Author Topic: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread  (Read 85394 times)

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Offline Quadrochosis

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Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« on: October 31, 2009, 10:15:18 PM »
Because we don't have one, and if anyone does deserve one, it's Neal Morse.

Everything this man is apart of is amazing.

What are your thoughts on NM?
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Offline ehra

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2009, 10:15:54 PM »

Offline reneranucci

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2009, 10:19:24 PM »
What are your thoughts on NM?
That he is the most talented musician Ive ever heard. That I love every single second of his music. That the melodies he creates are as beatiful as contemplating the sunset holding the hand of your loved one. And that he seems to be a really nice guy, and I would love to meet him.


Offline Quadrochosis

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2009, 10:21:00 PM »
What are your thoughts on NM?
That he is the most talented musician Ive ever heard. That I love every single second of his music. That the melodies he creates are as beatiful as contemplating the sunset holding the hand of your loved one. And that he seems to be a really nice guy, and I would love to meet him.

Haha, can't disagree with any of this.
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Offline KevShmev

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2009, 10:22:56 PM »
Definitely a fan.  Love his voice (not technically a great singer, but I love his natural singing voice), and I actually think acoustic guitar might be his best instrument, although he is a damn good keyboard player.

Favorite albums that he has been a big part of are SMPTe, Bridge Across Forever, ?, V, Snow, The Light and Testimony.  Still too early to put The Whirlwind in there, but you never know.

Honestly, if I had to list my all-time favorite musicians, he would definitely be top 20.  Not top 10 like he would have been seven or eight years ago, but still top 20.


Offline Quadrochosis

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2009, 10:25:11 PM »
Definitely a fan.  Love his voice (not technically a great singer, but I love his natural singing voice), and I actually think acoustic guitar might be his best instrument, although he is a damn good keyboard player.

Favorite albums that he has been a big part of are SMPTe, Bridge Across Forever, ?, V, Snow, The Light and Testimony.  Still too early to put The Whirlwind in there, but you never know.

Honestly, if I had to list my all-time favorite musicians, he would definitely be top 20.  Not top 10 like he would have been seven or eight years ago, but still top 20.

No love for Sola Scriptura or The Kindness of Strangers? Those two with ? are my three favorite NM/SB albums.

EDIT: We should do a top musicians thread.
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Offline glaurung

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2009, 10:26:31 PM »

Honestly, if I had to list my all-time favorite musicians, he would definitely be top 20.  Not top 10 like he would have been seven or eight years ago, but still top 20.


If it would be as interesting as your top PT or Rush lists were I would like to see you do this one too.
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Offline KevShmev

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2009, 10:30:08 PM »
No love for Sola Scriptura or The Kindness of Strangers? Those two with ? are my three favorite NM/SB albums.

I like The Kindness of Strangers quite a bit, but that would be in my second tier of SB albums.  In fact, it is probably my 5th favorite of the Neal-era SB albums.  "Flow," "Harm's Way" and "June" are three of my favorite SB songs, for sure, though. :)

Not overall wild about Sola Scriptura.  It has its moments, but overall, I find it to be very lacking.  All three epics have some fabulous parts, as well as some parts I can do without.  "Heaven in My Heart" is very blech (and I usually like his mellow songs).


Honestly, if I had to list my all-time favorite musicians, he would definitely be top 20.  Not top 10 like he would have been seven or eight years ago, but still top 20.


If it would be as interesting as your top PT or Rush lists were I would like to see you do this one too.

Oh man, that would be tough to compile that.  Might be worth a try, however...;)  I would probably shoot for a top 20 or 25, not 50, however.

Offline JoeBob

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2009, 10:48:37 PM »
Amazing singer, songwriter, keyboardist and guitarist, I love everything the man has done, Transatlantic probably being my favorite band he's been in.  Spock's Beard and his prog solo work are also amazing though.  The man can do it all.

Bridge Across Forever, Snow and Sola Scriptura are my favorite albums that he's been a part of.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2009, 11:12:13 PM by JoeBob »
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Offline yeshaberto

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2009, 10:50:47 PM »
? is pure masterpiece and SS is not far behind it....great voice and seems like a humble guy

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2009, 11:29:50 PM »
Phenomenal musician, with an incredibly unique style. I used to be a huge, huge fan of his, up to (and including) his first solo album. After that I slowly lost interest as he was getting less and less interesting in musical exploration, and the lyrics' purpose became proselytizing.

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Offline unklejman

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2009, 12:29:12 AM »
Probably my favorite individual modern musician.

Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2009, 08:24:55 AM »
Probably my favorite individual modern musician.
I can go along with that.

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Offline pogoowner

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2009, 10:06:22 AM »
I'm a big fan. I enjoy SB more than his solo work, but he's still showing some incredible talent with his new material.

Offline faemir

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2009, 10:19:37 AM »
Amazing musician, with of course his masterpiece solo work as well as SB and Transatlantic.

Oh and



 ;D

But yeah, i've met him twice now, and he's such a down-to-earth guy it's really touching, he's a pleasure to just be around.

Offline Zydar

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2009, 10:38:23 AM »
I've never heard his music aside from some of the Transatlantic songs. After watching the Whirlwind bonus DVD I kind of got a good glimpse into this guy. I'm listening to the first track off Sola Scriptura now on Spotify. I'm not a fan of "preachery" lyrics so I hope he keeps it on a down low, knowing he is a Christian.

Offline faemir

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2009, 10:48:49 AM »
I've never heard his music aside from some of the Transatlantic songs. After watching the Whirlwind bonus DVD I kind of got a good glimpse into this guy. I'm listening to the first track off Sola Scriptura now on Spotify. I'm not a fan of "preachery" lyrics so I hope he keeps it on a down low, knowing he is a Christian.

SS is the least preachy album of his solo stuff. And if you can't listen to that, then go get Snow by Spock's Beard :D

Offline Quadrochosis

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #17 on: November 01, 2009, 11:04:53 AM »
I've never heard his music aside from some of the Transatlantic songs. After watching the Whirlwind bonus DVD I kind of got a good glimpse into this guy. I'm listening to the first track off Sola Scriptura now on Spotify. I'm not a fan of "preachery" lyrics so I hope he keeps it on a down low, knowing he is a Christian.

Sola Scriptura isn't that preachery, it's actually a concept album about Martin Luther, and the Reformation.
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Offline The Letter M

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #18 on: November 01, 2009, 11:12:36 AM »
Ever since I discovered the world of modern prog rock (circa 2000-2001), I found out about Spock's Beard and Transatlantic (circa 2004), and absolutely feel in love with SB/TA and Neal in general. When I discovered that he had left both bands and started a solo career in Christian-oriented music, I was a bit adamant at first to explore his music, but gave Testimony and One a chance and was FLOORED by his ability to still create something fresh but still so undoubtedly Neal.

When ? came out, it was his first new release for me being a fan of his works, so I was excited, especially at the premise of it being a near hour-long song-cycle with many guest musicians! Again was I delighted at what I heard, and his lyrics didn't really bother me. His albums tend to be conceptual, so I see the lyrics as part of the concept, like in the way anyone would use Tolkien or Sci-Fi themes as a concept, Neal is using Christian themes and ideas as concepts (except when he gets preachy, but many of those songs are so good musically that I can over-look the lyrics, or in the case of things like "King Jesus" or "Heaven In My Heart", end up LIKING the lyrics).

The man's consistently good output (IMO) is a true testament to his abilities, at composing and arranging! He has only gotten better over time, but even his early stuff with SB is just fantastic (things like "The Light", "The Doorway", "The Water", "Flow", and pretty much any of his long-form songs with SB, particularly "The Great Nothing").

Sure it's easy to criticize the man for recycling ideas, everyone's heard them ("Long Time Suffering" in Sola Scriptura, part of the ? album reminds of a song from one of his first two solo albums NM/It's Not Too Late... and the sometimes-obligatory Spanish-guitar-flavored flamenco-type section that is in many of his albums)... but I feel like I can just attribute all of that to it being HIS style, HIS voice, HIS form. It's what makes his music undeniably Neal, and I enjoy that about him. He puts his heart and soul into anything and everything he does with music, and it's that power in him that makes me appreciate what he does even more so.

With the release of The Whirlwind, I've heard some of his best playing and singing in ages, and it shows that he's still getting better! And I wonder how being with TA again will affect his next solo album, and if he'll carry over anything from those sessions into his next solo album, in terms of arranging and composing. Guess we'll just have to wait and see... until then, I can't wait for the inevitable Transatlantic 2010 tour!

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Offline sirbradford117

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #19 on: November 01, 2009, 11:29:27 AM »
Neal is my idol.  I admire him not only for his brilliant composing, but that he devotes himself to making music for the Greater Good... that's my goal in life too.

While I feel some of his more recent output sounds a bit stale, I adore him nonetheless.
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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #20 on: November 01, 2009, 03:29:50 PM »
Love his work with Transatlantic, and some of Spock's Beard stuff as well.  I really like his voice for some reason; it's so not-flashy but conveys a ton of emotion.

Never heard any of his solo work, but I'm considering checking some of it out.  I don't have a problem with spiritual or Christian lyrics, but I detest them if they lack subtlety and are of the "hit-you-over-the-head" variety.  For this reason I can't help but falter at an album named directly after a 16th century doctrinal movement.

-J

Offline Quadrochosis

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #21 on: November 01, 2009, 04:17:33 PM »
Love his work with Transatlantic, and some of Spock's Beard stuff as well.  I really like his voice for some reason; it's so not-flashy but conveys a ton of emotion.

Never heard any of his solo work, but I'm considering checking some of it out.  I don't have a problem with spiritual or Christian lyrics, but I detest them if they lack subtlety and are of the "hit-you-over-the-head" variety.  For this reason I can't help but falter at an album named directly after a 16th century doctrinal movement.

-J

Trust me they aren't "hit-you-over-the-head" type or lacking any substance. They're great, and like M said, if you just take it as a concept, and not necessarily preachy then you can get a lot out of it.

It's like saying that I'm not going to listen to a LOTR inspired album because I'm not an elf, it's quite silly in my opinion.
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Offline The Letter M

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #22 on: November 01, 2009, 06:29:18 PM »
Love his work with Transatlantic, and some of Spock's Beard stuff as well.  I really like his voice for some reason; it's so not-flashy but conveys a ton of emotion.

Never heard any of his solo work, but I'm considering checking some of it out.  I don't have a problem with spiritual or Christian lyrics, but I detest them if they lack subtlety and are of the "hit-you-over-the-head" variety.  For this reason I can't help but falter at an album named directly after a 16th century doctrinal movement.

-J

Trust me they aren't "hit-you-over-the-head" type or lacking any substance. They're great, and like M said, if you just take it as a concept, and not necessarily preachy then you can get a lot out of it.

It's like saying that I'm not going to listen to a LOTR inspired album because I'm not an elf, it's quite silly in my opinion.

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Offline Jamesman42

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #23 on: November 01, 2009, 06:49:20 PM »
I am a fanboy, I must admit. After DT, Neal Morse is my favorite artist by a long shot. He is just. . .incredible. To be able to even worship to prog rock. . .that is awesome.

Offline KevShmev

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #24 on: November 01, 2009, 07:04:57 PM »
Trust me they aren't "hit-you-over-the-head" type  

Eh, I disagree.  If you are not religious, many of his lyrics WILL come off as too preachy and WILL hit you over the head, if you ask me.  They generally do not bother me that much (although writing an album about a poor human being like Martin Luther was a bad decision), but I have seen enough non-religious peeps who are/were Neal fans say that the lyrics were too much for them.  Non-religious people simply do not want to hear about God and/or Jesus in every other song.

Of the albums he has done since leaving SB, ? is easily the least preachy and over the top.  Okay, there is the temple of the living God line, but most of the album sounds very spiritual without sounding like too much.  Jesus is only mentioned once on the entire record (and that is in a spoken word section underneath a bass solo in "Solid as the Sun").


Offline Quadrochosis

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #25 on: November 01, 2009, 07:10:27 PM »
Trust me they aren't "hit-you-over-the-head" type 

Eh, I disagree.  If you are not religious, many of his lyrics WILL come off as too preachy and WILL hit you over the head, if you ask me.  They generally do not bother me that much (although writing an album about a poor human being like Martin Luther was a bad decision), but I have seen enough non-religious peeps who are/were Neal fans say that the lyrics were too much for them.  Non-religious people simply do not want to hear about God and/or Jesus in every other song.

Of the albums he has done since leaving SB, ? is easily the least preachy and over the top.  Okay, there is the temple of the living God line, but most of the album sounds very spiritual without sounding like too much.  Jesus is only mentioned once on the entire record (and that is in a spoken word section underneath a bass solo in "Solid as the Sun").

I'm not religious in the slightest, and the lyrics do not bother me at all. Like I said, I take them at face value, like I do with any concept album. That is what I based that statement on, and it's the only thing I based it on, so that's why I wrote it.

Although I guess i can understand why someone might not like it for that reason.
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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #26 on: November 01, 2009, 07:38:55 PM »
Yeah, most of NM's late lyrics are very over-your-head, and I for example am someone who doesn't listen to him because of it.
The thing for me is, I have no problem if someone tells a Christian story in a song. So, I have no problem with SS, and I never had a problem with Snow (clearly a religious allegory) or many other SB songs that were clearly about God, but in an allusive way (the "Catfishman" etc.)
The line for me is when I feel the author is trying to manipulate me, and that impression I get with Neal's late lyrics. I mean, I understand that the very point of his lyrics is proletyzation, but the fact that he's straightforward with his intent still doesn't help that I feel manipulated.

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Offline The Letter M

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #27 on: August 09, 2010, 03:37:50 PM »
So I am sitting here watching Transatlantic's Live In America DVD and it got me wondering... "Hey, when is Neal going to start work on a new album again?"

Then I realized, he probably hasn't had much time to demo or write this year, being busy with solo shows and Transatlantic, so he'll probably take a well deserved end-of-summer break before beginning work on a new album, but I'm also sure he will want to wait to record it until Mike is free, but given Mike's schedule between now and the end of the year, that probably means he wouldn't want to bother him about recording a new album until next year, which most likely means no new Neal Morse album until summer/fall 2011 (a lengthy time since Lifeline... unless... he decides to make another album with Transatlantic.

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Offline BRGM

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #28 on: August 09, 2010, 03:44:03 PM »
Cool, didn't know there was Neal Morse thread! :O

Love most of his work! One, Sola Scriptura and Transatlantic...just love it!! And Testimony is pretty cool as well. Lifeline isn't bad either.
He's a very good music writer, maybe not as kickass at his instruments as DT, but the music is still very close to the same level IMO.

Offline KevShmev

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #29 on: August 09, 2010, 04:52:50 PM »
So I am sitting here watching Transatlantic's Live In America DVD and it got me wondering... "Hey, when is Neal going to start work on a new album again?"

Then I realized, he probably hasn't had much time to demo or write this year, being busy with solo shows and Transatlantic, so he'll probably take a well deserved end-of-summer break before beginning work on a new album, but I'm also sure he will want to wait to record it until Mike is free, but given Mike's schedule between now and the end of the year, that probably means he wouldn't want to bother him about recording a new album until next year, which most likely means no new Neal Morse album until summer/fall 2011 (a lengthy time since Lifeline... unless... he decides to make another album with Transatlantic.

-Marc.

Well, he is releasing another worship album, according to an email I got from Radiant Records today. 

Yawn.  :lol :lol

Anyway, I say bring on another TA record...ASAP. :coolio

Offline Quadrochosis

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #30 on: August 09, 2010, 10:15:23 PM »
Well, he is releasing another worship album, according to an email I got from Radiant Records today. 

Yawn.  :lol :lol

Anyway, I say bring on another TA record...ASAP. :coolio

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Offline Jamesman42

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #31 on: August 09, 2010, 10:17:46 PM »
His first worship record was good. His others....meh. Except Cloudburst. That song is amazing.


By the way, I listened to So Many Roads on my daily walk around the neighborhood the other day. That song is fantastic. I really love Lifeline as an album. It feels fresh and clean and like a new start (not that the previous albums were bad by any means).

Offline Quadrochosis

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #32 on: August 09, 2010, 10:25:15 PM »
Yea he clearly was not made to be a contemporary worship writer because most of his worship stuff sucks. He's more of a "Hey let's write epic prog epics about God!"
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Offline Jamesman42

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #33 on: August 09, 2010, 10:32:02 PM »
He definitely succeeds at that. :laugh:

Offline BRGM

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #34 on: August 10, 2010, 07:11:21 AM »
Is it just Testimony, One and Sola Scriptura that features Mike Portnoy and that Randy George or w/e his name was?