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Neal Morse - One Demos CD (album) cover


Neal Morse


Symphonic Prog

3.71 | 10 ratings

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Symphonic Team
4 stars 'One Demos' is an interesting album for me as it is the first Neal Morse solo album I purchased. It all started here before I even bothered with his Spock's Beard era albums which are incidentally wonderful especially 'Snow'; a masterpiece. Morse has a crystalline quality in his voice, like glass, it is so smooth and he is incredible on keyboards, shown mostly on songs here such as 'The Creation/The Man's Gone/D-Jam' which is a 22 minute suite of songs from the original 'One' album. This is a brilliant medley and segues together beautifully, including extended instrumentals with keyboard ribbons and soaring guitar at the hand of Morse.

The drums on the album are sensational coming from the virtuoso talents of Mike Portnoy, long time friend and collaborator of Morse, even sticking with him in Transatlantic. His presence is well felt throughout the album and enhances the quality of the experience, especially on songs such as 'The Separated Man'. Randy George is on bass and these tracks in this form are the ones Morse sent off to Randy and Mike before they went back into the studio to reedit it for the album release. The two albums are totally different performances.

I love Morse in his most creative moods particularly in 'Mayhem/Cradle to the Grave', which begins with a crazy freakout jam of delightful odd time sigs, and frenetic riffing, not available on the original 'One' album. It smoothly moves into the quieter ballad that is a full on cry out to God for the answers, that moves me everytime; it is beautiful music.

Christian atmospheres are in abundance, with lyrics that do not hold back asking Jesus for forgiveness and help, such as on the soul stirring 'Help Me/Spirit and the Flesh' and 'Father of Forgiveness'. These may not appeal to non believers but Morse somehow makes them appealing due to the structures of the songs and endearing melodies.

Overall the album is a great sequel to 'One' and although these are demos, the musicianship is exceptional and the timing perfect. Morse is a master of moving people emotionally through his voice, his keyboard and guitar skills and the band members are likewise able to pour out some outstanding powerful songs.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 4/5 |


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