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Neal Morse - One CD (album) cover


Neal Morse


Symphonic Prog

4.11 | 472 ratings

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Cygnus X-2
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars A very mixed concept album from Spock's Beard/TransAtlantic keyboardist/guitarist/vocalist Neal Morse. It has pieces that are simply stunning, and some that leave me wanting more. There are some sections that are closely leaning to a metal type atmosphere, and then there are moments that are very relaxed and have a very soothing atmosphere. The diversity of styles on this album are simply amazing. Mike Portnoy, who is often considered to be "all double-bass" takes a very relaxed approach to the drumming on this one, and Randy George is a terrific bassist that fits the mold well. Phil Keaggy, who is often considered to be one of the best living guitarists, has some very exciting and breathtaking moments on this album as well.

Morse's lyrics on this one are very spiritual and often make allusions to God and all things Christianity. Sometimes the message he conveys comes off as too preachy and can really upset the tempo of the song. However, there are a lot of moments where his lyrics are sensitive and thought-provoking. Musically, I find this album to be stunning, from breathtaking acoustic passages, to full throttle "muddy" sections. The tracks that come to mind are The Creation, Author of Confusion, and The Man is Gone. The Creation is the opener of the album, and begins with an epic orchestral feel, but quickly evolves into Symphonic prog nirvana. Throughout the 18 minutes, all kinds of emotions are conveyed through the music, ranging from majestic, to lonely, to persevering. Kudos to Mr. Morse for some excellent synth/organ parts. The Man is Gone has a bit of a single quality to it. Very emotional leads from Morse and some great guitar work are highlights, not to mention a catchy chorus. Author of Confusion is one of the heaviest songs on the album musically. One sections has some very dirty and distorted guitar followed by some anxious mellotron. The track also features some Gentle Giant-esque vocal fogues and is used very tastefully. Overall, a fantastic track.

Overall, this album is a fantastic effort from Neal Morse. The preachiness is the only thing I can really fault this album with, and it isn't even that much (and it doesn't detract from the overall quality of the album as well). Otherwise, this is a perfect album. 5/5

Cygnus X-2 | 5/5 |


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