Tuesday, February 5, 2019

NEAL MORSE BAND: "The Great Adventure"

Label: Radiant Records
Rating: RRR
Review by Martien Koolen

The Similitude Of A Dream was the previous Neal Morse Band album, released in 2016, and it was a typical Morse album; meaning: great musicianship, very familiar melodies and unfortunately those spiritual (religious) lyrics.

Now, almost three years later The Great Adventure sees the light of day, a double CD filled with 22 tracks. TGA is a concept album, again, dealing with the "adventures" of the pilgrim's abandoned son; so lyrically you know what you can expect; again not my cup of tea!! Musically speaking this album is a must for prog rock fans as the entire album is a splendid blend of rock, prog, metal, jazz and classical music; and I do not need to tell you that these guys can play!! However, I hear too familiar melodies, keyboard riffs and choruses, take e.g. To The River, Welcome To The World, Dark Melody or Long Ago and for me, original musical highlights are rare on this album.

I really like/love the two instrumental songs Overture and Overture 2, which show the true craftsmanship of this band, orchestral prog rock at its best. Furthermore I enjoy I Got To Run, The Great Dispair, Freedom Calling and A Love That Never Dies, featuring amazing guitar solos by Eric Gillette. Unfortunately I really cannot listen to songs like Child Of Wonder, Hey Ho Let's Go, Beyond The Borders, The Dream Continues or the completely weird pop song Vanity Fair.

Conclusion: TGA is another typical Neal Morse album with lots of ups and down, irritating lyrics and only for the die-hard Neal Morse fans; sad but true.

1 comment:

  1. Tough call as a reviewer when you don't really care that much for a particular band/artist. But-- isn't most music for...fans of it? Similitude..was hard to top and I'd agree they couldn't do that. But TGA is certainly a worthy successor/partner to it. Seems TNMB's fans are growing,so...why should they trey to 'fix/improve on' what isn't broken at all? That said-- TGA is darker in spots than most anything Neal Morse,so there ARE some different elements at play here. It's not a dead ringer to Similitude,by any means--more a companion. Anyway--your review comes off as sort of back-handed...tough one.