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Neal Morse - Neal Morse CD (album) cover


Neal Morse


Symphonic Prog

3.21 | 128 ratings

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2 stars This is the debut solo album from Spockīs Beardīs at the time frontman, keyboard player and main composer Neal Morse. Anyone familiar with Spockīs Beard knows that Neal was the heart of that band. The man is so incredibly talented both as a singer and pianist but especially as a composer. In SPockīs Beard he blended all his progressive ideas with pop sensebilities and succeeded for the most part. On this solo album we hear more of his pop tendencies than his prog influences.

It is said in one of the previous reviews that Spockīs Beard fans needs to own this album. I strongly disagree. If you like the most cheesy pop songs on Spockīs Beardīs albums then yes you will enjoy album as well. But if your interest like mine in Spockīs Beard is because they make great retro progressive rock with lots of symphonic elements you should avoid this album. The only song that reminds me of Spockīs Beard is the closing 23:58 minute long epic A Whole Nother Trip and even that one sounds a bit weak compared to the real Spockīs Beard. That track is worth my time though. Songs like Living Out Loud and Landslide are well composed but they are just too simple and nice for my taste. Even the rock songs like Nowhere Fast reminds me of a soft Brian Adams and thatīs not a compliment when it comes from me.

The musicianship is of course excellent. Neal Morse is an outstanding musician and besides singing he also plays some really great piano parts. Spockīs Beard drummer Nick D'Virgilio helps out with the rythm track.

The production is actually rather good when you remember that this was recorded at Nealīs home.

The cover artwork is typical solo album style with Nealīs face on the cover.

I canīt claim to like this much. Maybe itīs because I have always had a hard time with Nealīs most commercial tendencies. I would much rather have seen him pursue a more progressive style, but that wasnīt to be. The man is a pop head and I have yet to come to terms with that. This is definitely a fan thing. Iīll rate it 2 stars and recommend that you check out Spockīs Beard instead.

UMUR | 2/5 |


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