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Neal Morse - Life & Times CD (album) cover


Neal Morse

Symphonic Prog

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Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
2 stars Here I was at a local record store, with a gift certificate.

I noticed that there was a brand new Neal Morse album at a good price, so I checked it out.

The song titles didn't indicate that it was one of his religious albums, and I do love most of his musical work, so I bought it.

Big mistake.

I should have been warned by the sticker announcing that this was a very personal collection of songs by Morse, but I wasn't prepared for this.

With the above mentioned sticker, I didn't think this would be like his other albums, but I expected some evidence of Morse's progressive rock background to come through.

Pretty much what this disk contains are a group of song with simple music and simpler lyrics. I felt like I was in soft rock hell as I forced my way to listen to the entire album. Every time it appeared that the music was about to take off, instead of soaring, it veered into mundane AOR.

And the lyrics, as I listened, I was surprised at how often I could anticipate the next line of a song before it was sung.

The only mentionable songs here are "He Died At Home", a moving ballad about a troubled veteran, and "Manchester", where Morse (or maybe cowriter Geoff Bailie) brightened up the song with some actual humor.

Those two track are all that raise this from the depths of a one star rating.

Sorry, Neal.

Report this review (#1888685)
Posted Saturday, February 24, 2018 | Review Permalink
3 stars I must admit I prefer Neal's more progressive output, but this singer-songwriter, soft rock album has some nice tunes. I really liked his previous similar offering, Songs From November, from the first listen. Life And Times is a bit more of a grower, and having played it a few times there's only two or three songs that I don't really rate. I would agree with the previous reviewer that the best tracks are He Died At Home (I can't get through this without a tear coming to my eye every time) and Manchester. For people who object to Morse's Christian lyrics, you'll be pleased to know that this is more or less a secular album - just one mention of God in Track 8 and a reference to Jesus Saves in the closing number.
Report this review (#2114137)
Posted Thursday, January 3, 2019 | Review Permalink

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