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Steve Morse Band - Stressfest CD (album) cover


Steve Morse Band

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2 stars The opener, the title track "Stressfest", starts with a wonderful riff, a short but catchy melody, and the song moves dynamically to the last note. This makes a great appetizer.

However, listening to this album in its entirety, even after several attempts, one might end up with a big question: Is this really Steve Morse? Well, it is, if we consider only the guitar playing -- the techniques and signature licks -- and its sound. We doubt it when it comes to the songs. There's nothing like what's in "The Introduction", which features an excellent mix of styles (and of course top-notch playing), or even the following three albums, which actually aren't as strong.

Indeed, Morse seems to have tried to keep as solid as the opener throughout the album, only without success -- to my ear. Most of the songs just don't fulfill the enthusiasm that has been wide opening from the very beginning. The structure and the arrangement of each song is quite similar to one another, very monotone. The highlight, if there's any to be mentioned, including the beautiful "Eyes of A Child" and the rocking "The Easy Way".

Good thing is there's a better album after this one -- the fascinating "The Major Impact". As for this effort in question, it's simple: this is only for those who consider themselves collectors.

Report this review (#48430)
Posted Sunday, September 25, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars is is one of the best jazz/rock fusion recordings I have ever heard(remember, this is a totally instrumental recording). Steve Morse plays with impeccable ferocity, wonderful style, versatility, and emotion. "Stressfest" is one of my favorite Steve Morse CD's. Plain and simply, this CD really rocks! The Steve Morse Band consists of Steve Morse on guitars, Dave La Rue on bass guitar, and Van Romaine on drums. I absolutely love Steve Morse's playing on this CD. This is one of the tightest sounding trios around today. My favorite tracks from the CD follow.

The title track, "Stressfest", starts out the recording. What can I say? It is an incredible tune, with Steve playing dizzying arpeggios, flurrying up and down the guitar with the speed of light. 64th notes abound in this song! Fast and furious, the song goes on for about 5 minutes.

The next favorite one is the next track on the CD entitled "Rising Power". This one is a bit slower in tempo, but has a really nice heavy rock feel to it. There is a very nice bass guitar solo featured in the middle by the mighty Dave La Rue, who's sound is as distinctive as Steve's.

Probably the track with the most emotion and feeling is "Eyes of a Child". Slow, melodic, and rythymic, it is a highly reflective track, and also one of my favorites.

Take my word for it, if you have never heard of Steve Morse, do yourself and check this CD out! If you are going to purchase just one Steve Morse recording, get this one!

Report this review (#78340)
Posted Tuesday, May 16, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars Stressfest from 1996 is a good jazz rock album where the guitar of Steve Morse shine almost on every piece. I like this album better then Stand up, ok is a diffrent decade, lots of changes between 1985 and 1996 in musical terms, the sound here is better, the guitar is more crunchy and has some brilliant moments, very uptempo pieces melted as always with some slower ones, some typical Morse signature on this album. The album is dynamic with some great moments like the opening track Stressfest, where Morse in more concentrated on compostional level, then trying to show us how many guitar noodleings he can do in space 5 seconds like Malmsteen. His technique aswell is unique here, but I feel that some pieces sounds to much the same to each other, same riffs, same arrangements, but doesn't mean sounds band, only sometimes monotone. Another goody is a slow piece Eyes Of A Child , some fantastic solos here, smooth and with great atmosphere. Well, this is better then Stand up, I make this comparation because I don't know other album from his solo career, has better arrangements, the AOR atmosphere is gone, same the vocals, is entirely instrumental, wich is better for him , because the pieces with vocals always sound very mainstream , very comercial. 3 stars for this album who is good, but I prefere him in Dixie Dregs , Kansas or Deep Purple where did good job aswell. Nice cover art.
Report this review (#256818)
Posted Saturday, December 19, 2009 | Review Permalink

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