinion is not necessary.

The song Lifeline has good, apparently Morse flavoured, intro, but it dragged on for the sake of being prog. Editting about four minutes out might make this song work much better. Leviathan is a Author of Confusion in disguise, and I've heard it before. From the beginning I particularly like Children of the Chosen, but after a few spins this feeling has gone. So Many Roads is a good epic, but not outstanding when this comes from Morse's catalogue. There are interesting moments but again we have heard it all before.

Paul Bielatowicz, who rocked in the Sola Scriptura DVD, guested in the last track Fly High. This is Morse doing 90s heavy rock ballad, and a solo that seems to be inspired from his previous collaboration of the legendary Paul Gilbert. This overly long solo doesnt seem necessary and the brilliant Bielatowicz cannot save this song from being mediocre ballad.

I would rate this alongside his non-prog cds (although i havent rated any of them). For collectors/ fans only. If you want to know Morse, get all his CDs from One upto Sola Scriptura.

terryl | 2/5 |


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