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NEAL MORSE

Symphonic Prog • United States


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Neal Morse biography
Neal R. Morse - Born August 2, 1960 (Van Nuys, California, USA)

As a young musician, Neal's dream was like many others-to find success in the pop music world. But after years of struggling in the LA singer-songwriter scene, he realized that his dream would not materialize. Eschewing conventional wisdom, Neal took a courageous step: he about-faced and devoted himself to progressive rock, the music truly in his heart. The obscure and fiercely competitive genre held little chance of commercial success. Undaunted, he formed the quirkily-named SPOCK'S BEARD with his brother, Alan. They recorded The Light with what money they could scrape together. Against all odds, it was a breakout success, sending shockwaves through the small genre's community.

Over the next 10 years, Spock's Beard released 10 critically acclaimed CDs and 2 concert DVDs, ascending to the top of the "prog" world. Neal also released 6 CDs and 3 DVDs with Transatlantic, the heralded prog "supergroup" comprised of the world's finest prog musicians. The proverbial wayward son, Neal had finally found the success he dreamed of. But something was missing. While on the outside Neal had it all; on the inside, something was missing. Morse came to realize that for him, embracing the Christian faith was the fulfillment of his spiritual quest. His walk was at once gradual and sudden-and like with so many, completely unexpected. As he continued, his path increasingly revealed more of what his heart had sought all along. Yet he also began to find his career growing at odds with his faith. The rising spiritual tension and increasing commercial success finally came to a head with the release of Snow (2002), Spock's Beard's (with Morse) magnum opus.and swan song.

The extraordinary 2-CD rock opera, composed by Morse, was widely acclaimed as the group's finest. But it was the end of the era: Neal made the agonizing decision to leave Spock's Beard. After also leaving Transatlantic, the transformation was complete. Despite having finally achieved the success he had long sought, Morse began all over again; musically, emotionally and spiritually. Neal then embarked upon the most ambitious musical project of his career. Entitled Testimony (2003), it chronicles his spiritual and musical journey in words and music. The 2 CD set (3 CDs for the Special Edition) spans over two hours as one continuo...
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The Grand ExperimentThe Grand Experiment
Metal Blade 2015
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Live: Neal MorseLive: Neal Morse
Metal Blade 2007
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Life and TimesLife and Times
Metal Blade 2018
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Sola ScripturaSola Scriptura
Insideout Music 2010
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Alive Again [Blu-ray]Alive Again [Blu-ray]
Metal Blade 2016
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$10.87 (used)
MomentumMomentum
Metal Blade 2012
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NEAL MORSE discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

NEAL MORSE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.21 | 118 ratings
Neal Morse
1999
2.80 | 93 ratings
It's Not Too Late
2001
4.04 | 441 ratings
Testimony
2003
4.11 | 466 ratings
One
2004
4.19 | 606 ratings
? [Aka: Question Mark]
2005
2.93 | 57 ratings
God Won't Give Up
2005
2.29 | 44 ratings
Lead Me Lord - Worship Sessions Volume 1
2005
2.86 | 47 ratings
Send The Fire - Worship Sessions Volume 2
2006
2.93 | 77 ratings
Morse, Portnoy & George: Cover To Cover
2006
2.54 | 47 ratings
Songs From The Highway
2007
4.18 | 614 ratings
Sola Scriptura
2007
2.64 | 36 ratings
Secret Place - Worship Sessions Volume 3
2008
3.13 | 281 ratings
Lifeline
2008
2.67 | 39 ratings
The River - Worship Sessions Volume 4
2009
2.59 | 32 ratings
Mighty To Save - Worship Sessions Volume 5
2010
4.01 | 570 ratings
Testimony 2
2011
3.97 | 430 ratings
Momentum
2012
2.94 | 50 ratings
Morse, Portnoy & George: Cover 2 Cover
2012
2.95 | 74 ratings
Songs From November
2014
3.76 | 292 ratings
The Neal Morse Band: The Grand Experiment
2015
4.07 | 409 ratings
The Neal Morse Band: The Similitude Of A Dream
2016
2.46 | 26 ratings
To God Be The Glory
2016
2.53 | 45 ratings
Life & Times
2018
4.13 | 123 ratings
The Neal Morse Band: The Great Adventure
2019
0.00 | 0 ratings
Jesus Christ The Exorcist
2019

NEAL MORSE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.08 | 13 ratings
Nick 'n Neal - Two Separate Gorillas - Live In Europe - The From The Vaults Series Volume 2
2000
3.80 | 58 ratings
? Live
2007
4.41 | 87 ratings
So many Roads
2009
4.41 | 79 ratings
Testimony Two - Live In Los Angeles
2011

NEAL MORSE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.46 | 90 ratings
Testimony Live
2004
4.36 | 89 ratings
Sola Scriptura and Beyond
2008
4.46 | 55 ratings
Live Momentum
2013
3.64 | 28 ratings
Morsefest! 2014: Testimony & One Live
2015
3.96 | 32 ratings
Alive Again (as The Neal Morse Band)
2016
3.87 | 17 ratings
Morsefest 2015
2017
3.34 | 13 ratings
The Neal Morse Band: The Similitude of a Dream - Live in Tilburg 2017
2018
4.33 | 6 ratings
Morsefest! 2017: Testimony Of A Dream
2018

NEAL MORSE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.76 | 31 ratings
The Transatlantic Demos
2003
2.00 | 6 ratings
Sing It High
2007
3.71 | 10 ratings
One Demos
2007
3.41 | 25 ratings
A Proggy Christmas - The Prog World Orchestra
2012
3.00 | 2 ratings
The Grand Experiment Demos (Inner Circle March 2016)
2016

NEAL MORSE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.12 | 22 ratings
Merry Christmas From The Morse Family
2000
3.00 | 20 ratings
A Proggy Christmas
2011
0.00 | 0 ratings
Morsefest 2016 Storytellers (Pt. 1) - Inner Circle March 2018
2018
0.00 | 0 ratings
Morsefest 2016 Storytellers (Pt. 2) - Inner Circle May 2018
2018

NEAL MORSE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Neal Morse Band: The Great Adventure by MORSE, NEAL album cover Studio Album, 2019
4.13 | 123 ratings

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The Neal Morse Band: The Great Adventure
Neal Morse Symphonic Prog

Review by kayd_mon

3 stars Morse's solo output has been marked by a tendency to sound samey. The records often have highlights, and more than a few moments that make them worth a listen, but they often kind of blend together in your memory. Testimony, Sola Scriptura, and Similitude were all solid efforts.

Enter the Great Adventure. More than any if his other releases, this one sounds like nothing new, even in itself. The themes repeat a lot, which I understand is an aesthetic of concept records like this, but they seem to be more repetitive than normal. The worst part of thr record, however, is the repeated bits about the river and the "love that never dies." These slower parts sound exactly like the bland, singalong, slower tempo songs you hear in church. If you were unfortunate enough to grow up around the church, you'll know what I mean. Some fans might feel comfort in this, but for me, it's not only bland but brings me back to times better forgotten. I'm sorry to say that The Great Adventure lwt mw down, and I'd rank it among Morse's worst work to date.

 The Neal Morse Band: The Great Adventure by MORSE, NEAL album cover Studio Album, 2019
4.13 | 123 ratings

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The Neal Morse Band: The Great Adventure
Neal Morse Symphonic Prog

Review by AlanB

4 stars What other people have said really. This is an excellent album which Neal Morse fans will love, but there's nothing really new here - except perhaps a bigger emphasis on a more heavy metal sound than previous albums. Morse has a good ear for melody though, so we're not talking thrash metal or anything like that.

As with Similitude, there are repeating musical motifs throughout, including some from the previous album. The first track starts with the motif from the beginning of Slave To Your Mind, then follows on with the final lyrics from the previous album. Then we get the "Love That Never Dies" theme which has the same role as the "Broken Sky" theme in Similitude. The rest of track 1 is an overture and is the only track that breaks the 10 minute mark.

The musicianship throughout is superb, but a special mention must be given to Eric Gillette who can go from shredding to melodic guitar lines in an instant (and he also has a great voice).

My favourite tracks: Welcome To The World, The Great Adventure, Vanity Fair and The Great Despair.

After listening to the album I've stopped being a Taciturn Iconoclast and I now have some pizaaz in my pantacle pantry

(If you've not heard the album you may think that last statement sounds a bit weird) :-)

Where does this fit in the ranking of Neal Morse albums? It's probably as good as Similitude, or at least nearly as good, but I would recommend a new listener to start with the previous album as TGA is very much a companion piece.

 The Neal Morse Band: The Great Adventure by MORSE, NEAL album cover Studio Album, 2019
4.13 | 123 ratings

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The Neal Morse Band: The Great Adventure
Neal Morse Symphonic Prog

Review by MrMan2000

3 stars I'm shocked to see this is rated significantly higher that TSOAD. I considered that album to be genius and to rank among Neal Morse's very best work, regardless of band. I can't think of another release by him that was clearly better.

Having given it 10 listens (the minimum needed to render a legitimate grade, IMO) I can say this about TGA: it's just TSOAD (but not as good). Honestly, it's exactly what you'd expect of the exact same musicians tackling part II of an epic story they created only a couple years earlier.

All the stuff that was in TSOAD can be found here, in pretty much the same order. But nowhere does it work quite as well as it did the first time. The intro isn't as effective. The "narrator" parts that often bridge songs together aren't quite as compelling. The story itself is denser, harder to follow. The "charming" or "whimsical" parts aren't as fun or infectious.

None of it is bad; it's all competent and has all the elements that these guys are capable of. But it has zero surprise and nothing new. I would give TSOAD 5 stars without hesitation and TGA is a 3, maybe a 3.5

 The Neal Morse Band: The Great Adventure by MORSE, NEAL album cover Studio Album, 2019
4.13 | 123 ratings

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The Neal Morse Band: The Great Adventure
Neal Morse Symphonic Prog

Review by Flucktrot
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Prologue: Given personal, family, political and professional developments, I just don't seek out enough new prog as I should, but I'm always going to make time for these guys. I was, like most others (fans of, and members of, the band included) super surprised to see a new album so soon, and that it was another double album inspired by the Pilgrim's Progress story. I checked out the singles released on youtube and found them to be solid, but nothing spectacular. There just wasn't a lot of reason to expect this to be a great album--worth having, certainly, but you would think that creativity and inspiration is a limited resource, and both to likely have peaked during the previous album.

But damned if I don't find this to be a better album, defying the odds once again! I generally find this album to be more musical, to flow better, to more deftly integrate moments that remind of Yes, Dream Theater, Styx, Spock's Beard and Transatlantic, but don't scream "we directly wanted to show we were inspired by this song". Take the title track: it clearly is a weird combination of Momentum and The Grand Experiment title tracks from previous NMB albums, but it's just better than both of those tunes. The intro, which serves as a transition between both albums, it so artfully done that I would describe it as genius-level craftsmanship. The tempo kicks and contrasts in the overtures sound more energetic to me (and I greatly enjoyed those moments on the previous album!). The singles sound better in the context of the album as well: the wall of sound seems a little grating by itself, but in the context of the album, they fit quite nicely.

The highlights for me include the first 25 minutes, through Dark Melody--just great pacing, contrasts, performances, and songwriting. Then we have some up-and-down moments in the middle three chapters: nothing bad, but in an album that repeats themes multiple times, it's easy to feel some applications of a given theme work less well, and I find that to be the case in the middle half (i.e., Beyond the Borders and To The River, although the second overture and subsequent subdued sections, and Vanity Fair, are quite good). Then the final highlight passage from me is the last 20 minute or so. Perhaps the emotional release of the finale doesn't equal the previous album, but it's still excellent.

The album does leave with some final thoughts that genuinely surprised me, in terms of thinking about this album in the contexts of NMB specifically, and Neal's work in general. I remember at the last tour, the closer to the first album (Breath of Angels) was heavy on the chorus, and it distinctly lost some emotional punch live, and I do fear that this might happen live to the album closer to this record, but that's on the guys to figure out. More importantly, most of the highlights of the last 20 minutes are Eric's phenomenal signing and guitar parts, so much so that it almost feels weird to call this group The Neal Morse Band. I remember seeing them for their first tour, and the songs and shows were set up to feature Adson Sodre so much on guitar that I really wondered if they needed Eric. He was clearly very good, but he seemed to be a utility player who could sing, play keys, and guitar in a group that had multiple other members capable of doing those things as well, and seemed to have the songs written to feature their work more than Eric's (almost certainly unintentional, but that's what I perceived at the time).

Now that's all changed: Eric's the star here, and I think that I'll look back on this pair of albums and perhaps wish that this exceptional group had a name that better reflects what they really are doing, but I concede that this is certainly a minor point. Another surprise for me was the satisfaction of getting my copy in the mail, and simply placing it next to my Similitude of a Dream album. The artwork, the content, the emotional impact--these albums just belong together, in a similar manner to the Lord of the Rings DVD trilogy that I have on display on the shelf because it looks cool and is meaningful to me personally. I wouldn't have really recommended NMB to make The Great Adventure a year ago, but now that I have it and am really enjoying it, I'm doing a full reversal: come back to this specific creative well one more time and go all in for the Pilgrim's Progress trilogy. I truly believe they have the opportunity to secure a legacy in prog with this series--perhaps not for astonishing musical uniqueness or originality, but instead a sheer thematic triumph of ambition, inspiration and dedication.

 The Neal Morse Band: The Great Adventure by MORSE, NEAL album cover Studio Album, 2019
4.13 | 123 ratings

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The Neal Morse Band: The Great Adventure
Neal Morse Symphonic Prog

Review by juanvalverde

3 stars I love Neal Morse, I love Mike Portnoy, I just think they're reusing the same formula over and over again. The same motif's. Back in the day I used to anticipate every single release from these guys; today, they have so many projects that it's hard to get excited as most of them sound the same. I purchased this album (I will continue purchasing everything they release though) with no expectations, I listened to their singles, Vanity Fair and Welcome to the World and wasn't impressed. So I started listening to the Overture, it had a nice riff (expected), some cool drumming, and a lot of little peaces that I was sure were parts of other songs in the double concept album. I wasn't wrong, I continued listening and even though most songs have high quality musicianship, I could almost predict what was going to happen next. As of right now, I don't see how this album improves over The Similitude of a Dream (Which was already one disc too long) in any way. There's just too much music (I shouldn't be complaining about this, but I am)and I would rather see them get 12 solid well composed songs rather than get 22 with 10 fillers. Don't get me wrong, this is in no way a bad album. The problem is that they already have 2 or 3 very similar albums that have been released and I've listened to them hundreds of times, so I can tell that there's really nothing new with this or worth listening again. Yes, I understand that this is some sort of continuation of the last one, but really.. did we need another one based on the same story? Do we need yet another concept album? It's perfectly ok to write an album that is just a group of songs that don't have to be related to each other.

I would go into exact details on which parts are repetitions and same formulas from the past, but I'm sure that if you're a fan of Neal Morse and Mike Portnoy, you've already listened to every Transatlantic, Flying Colors and TNMB song and know exactly what I'm talking about.

 The Neal Morse Band: The Great Adventure by MORSE, NEAL album cover Studio Album, 2019
4.13 | 123 ratings

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The Neal Morse Band: The Great Adventure
Neal Morse Symphonic Prog

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator RPI / Symphonic Prog Team

4 stars The written process of the album started during The Similitude tour when Neal was supposed to take a break, but his passion for music pushed him to produce another double concept album that follows the story of Similitude Dream by telling the story of the father and the son searching for a meaning in life. There are some recurrent themes from Similitude in the new album and with every Neal Morse's album. But this time, the same modern symphonic prog rock has enough new spices to gives something refreshing. We have the Prog extravaganza parts with classical arrangements and some long instrumental break spice up especially in the second cd with a good dose of Prog Metal. I am guessing that Mike and Eric had been the source of inspiration here. We still have the more standard rock song and some ballad to complete the circle of a good story. Neal leaves a lot of space to the others vocalists which sound like a band's effort. So, this album is heavier than anything Neal has ever touch and show another side of the creative sound of the band.
 The Neal Morse Band: The Great Adventure by MORSE, NEAL album cover Studio Album, 2019
4.13 | 123 ratings

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The Neal Morse Band: The Great Adventure
Neal Morse Symphonic Prog

Review by Todd
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano!

5 stars I believe there are a few definitive moments in the course of a person's music listening. For me, the first one came in 1981 when at the age of 12 I discovered a copy of the recent Yes album, 'Drama', in my uncle's LP collection. Intrigued by the cover, I put it on and never looked back through the prog gates that had been blown open by 'Machine Messiah'.

Then almost 20 years ago I was looking for prog on the internet and found the Gnosis2000 website, and when I looked at the highest rated albums they were by Italian bands I'd never heard of. What?! Better than Yes, Genesis, and King Crimson? I bought 'Per un Amico' and 'Darwin' and realized there is a wonderful prog world outside of English- speaking countries--especially Italy.

A few years after that, I heard Neal Morse's 'One' album, and I was floored. I had really enjoyed his 'Testimony' album and the Transatlantic and Spock's Beard I had heard, but 'One' just took it to another level for me. Not only the musicianship and songwriting, but to write about the concept of separation from and return to divinity, with all of its symbolism--well that was Prog Heaven, and another defining moment for me in my music listening life.

So imagine my surprise when two years ago, the Neal Morse Band released 'The Similitude of a Dream', which I like even better than 'One'! It has since become my favorite album post 1970s, and is a contender for top spot overall. Again, the combination of musicianship (taken to a completely different level with the addition of Eric Gillette and Bill Hubauer to the solid core of Mike Portnoy and Randy George, and of course Neal) with songwriting and concept is just incredible. The album is based on the first several chapters of 'A Pilgrim's Progress' by John Runyan, which describes a man's journey from the City of Destruction to Heaven, having to overcome many obstacles along the way.

The tour for the album was unlike anything Neal had ever done, playing the album all around the world for most of 2017. So when the band got together again in the beginning of 2018 to record the next album, they all knew they didn't want to do a double concept album, and definitely not a follow up to 'Similitude'. How could you follow that? The initial writing and recording sessions resulted in a single demo album filled with good songs, but things were unsettled. Neal decided to follow his gut (again) and rewrote and expanded the music they had recorded, and with some trepidation shared this concept album consisting of two and a half hours of music to the rest of the band. They were on board!

The resulting album is entitled 'The Great Adventure'--another double concept album, a sequel to 'The Similitude of a Dream'! The concept centers on Joseph, the son of the protagonist of 'Similitude', who is angry that his father left him and his family in the City of Destruction. He decides to go after his father and faces many challenges of his own along the way. Musical and concept themes from the first album are woven seamlessly into this one, enriching it both musically and lyrically.

In fact, his treatment of music themes is one of the strongest skills of Neal's songwriting, and the Neal Morse Band continues and strengthens this compositional technique. These themes are often used as Wagnerian leitmotifs, bringing to mind a particular character or situation--but then they are turned on their heads, upside down, backwards, different speeds, every way possible. Trying to decipher the themes is one of the joys of discovering this music. For example, on this album the main theme is 'A Love that Never Dies.' The album begins with a short reprise of the final theme of 'Similitude', when this new theme immediately appears. Then it recurs in some form in at least seven more songs (I'm sure I've missed some), then closes the album, along with a companion theme 'To the River'. Another example: a lovely acoustic guitar melody in 'Long Ago' turns into a blistering Eric Gillette riff in 'Welcome to the World 2'--you have to listen hard to pick it out, but it's there.

Here are a couple examples of Neal taking a music theme and turning it using lyrics. Toward the beginning of the album, the 'To the River' theme has these lyrics:

To the river am going, with my sadness and despair. All my questions I bring with me-- I hope to find the answers there.

Then at the end of the album, when Joseph reaches the River and realizes that he must cross over to find his Father, he sings:

To the river I am going, coming 'cross that great divide. Mourn not for me, for I entering To a love that never dies.

One more--when Joseph introduces himself and shares his anger and bitterness, he says that when he complains the people around him say:

Welcome to the world! Where the struggle is real, and you know it feels to beg, plead or borrow. Welcome to the world! Where dreams come to die, and the innocent cry cuz there ain't no tomorrow.

Then when Joseph makes the decision to follow after his father in 'To the River', voices sing:

Welcome to the world! Where souls come to fly, and there is no goodbye cuz there ain't no tomorrow. Welcome to the world! Where the illusion is real, let life you can feel wash away all our sorrow.

But as talented as Neal is with themes, he also excels at writing memorable songs. In fact several of the albums in his discography are singer-songwriter albums, not prog--and they're very good! The most recent example is last year's "Life and Times". Memorable songs are the core of Neal's prog albums as well, of course expanded and embellished and treated with complexity and dexterity--but memorable songs nonetheless. You will never finish a Neal Morse album and not walk away with a few hooks floating around in your head, and that includes this one. A great example is the title track, one of the singles they released prior to the album, available to check out on YouTube. Listen to that and you will hear a great song with excellent hooks--and of course the instrumental break will more than satisfy any symphonic prog fan.

The bottom line is I really love this album! They have built upon the strengths of each band member, and this album sounds even more like a collaborative effort. And how does this stack up to 'Similitude'? It is at least as good, if not better! I didn't think that was possible going into it, knowing it was a sequel. But after living with this album for a while (thanks to Neal for providing an advance copy!), I can safely say that this is one of the great ones, that I will never tire of listening and discovering. There's so much here to enjoy! Five stars (Gnosis 15/15)

 The Neal Morse Band: The Great Adventure by MORSE, NEAL album cover Studio Album, 2019
4.13 | 123 ratings

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The Neal Morse Band: The Great Adventure
Neal Morse Symphonic Prog

Review by emisan

5 stars The Great Adventure is a concept double album from Neal Morse Band, as a sequel to the 2016 album, The Similitude Of A Dream, which was very well received, both by the fans and by the critics. Similitude of a Dream was not my favourite NM album, neither when was released and neither today, but I had high expectations with The Great Adventure. And I'm very happy with the result: a strong album, full of passion, with many dark and heavy passages combined with mellow songs, great solos and ticking clocks. There are many similarities between these two albums, starting with the theme, album structure, songs structure (long "ideas" divided into short songs), etc. Yes, there are some recurring themes from the previous album(s), there are many parts that sounds so familiar, but as a whole, the album feels very fresh and captivating and requiers dozens of listenings before you will instantly recognize the songs. My ratings for the songs are: Overture (9/10), The Dream Isn't Over (8.5/10), Welcome To The World (8.5/10), A Momentary Change (8.5/10), Dark Melody (9.5/10), I Got To Run (9/10), To The River (9/10), The Great Adventure (9/10), Venture In Black (8.5/10), Hey Ho Let's Go (8/10), Beyond The Borders (8/10), Overture 2 (9/10), Long Ago (8.5/10), The Dream Continues (8.5/10), Fighting With Destiny (8.5/10), Vanity Fair (8/10), Welcome To The World 2 (8/10), The Element Of Fear (9.5/10), Child Of Wonder (9.5/10 - my favourite song from the album), The Great Despair (9/10), Freedom Calling (9.5/10), A Love That Never Dies (9/10) Overall this is an excelent album, with many impressive keyboard passages, nice guitar solos, many vocal parts from Eric Gillette and Bill Hubauer (although I will always prefer Neal's powerful and warm voice), a five star album, a very good album that most prog rock music lovers will probably enjoy and Neal fans will probably love.

PS: please excuse my poor english. PPS: Hope to see Neal, this year in Barcelona.

 Life & Times by MORSE, NEAL album cover Studio Album, 2018
2.53 | 45 ratings

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Life & Times
Neal Morse Symphonic Prog

Review by AlanB

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.
 Morsefest 2015 by MORSE, NEAL album cover DVD/Video, 2017
3.87 | 17 ratings

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Morsefest 2015
Neal Morse Symphonic Prog

Review by AlanB

5 stars Let me say first of all that I haven't yet watched the DVDs in their entirety, so this review is of the 4 CDs that come with this set. Sola Scriptura and ? were for a long time my favourite Neal Morse albums (surpassed now by Similitude) so this was a live set that I really had to get. The two albums are performed with added orchestra and choir and some sections are lengthened - to the extent that the last song of Sola Scriptura is on a separate CD. The embellishments in my opinion are an improvement on the studio albums (excellent as those were). In addition to the two albums we have a selection of Spock's Beard, Transatlantic and Neal Morse Band songs. The first set of songs are the weakest part of the album for me. I really can't get into "Go The Way You Go" at all, whilst "A Whole Nother Trip" does have some really good bits it doesn't seem to flow like some of Neal's other epics. On the other hand, the songs after Sola Scriptura are all very good, from the beautiful acoustic "Waterfall" to the Whirlwind medley and featuring Nick D'Vigilio on a couple of tracks plus the Christian guitarist Phil Keaggy who makes a few appearances throughout. I'm really glad I bought this and I must get around to watching the DVDs sometime soon!
Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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