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Neal Morse

Symphonic Prog

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Neal Morse Merry Christmas From The Morse Family album cover
2.14 | 27 ratings | 2 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 2000

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Hallelujah - The King Is Born
2. Christmas Keeps Calling
3. Love Lay In Bethlehem
4. The Laughing Christmas Song
5. Sinatra Christmas (My 1st Christmas With You)
6. How Peaceful Was The Night
7. 'Tis The Season To Be Blue
8. Elvis Christmas (Lovin' Christmas)
9. Swingin' Holiday
10. Kids Love Santa
11. Missing You At Christmas
12. Holy Christmas

Line-up / Musicians

- Neal Morse / voice, all instruments
- Jayda Morse / vocals on tracks 4 and 11
- Wil Morse / vocals on tracks 4 and 11
- Colleen Harrison / vocals on track 3
- Joey Pippin / background vocals on tracks 1 and 13
- Dave Schmidt / background vocals on tracks 1 and 13
- Terra Mears / background vocals on tracks 1 and 13
- Jessica Mears / background vocals on tracks 1 and 13
- Dean Clifford / background vocals on tracks 1 and 13

Releases information

Radiant Records #RA-008

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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NEAL MORSE Merry Christmas From The Morse Family ratings distribution

(27 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(15%)
Good, but non-essential (33%)
Collectors/fans only (22%)
Poor. Only for completionists (30%)

NEAL MORSE Merry Christmas From The Morse Family reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by J-Man
2 stars 2.5 stars

This is a really cool Christmas album. This is one of my favorite progressive rock musicians playing lighthearted Christmas tunes, all written by Mr. Morse. These were basically his Christmas cards to his family and friends over the years, and one day he decided to make an album of it. And the result is an overall decent album. It doesn't match the perfection of Sola Scriptura, but for a lighthearted Christmas album, it holds up.

It's obvious that when he made this he wasn't planning on releasing it to the public. The quality isn't good on most songs, and some of the songs he thanks basically his entire family. Some of the songs are funny little tunes that are just supposed to be songs to laugh at. He has his kids sing on some of the songs, he does impersonations from people like Elvis and Frank Sinatra. There are also serious songs that are meant to be good pop Christmas songs.

This is overall more something to chuckle at Neal's sense of humor than to buy as a prog masterpiece. It's not progressive, but it's a cool little Christmas album for people looking for something to listen to during the holidays.

2 stars.

Review by siLLy puPPy
2 stars Christmas is a holiday that many love even if they have no religious affiliations. It's simply a time to kick back with friends and family and reflect on the year that has just about passed and possibly even exchange gifts. Christmas music is as old as the holiday itself but progressive rock hasn't exactly been a genre that has attracted the lion's share of artists flocking to make holiday music. Instead the stores and public establishments are flooded with not only the classics of yesteryear but a legion of truly awful modern acts trying to cash in on the Christmas music trend.

Known for his outspoken Christian beliefs, prolific progger NEAL MORSE seems like a songwriting machine not just as a solo artist with over 50 albums to his name but with the various projects ranging from Spock's Beard and Flying Colors to Transatlantic. MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM THE MORSE FAMILY shows a completely different side of MORSE who wrote a bunch of Christmas tunes to send to friends and family without the intent to ever release them but in the year 2000 just as MORSE was getting his solo career on track, he released this collection of all original material with his family helping out on vocals and MORSE handling most lead vocals and all the instruments.

This one shouldn't be considered a proper MORSE release and although he is known as a prog musician these are more simple traditional pop songs with the theme of Christmas. While i'm not a huge Christmas music fan there are some classics out there that will melt anybody's heart including Vince Guaraldi's "A Charlie Brown Christmas," Nat King Cole's "The Christmas Song" and closer to the prog world several releases from the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and "The Jethro Tull Christmas Album." Unfortunately MORSE doesn't craft an interesting mix of art rock inspired Christmas tunes and rather sticks to the traditional styles that have been the staple of department store playlists since the beginning of time.

While i do love some MORSE releases for their proggy bravado that keeps pushing the symphonic prog envelop, his vocals are one aspect of his music i really do not like but can tolerate if the music is excellent. That is not the case here as these Christmas tunes seem to be inspired by the classics but fail to capture the spirit with those instantly infectious jingles. Add to that MORSE's vocal style is more irritating than ever. I can't judge this too harshly. This wasn't designed for public consumption and merely released to give his fans some other options in the vast world of Christmas music. Personally i'm not really liking this but it's not as bad as some other misconceived Christmas releases from bands like Twisted Sister for example.

The best tracks on here don't feature MORSE as the main focus. "The Laughing Christmas Song" is a children's song with his kids adding vocals and it provides refreshing comedy relief to an otherwise earnest and saccharin batch of tunes. While this one may be fun for hardcore fans who have to own everything MORSE has released, i'm not sure even those followers would feel this one is a mandatory purchase. All in all, it's a cute little album allowing the world to see MORSE's private world with family photos decorating the cover art but as an interesting Christmas album i think that listening to this one time is more than enough and will certainly never be revisiting it. But the main point of writing this is simply to wish everyone out there a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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