Author Topic: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread  (Read 128361 times)

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Online Kwyjibo

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #2520 on: January 12, 2018, 06:03:30 AM »
? doesn't really have standout tracks but, at least for me, it works phenomenal as a whole piece, the sum is larger than its parts.

As I mentioned before ? is still my favorite Neal Morse record.

Offline kaos2900

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #2521 on: January 12, 2018, 06:50:06 AM »
I think of all of my favorite bands and musicians Neal Morse's catalog is the hardest to rank, but I'm going to give it a shot.

1. Similitude of a Dream- Easy choice
2. Sola Scriptura- The album that got me into Neal
3. One- Grows stronger with every listin
4. The Grand Experiment (Would be hire, but I don't love the epic even though the call is my favorite Neal track)
5. Lifeline (Minus Leviathan which is my least favorite neal song)
6. Momentum
7. Tetimony
8. ?
9. Testimony 2

Really, 2-4 could flip on any given day. Same with 5-7.


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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #2522 on: January 12, 2018, 07:03:36 AM »
... (Minus Leviathan which is my least favorite neal song)  ...

I know I'm in the minority but I really like Leviathan, don't know what people have against it.

Offline kaos2900

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #2523 on: January 12, 2018, 07:08:41 AM »
... (Minus Leviathan which is my least favorite neal song)  ...

I know I'm in the minority but I really like Leviathan, don't know what people have against it.

The biggest problem that I have with it is that completley ruins the flow of Lifeline. It just seems so out of place on that album. I do think that my opinion of that song could change if I ever saw it live.

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #2524 on: January 12, 2018, 07:29:13 AM »
Okay, I can see that, but personally I don't mind.

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #2525 on: January 12, 2018, 07:54:04 AM »
The great thing about ? is that it's so homogeneous and has no great stand alone track. It IS one piece.

I LOOOOOVE LEVIATHAN!! Grooves as hell! And it's highly important in the flow of Lifeline imo!! Without it, Lifeline would basically consist of 3250978 ballads about God.
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Offline ProfessorPeart

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #2526 on: January 12, 2018, 08:19:15 AM »
When I ripped ? for my iPod I ripped it as a single track. I don't view that album as anything other than that.
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Offline bosk1

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #2527 on: January 12, 2018, 08:32:33 AM »
As awesome is Seeds of Gold is, I don't listen to it as much as most of Neal's other 20-minute plus songs from his post-SB career.  Not sure why that is.

Well, if you're like me and you listen to albums rather than singles and randomized playlists, you probably don't get to "Seeds of Gold" after getting through Testimony 2, which means you probably don't listen to "Absolute Beginner" or "Supernatural" all that often either. I think SoG's inclusion in Morsefest 2017 might remedy that, if you plan on spinning it as a whole whenever it comes out.

With that in mind, I wonder if you listen to the four original songs on The Whirlwind's bonus CD - "Spinning", "Lenny Johnson", "For Such A Time", and "Lending A Hand"? I didn't, at first, but then I tacked them on to the end of my Whirlwind playlist on my iPod, so whenever I spin the whole thing, I get those four in there as well.

-Marc.

I do have the T2 bonus disk on my work computer, so when the main disc finishes, it goes right into that.  It's just a question of whether I want to continue, or if I stop it and go somewhere else. 

At my old job, I had the Whirlwind bonus disk on my computer, so I got to know the covers and original tracks from that disk quite well.  But I didn't load it here at my new place.  Years removed from the release, I just don't find that I have much desire to listen to them.

Quote
The biggest drop-off for me occurs with this album.  There are some stunning moments.  But as a whole, this album has never done much for me.

Can you explain why? I always thought ? was his least controversial album (which of course doesn't mean everyone has to like it). Also, it follows the concept of The Whirlwind of one huge song (or rather: TW follows the concept of ?) and the parts flow into each other perfectly (if not even a little better than in The Whirlwind), I think.
I like it's straight approach (most of the album is in 4/4 except for two songs) and its conciseness. Clocking at 55 mins, I believe, it's his shortest one and I think this fits the album well.

No big, grand reason.  I simply don't like it as much as the other albums.  There isn't anything "wrong" with it, or anything I actively dislike.  The songs just don't click with me, for whatever reason.
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Offline Stadler

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #2528 on: January 12, 2018, 09:26:42 AM »
I'm not sure I could rank them.   I got into Neal late - around the time of the release of "The Grand Design" (it's got a nickname now. :)), which I held off listening to until I caught up.  So I listened to all of them, except Testimony (which I already had), in order and I can remember liking every record better than the one before, with no clear drop offs.  That's not to say that I can't discern between them, but I'd have to go back and listen to them again.   

I do know that seeing the songs live is a big part of it.   I liked TSOAD a lot, and now it's sacred after seeing it live.   Unbelievable experience.    Same with "The Call".    That ten, twelve minutes was life changing.  It was like watching a revival, in a good way.  I've seen over 300 concerts in my life, and rarely have I seen an artist bring a piece of music to life quite like that.       

Offline Stadler

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #2529 on: January 12, 2018, 09:29:58 AM »
Hey, this is as good a place as any for this:   Anyone know the "story" of The Whirlwind?  Or can point me to a libretto of sorts for that?  I get the biblical reference of the "whirlwind", a literal representation of the power and might of the Lord, and there are references to both people being raised up (in a good way) via the whirlwind, and struck down in might by the whirlwind, but I wondered if there was something more to it.

Offline bosk1

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #2530 on: January 12, 2018, 09:51:17 AM »
Hey, this is as good a place as any for this:   Anyone know the "story" of The Whirlwind?  Or can point me to a libretto of sorts for that?  I get the biblical reference of the "whirlwind", a literal representation of the power and might of the Lord, and there are references to both people being raised up (in a good way) via the whirlwind, and struck down in might by the whirlwind, but I wondered if there was something more to it.

I don't remember if this came from the making of DVD or an interview Neal may have done around that time, but what I recall him saying was, in paraphrase:  The concept was loosely inspired by God speaking to Job from within a whirlwind in the book of Job (presumably chapters 38 and 40).  The song is basically about how mankind is on a destructive path because we do not listen to go, and basically poses the question of whether we will listen to him or continue on our path to destruction. 
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Offline Learning2Live

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #2531 on: January 12, 2018, 10:20:27 AM »
Speaking of Whirlwind bonus tracks, was For Such A Time a extra song per-se, similar to Back To The Garden/Nothing To Believe/King Jesus not being able to fit on one disc for NM's One album, since the vocal melodies/phrasings and song chords fit in with parts from disc 1? Overall the style for For Such A Time doesn't fit the rest of disc 1 (to me at least) but there's no denying that the melodies and chords are from disc 1.

Just curious if there is any sort of back story for this song.

Offline bosk1

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #2532 on: January 12, 2018, 10:31:33 AM »
Speaking of Whirlwind bonus tracks, was For Such A Time a extra song per-se, similar to Back To The Garden/Nothing To Believe/King Jesus not being able to fit on one disc for NM's One album, since the vocal melodies/phrasings and song chords fit in with parts from disc 1? Overall the style for For Such A Time doesn't fit the rest of disc 1 (to me at least) but there's no denying that the melodies and chords are from disc 1.

Just curious if there is any sort of back story for this song.

Yeah, my recollection is that it was parts of another arrangement they had partially worked up for The Whirlwind, but scrapped, either because of time constraints or just because the song was done at that point.  So that's why some of the melodies are taken from there.  The song title and chorus lyrics are taken from the book of Esther in the Bible, although I never got the sense that that is what the song is about.
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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #2533 on: January 12, 2018, 12:26:25 PM »
I always liked Spinning from the Whirlwind bonus disk.
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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #2534 on: January 12, 2018, 12:43:48 PM »
I haven't heard Spinning in years but if recall correctly, I always thought the instrumental sections were awesome, but the verse and other sung parts were just too .. idk cheesy (?) for my taste. No sure if you get what I am trying to say.
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Offline DT2003

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #2535 on: January 12, 2018, 05:55:44 PM »
It's always hard for me to rank albums, but I'll give it a shot...

1. The Similitude of a Dream - Simply put, IMO this album is perfect.  MP often overhypes his music, and he has never hyped any album as much as this one, but I truly feel that this album lives up to the hype that Mike gave it.  It's been over a year since this album has been released and I still cannot get enough of it.
2. Sola Scriptura - As someone who tends to like heavier music more, that element of this album is what boosts it up to #2 for me.
3. The Grand Experiment - Although I'm not too crazy about Agenda and the title track, the rest of this album (including the bonus disc) is incredible.  This was my introduction to Eric and he has since become one of my favorite musicians.  I wasn't sure how to feel about the addition of Eric and Bill as vocalists, but it didn't take long until I absolutely loved it as their voices add so much to this band.
4. One - Can't put my finger on it, but there is just something about this album that makes it real special.
5. Testimony - This is the album that got me into Neal Morse, even if it did take several years after I first listened to it for it to sink in.  For that reason it holds a special place in my heart, plus I love the story.
6. ? - Absolutely love this album and the lack of an epic is probably the only reason it's not ranked higher.
7. Testimony 2 - Love how this album fills in the pieces that were missed in the original Testimony, especially Jayda which is such an uplifting song.  I love Seeds of Gold, but I'm not a huge fan of the other two songs on the 2nd disc, although I certainly don't dislike them.
8. Lifeline - For the longest time I couldn't get into So Many Roads as I felt like it was long for the sake of being long... then something happened and it clicked and I became obsessed with that song for a while.  I also absolutely love the title track in this one. 
9. Momentum - World Without End would be reason enough to rank this album higher as this is easily one of my favorite epics (and that's saying a lot) from Neal, but other than that song nothing stands out in a big way for me and Neal's other albums are so strong that I couldn't see ranking this any higher.

There is no musician out there today that I enjoy as much as Neal and I absolutely love every one of these albums. 
« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 07:20:31 AM by DT2003 »

Offline The Letter M

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #2536 on: January 12, 2018, 08:05:45 PM »
Alrighty, here I go, trying to rank the 9 albums from Testimony through The Similitude Of A Dream...

1. One - It was tough trying to sort out these top three, but after listening to One last night (the expanded version), I remembered just how much I freaking LOVE this album. At 11 songs long, a good meaty 93 minutes, it covers a lot of ground for Neal, and there are a LOT of highs on here, from the opening "The Creation", the intensity of "Author Of Confusion", and the strong epic "The Separated Man". The weaving of musical and lyrical themes in this one a bit stronger than Testimony IMO (which felt a bit copy-and-paste), and the expanded track list helps fill that out a bit more. As preachy as "King Jesus" sounds, it's a DAMN good rock tune, and I love it. "Reunion" is a brilliant closer, and it didn't have to be a bombastic 25 minute epic to finish the album, either. The varying styles and song-lengths really spice things up on this album, which is why I never get tired of listening to it.


2. The Similitude Of A Dream - WOW...who knew that Neal could put out another double-disc concept album and have it sounds so fresh and new?! Well, MP did and despite his hype, the music spoke for itself and proved it was amazing. One year on, I still put this one on occasionally, and I love the input from Bill and Eric on this one, musically, lyrically and vocally. The band really stepped up their game from TGE and made a modern classic concept album that will hopefully stand the test of time! I'm not sure how much more I can gush about this one, but the only reason it's not number 1 is because I love One just a bit more (it has about 12 years on it, so...). There are so many highlights on here, like "City Of Destruction", "The Ways Of A Fool", "Breath Of Angels", "The Man In The Iron Cage" and soooo many more. There are very few dips in quality or enjoyment on this one. I wish I had had the chance to see this one live when they came around Baltimore, but I just didn't have the time for funds to. Bummer...I guess I'll just have to enjoy the inevitable TSOAD Live set whenever we get that!


3. The Grand Experiment - When it was announced that Neal was adding more band members to him, Mike and Randy, I was a bit nervous, because how do you mess up a formula that was proven to work?! That trio put out so many good albums and songs that adding new players might shake things up TOO much, but boy was I wrong! They did shake things up, but in a GOOD way, and you can tell from the get go that this was not quite the band from before. The opening a capella section of "The Call" really drives home that new-band-feeling. Neal had finally found a five-piece that could compare to Spock's Beard, and with 2 new multi-instrumentalists/vocalists on board, the possibilities of what this band could do opened up greatly! It was also a great way for Neal to FINALLY cover "MacArthur Park" (which was brought up years ago on another Making-Of documentary, I think for Question or Sola). Almost every song on this album is perfect, especially the first three pieces. "Agenda" is GOOD, but not great, and it does what it is meant to do, and let be honest, Neal needs a silly tune every now and then (like "Freak"). The two bonus originals are pretty amazing as well, especially "New Jerusalem". Top to bottom, there isn't much I dislike on this album, and the epic stands up as one of his best. I think because this has been around longer, it ranks one higher than


4. Question Mark - I ordered this album a week before release, in late October 2005, and was thus the first new Neal Morse album after I became a fan of his, and my anticipation was high. The announcement of guest musicians like Roine Stolt and Steve Hackett had me excited, and the idea of a 12-part 55 minute concept album seemed glorious, especially after the longer Testimony and One albums. MAN this is an album on fire, and the use of horns and winds really brings to life a lot of the intense sections. Neal really did try and make this one sound a bit different from his previous two, and being his shortest album, it's great to spin a few times and really dive into it, because there is a LOT to get into on this short album. I really love "12" and "In The Fire", but the last two tracks are pretty amazing too.


5. Sola Scriptura - When this album came out, I was really into it, and I really loved heavier music, but in recent years, I've mellowed out a bit on the heavy stuff, but I still REALLY enjoy this one. It really felt fresh and unique for Neal at the time, and the Transatlantic-ish approach for the album format worked pretty well (though it just made me miss Transatlantic more at the time). Opening the album with two monster epics was a bold choice, and I can see how that might make this album a bit difficult for fans to get into, heaviness aside. I think this one tops the others below it, for me, because it stands out among Neal's other albums, for many reasons, and it was his second new album after I became a fan, so it's been around for a long time for me. Despite that, though, I definitely don't spin it as much as I used to.


6. Testimony 2 - This album took the standard Neal Morse formula and changed things up quite a bit, and there were a lot of conscious decisions made to do that. For example, the album opens with the pop tune instead of the overture, and the finale is a fade-out rather than a grandiose held-chord explosion. There's a lot of different genres and styles thrown around in there too, and the vocal return of Spock's Beard is a true highlight, as is "Jayda", "The Truth Will Set You Free", and "It's For You". There are plenty of intense musical and lyrical moments on this one, which is why I enjoy it a bit more than Testimony 1. The epic on disc two is also quite possibly one of my favorite Neal Morse epics of all time, so that helped push this album up a bit.


7. Testimony - When I discovered Neal Morse and his solo prog career after SB/TA, this and One were the only albums I knew, so they got a lot of spins, but this one was longer and a bit more of a slog to get through. After he had just released Snow, it seemed a bit derivative to have another 2-disc concept album (and longer than Snow at that), and I can understand a lot of the criticisms lobbed at this album - bloated, too many reused themes, very preachy at times (though that doesn't bother me as much as Lifeline or any of the others here). I think having the songs organized in five large chunks helped make the album a bit more digestible - you could listen to Parts 1 and 2 and feel good, take a break, and then spin disc 2. Heck, I even made a 5-song version of the album with each song being whole parts! There's a LOT to digest on this album, and it's not as good TSOAD as far as his double-disc concepts go, but it's still enjoyable nonetheless, I just find it slightly less enjoyable than the ones above it.


8. Momentum - This album was Neal next non-concept after Lifeline, but here his music feels a bit more polished, has a bit of SB-ish feel to it, mostly due to the track-list being a similar format - open with shorter songs and close with an epic - kind of like Lifeline, but more like Beware Of Darkness, The Kindness Of Strangers, Day For Night, and Neal Morse (eponymous release). This album also features Neal's longest non-album-length epic yet, and it's a MONSTER of an epic with some great movements and parts within. The shorter songs good to great, with "Thoughts (Part 5)" being a stand-out. There's nothing inherently wrong or bad with this release, and outside of the epic and "Thoughts", it's pretty average for Neal, but the lyrics are a bit less in-your-face-religious like with Lifeline, and feel a bit more like Spock's Beard in that respect, which I think is why I, and many other fans, prefer it over Lifeline if comparing the two directly.


9. Lifeline - It's no surprise that I put this here. I've voiced my opinions on this album many times here, and for me, it's just an inconsistent album over-all. Personally speaking, the lyrical content goes from religious-with-a-story/concept to religious-for-being-religious'-sake, and the tunes come off a bit more preachy than even the fifth part of Testimony. Over the years, though, the album has grown on me a bit, and while I only initially liked the title track and the epic, as well as "Leviathan", I've also grown to enjoy "Children Of The Chosen" and even "Fly High". The 2 bonus tunes are also pretty interesting, and feature the only Neal Morse solo prog song to NOT feature Mike on drums (performed by Collin Leijenaar on the mini-epic "Set The Kingdom", which has never been played live as far as I'm aware). It's an OK album, and I would only recommend it to die-hards and completionists, but definitely get the 2 CD edition with the bonus tracks and covers! "Crazy Horses" is one of the weirdest song choices ever, but they make it work!

WHEW...oh man, if you read all of that, what's wrong with you?! If so, thanks for doing that, and I hope that it made some sense. I wrote all that very stream-of-consciousness and so it might not be very coherent in spots, but it's pretty much how I feel...tonight.

-Marc.
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Offline KevShmev

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #2537 on: January 13, 2018, 12:26:38 AM »
It's been a while since I did a ranking, but here goes:

1. The Similitude of a Dream - To echo the sentiments of others, the album lived up to the hype and then some.  It is a rare double album that literally never lags or feels too long.
2. One - What can I say about this that hasn't been said already?  A perfect record.
3. ? - While I think On the Fire is a clear standout track and one of his best, I agree with those saying the whole is better than the sum here.  There are only a few songs here I listen to on their own with any regularity, but from start to finish, this is nothing short of incredible.
4. The Grand Experiment - Alive Again, The Call and Waterfall are three of the best songs Neal has ever done, from any project. It is only this low because it lacks the flow of most of his other records.
5. Testimony 2 - Seeing this at Morsefest reminded me of how much I love it.  The flow is immaculate, and the reprises here feel more natural and sparing, rather than being beaten over the head by them like on the original Testimony record.
6. Sola Scriptura - It's a testament to how much great music he has put out in the last 15 years when an album this good is only my 6th favorite.
7. Neal Morse - Neal's first solo album is so good and so underrated.  Emma and Everything Is Wrong are two of his best "simple" songs ever, the "A Whole Nother Trip" medley is really cool (it sounds very Day for Night-ish), and the rest is really good.
8. Momentum - I love World Without End and Thoughts Part 5, and like most of the rest, although Weathering Sky seems like one of those "I could have done without this" songs.
9. Testimony - Some will call it heresy to have it this low, but while it has some incredible moments and songs, it seems way too long, it is way too reprise-happy (even by Neal's standards), and the sound of it just seems a little odd at times.
10. Songs for November - I have to be in the right mood for this one, but when I am, it's such a nice little record.
11. It's Not Too Late - A very nice listen from start to finish, and I have really come around on digging The Wind + the Rain.
12. Lifeline - So Many Roads is amazing, and the title track is good despite feeling way too long, but the rest is just kind of there. A rare prog hiccup for Neal.

As awesome is Seeds of Gold is, I don't listen to it as much as most of Neal's other 20-minute plus songs from his post-SB career.  Not sure why that is.

Well, if you're like me and you listen to albums rather than singles and randomized playlists, you probably don't get to "Seeds of Gold" after getting through Testimony 2, which means you probably don't listen to "Absolute Beginner" or "Supernatural" all that often either. I think SoG's inclusion in Morsefest 2017 might remedy that, if you plan on spinning it as a whole whenever it comes out.

I rarely have the time anymore to listen to whole albums, but I tend to listen to chunks of albums.  Like I will think, "I wanna hear track 3 from this album," and then 25 minutes later, I have listened to tracks 3-7.

My car listening tends to be very random, and I simply don't go to Seeds of Gold like I do the other long epics as much.  It sure did kick our ass at Morsefest though, and I can't wait for that live DVD/Blu-ray to come out. :coolio

Offline Mladen

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #2538 on: January 13, 2018, 04:09:23 AM »
I'll provide my raking, although I'm slightly lazy to do short reviews of the albums.

1. Testimony 2
2. Sola Scriptura
3. ?
4. The Similitude of a dream
5. Momentum
6. One
7. The Grand Experiment
8. Testimony
9. Songs From November
10. Lifeline

Confession time - I've never listened to the two singer/songwriter albums that were released prior to Testimony. I'll probably have to check them out at some point.

Offline The Letter M

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #2539 on: January 13, 2018, 10:46:30 PM »
Confession time - I've never listened to the two singer/songwriter albums that were released prior to Testimony. I'll probably have to check them out at some point.

I'd say check them out. Neal's self-titled is pretty great, and the four-part prog-epic at the end is a bit different than what he was used to doing at the time (the last part is pretty mellow and not as bombastic as his other epics). The second album, "It's Not Too Late" has some great songs on it as well, though of the two, it's a bit weaker, but both are really worth checking out, especially if you want to hear what Neal was doing outside of SB before he left SB/TA.

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Offline KevShmev

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #2540 on: January 14, 2018, 06:56:55 AM »
I would agree with most of that, and to make a direct comparison to Spock's, Day for Night and Neal's self-titled solo debut both came out in '99, and I would say the solo debut was the superior record.  Some might not consider that overly impressive, since many consider Day for Night the least impressive Spock's record of the Neal-led era, but I do.  That is my go-to Neal cd for when I want something more laid back and not proggy.

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #2541 on: January 14, 2018, 07:31:37 AM »
I love Day for Night.  Call me kooky.
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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #2542 on: January 14, 2018, 07:59:06 AM »
I think DFN is a cool album as well. I like the opening track with its acoustic middle part. And Gibberish as a new, better (there I said it) Mouth Of Madness (plus, Gentle Giant vocals!!). The Gypsy is easily one of the best SB songs under 10 minutes. I rank this one among the Thoughts songs, Author Of Confusion, Leviathan, Mystery Train, Time Changer - songs where NM managed to fit all the awesomeness of his compositional genius into a 6-8 min song. Crack The Big Sky is a cool grooving 10 minute song - not as good as Harm's Way, but still very good. And I also like the two ballads, especially Distance To The Sun.
Only point of criticism would be Mommy Comes Back. To me, this song splits up the flow of the The Healing Colors a little. Apart from that, the longtrack and the album itself are very good. Neal shouldn't have split up The Healing Colors into different track imo. I never like that (f.e. on Feel Euphoria and the self titled one or Neal Morses ?).
I usually ignore Hurt, since I don't like it, and it's just a bonus track. Completely unnecessary.
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Offline KevShmev

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #2543 on: January 14, 2018, 08:07:16 AM »
Eh, I think of The Healing Colors of Sound as more of a suite rather than one song, similar to Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, so I think breaking them up into a handful of tracks made total sense.  To me, that suite, The Gypsy and Crack the Big Sky are the album's highlights. The title track is good as well.  Skin, Gibberish and Can't Get It Wrong are all crap I can do without. 

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #2544 on: January 14, 2018, 03:03:51 PM »
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Offline The Letter M

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #2545 on: January 14, 2018, 04:58:54 PM »
Regarding Day For Night: I think it's GOOD, but among the other five, it's easily my least favorite, and I prefer the two before and two after it to be honest. With that said, all six of the Neal-Era SB albums are still pretty good over-all, a lot of great songs, but DFN just has less of them, and the quality isn't as consistent as V or Beware Of Darkness, or even The Kindness Of Strangers (which took me a little bit to warm up to, mostly due to "Strange World" and "Cakewalk On Easy Street", which I felt dragged the album down a bit, but now I like them more).

Since we're talking Neal-Era SB, If you were on a desert island and had to listen to six albums for the rest of your life, would you rather pick the six Neal-Era Beard albums, or any six Neal Morse Solo albums (NOT including TGE and TSOAD)? And yes, you can include special editions/bonus discs/etc., mostly in the case of Neal's solo stuff.

If neither of those entices you, how about a third option - Transatlantic's four albums, all special editions with bonus discs.

-Marc.
ATTENTION - I am currently taking a hiatus from running any Survivors at the moment,
 but feel free to check out others' that are running in the Polls/Survivors Forum!!! Maybe in the coming months, I'll start up again with a different band if there is interest...

Offline KevShmev

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #2546 on: January 14, 2018, 07:25:59 PM »
Neal Morse just released a new video:
http://www.laut.de/News/Neal-Morse-Livin-Lightly-kuendigt-Album-an-12-01-2018-14308

Nice song. :hat

Since we're talking Neal-Era SB, If you were on a desert island and had to listen to six albums for the rest of your life, would you rather pick the six Neal-Era Beard albums, or any six Neal Morse Solo albums (NOT including TGE and TSOAD)? And yes, you can include special editions/bonus discs/etc., mostly in the case of Neal's solo stuff.

If neither of those entices you, how about a third option - Transatlantic's four albums, all special editions with bonus discs.

-Marc.

I wouldn't pick the Transatlantic option. Not enough diversity from album to album.

I would take 6 Neal solo CDs over the Spock's albums, and I'd go with the debut, One, ?, Sola Scriptura, Testimony 2 and Momentum.

Offline Mladen

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #2547 on: January 15, 2018, 10:44:04 AM »
Day for night is my least favorite album of the Neal era, just because there are as many average songs as there are great ones. Surprisingly enough, Skin and Gibberish would NOT be on my average list, I love both of those. The title track and Crack the big sky are also highlights. I've always disliked Can't get it wrong and The Gypsy, and then there's the epic, which has some nice bits but overall it's quite underwhelming. I did slightly grow a soft spot for it when I saw it live, though.

The new song is slightly vanilla. Hopefully it will grow on me once the entire album comes out.

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #2548 on: January 15, 2018, 12:53:15 PM »
How can one dislike The Gypsy exactly?  :omg:
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Offline Mladen

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #2549 on: January 15, 2018, 01:02:11 PM »
I never felt like any of its parts go together. It's also one of the less inventive songs melodically, not to mention that the ending is truly anticlimactic.

Offline devieira73

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #2550 on: January 15, 2018, 05:30:26 PM »
An interesting update on the new album by MP on Facebook. It seems that it will a CD with longer songs:
“Sitting on an airplane flying home from Nashville and I just did a listen down of the writing/scratch tracks of the entire new NMB album from start to finish...WOW 😳 I’m blown away!!!
We knew following up TSOAD would be a challenge as it was such a special album to all of us, but I have to say this new one does the legacy proud and is an amazing follow up!
To nip the biggest question in the bud now, it’s a single disc and is NOT a sequel to TSOAD...
If I had to compare it to one of mine & Neal’s previous albums, I’d say it’s probably most similar to Sola Scriptura or Transatlantic’s Bridge Across Forever...
The album is filled with epic majesty, beautiful melodies and amazing playing from start to finish and I couldn’t be prouder of what we came up with....
I know it’s rather early to be teasing you all like this when we won’t even begin tracking til March and the album won’t likely be out til towards the end of the year, but I just wanted to check in and give you all a progress report and let you all know how excited I am with it!!
To be continued...“
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Offline KevShmev

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #2551 on: January 15, 2018, 07:24:55 PM »
That doesn't surprise me.  After doing two albums of pretty much all short songs (TSOAD and his forthcoming solo record), I am sure Neal was itching to write a 30-minute song. :lol :lol

And in the end, we will all win. :coolio

Offline The Letter M

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #2552 on: January 15, 2018, 09:40:38 PM »
An interesting update on the new album by MP on Facebook. It seems that it will a CD with longer songs:
“Sitting on an airplane flying home from Nashville and I just did a listen down of the writing/scratch tracks of the entire new NMB album from start to finish...WOW 😳 I’m blown away!!!
We knew following up TSOAD would be a challenge as it was such a special album to all of us, but I have to say this new one does the legacy proud and is an amazing follow up!
To nip the biggest question in the bud now, it’s a single disc and is NOT a sequel to TSOAD...
If I had to compare it to one of mine & Neal’s previous albums, I’d say it’s probably most similar to Sola Scriptura or Transatlantic’s Bridge Across Forever...
The album is filled with epic majesty, beautiful melodies and amazing playing from start to finish and I couldn’t be prouder of what we came up with....
I know it’s rather early to be teasing you all like this when we won’t even begin tracking til March and the album won’t likely be out til towards the end of the year, but I just wanted to check in and give you all a progress report and let you all know how excited I am with it!!
To be continued...“

I saw this earlier and was pretty excited! I'm sure Neal has been dying to release an epic for awhile now, having worked on TSOAD, Flying Colors 3, and his singer/songwriter album, I bet he's got a backlog of epic demos! I hope the others brought their demos too. I wonder if the blackout/snowstorm made any difference to their writing as they were without power for a day or so - more acoustic guitar perhaps?

If the format is similar to Sola and BAF, I suspect two major epics that will bookend the album, and a medium epic or two, and one shorter piece, totaling 4 or 5 pieces and probably as close to 80 minutes as possible. Either way, color me excited! I'm hoping for an October or November release, then probably touring on it early 2019. I guess this means if Morsefest is happening this year, it'll probably be before the new album comes out, and after Mike is done with SOA touring.

...still waiting for FC3 news, though.

-Marc.
ATTENTION - I am currently taking a hiatus from running any Survivors at the moment,
 but feel free to check out others' that are running in the Polls/Survivors Forum!!! Maybe in the coming months, I'll start up again with a different band if there is interest...

Offline kaos2900

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #2553 on: January 16, 2018, 06:55:16 AM »
Exciting news! Can't wait for this!

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #2554 on: January 16, 2018, 07:03:27 AM »
That means they already wrote 80 mins of music in, what, one and a half weeks?
I don't understand why they can't take a little more time for their albums. Just let the ideas develop a little, don't take the first thing that comes to your mind. MP and NM never disappoint with an album, but I think if they'd just lock themselves in for a least a month, they could create something really cool. Don't make your music inflationary.
I once read somewhere (more or less translated from German): If Supper's Ready is made up of a whole fair of ideas, then Duel With The Devil consists of not more than only one small booth of that fair.
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