Author Topic: Neal Morse  (Read 21062 times)

Offline PH

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Re: Neal Morse
« Reply #50 on: Tue, 2016-09-06, 16:23:02 »
Anyone else looking forward to this as much as me (and Mike Portnoy)?


Offline Teunis

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Re: Neal Morse
« Reply #51 on: Tue, 2016-09-06, 18:55:47 »
Anyone else looking forward to this as much as me (and Mike Portnoy)?
LOL, I've read what MP wrote, he gave it 11/11.

To answer your question: me, definitely  *ola*.
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Offline PH

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Re: Neal Morse
« Reply #52 on: Tue, 2016-09-06, 19:09:05 »
LOL, I've read what MP wrote, he gave it 11/11.

That could be the release date though. ::) ;)
But he IS indeed pretty enthusiastic about it!

Offline PH

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Re: Neal Morse
« Reply #53 on: Tue, 2016-09-06, 20:55:47 »
Funny thing is, I still consider "The Grand Experiment" one of the new ones. Still enjoy it.

Offline PH

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Re: Neal Morse
« Reply #54 on: Fri, 2016-09-09, 14:58:52 »
The album's acronym TSOAD probably stands for "The Similitude Of A Dream". This is based on a screenshot of the lyrics of a song called "The City Of Destruction". So it's very likely that we'll be getting a concept album about John Bunyan's (1628-1688) Christian allegory "The Pilgrim's Progress". I'm VERY much into that!!

"The Similitude Of A Dream" is the subtitle to that story.

Offline Teunis

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Re: Neal Morse
« Reply #55 on: Sat, 2016-09-10, 20:09:06 »
That could be the release date though. ::) ;)
This is confirmed!

First track (Long Day/Overture) on YouTube is exciting!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fbzl46CuPiM

 Wow! *horns*
'I will surrender my heart to the sky
Oh, our love doesn't end here, it lives forever on the wings of time'
-------------------------------------------------------
Toto - Wings of time (Kingdom of Desire)

Offline PH

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Re: Neal Morse
« Reply #56 on: Sat, 2016-09-10, 23:18:46 »
Yeah! Soooooooooo looking forward to this double album!

Offline Peter

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Re: Neal Morse
« Reply #57 on: Tue, 2016-09-13, 10:31:43 »
This is confirmed!

First track (Long Day/Overture) on YouTube is exciting!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fbzl46CuPiM

 Wow! *horns*

Wait... this sounds like an ARENA track... no, wait again... Genesis?... ah, Porcupine Tree... no... Ayreon! That's it.  :'(
Sorry for the comparisons, just what came to my mind.
Great track.
The King is dead, so worship me!

Offline PH

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Re: Neal Morse
« Reply #58 on: Tue, 2016-09-13, 11:28:12 »
What about Dream Theater?

Offline Peter

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Re: Neal Morse
« Reply #59 on: Tue, 2016-09-13, 16:40:22 »
What about Dream Theater?

 ;D only when mike does the triple bass drum thingy
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Offline maddox

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Re: Neal Morse
« Reply #60 on: Sat, 2016-09-17, 12:50:57 »
Wait... this sounds like an ARENA track... no, wait again... Genesis?... ah, Porcupine Tree... no... Ayreon! That's it.  :'(
Sorry for the comparisons, just what came to my mind.
Great track.

Everything Neal does sounds like (old) Genesis. ;)
Basically thereĀ“s nothing new under the sun, yet it is a good song-intro.
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Offline Bupie

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Re: Neal Morse
« Reply #61 on: Thu, 2016-09-22, 09:28:30 »
It's a sure buy since 2016 is a Neal Morse rediscovery year for me. Just wish I have the opportunity to see him live one day.

Offline PH

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Re: Neal Morse
« Reply #62 on: Tue, 2017-02-28, 23:34:21 »
Ok, so I finally did it! I made a playlist of 'best of' or 'representatives' of all of Neal Morse (Band) albums.

My Neal Morse best of would be a double double album ;D

Disc 1:
Testimony (43:23):
1. Overture No. 1 (5:57)
2. Colder In The Sun (6:19)
3. Wasted Life (6:49)
4. Break Of Day (6:55)
5. Sing It High (4:47)
6. Moving In My Heart (3:06)
7. I Am Willing (6:27)
8. God's Theme 2 (2:09)
9. The Land Of Beginning Again, Part 2 (0:54)

One (36:20):
10. The Creation (18:22)
11. The Separated Man (17:58)
Total: 79:43

Disc 2:
? (26:42):
1. In The Fire (7:24)
2. Solid As The Sun (6:11)
3. 12 (6:45)
4. Entrance (6:22)

Sola Scriptura (29:12):
5. The Door (29:12)

Lifeline (23:14):
6. Lifeline (13:27)
7. The Way Home (4:20)
8. God's Love (5:27)
Total: 79:08

Disc 3:
Testimony 2 (43:20):
1. Time Has Come Today (4:55)
2. Jesus' Blood (5:26)
3. Chance Of A Lifetime (7:01)
4. Seeds Of Gold (25:58)

Momentum (33:37):
5. World Without End (33:37)
Total: 76:57

Disc 4:
The Grand Experiment (26:43):
1. Alive Again (26:43)

The Similitude Of A Dream (50:49):
2. Overture (5:51)
3. We Have Got To Go (2:29)
4. Makes No Sense (4:09)
5. The Ways Of A Fool (6:47)
6. So Far Gone (5:20)
7. Slave To Your Mind (6:26)
8. Shortcut To Salvation (4:35)
9. The Man In The Iron Cage (5:15)
10. Broken Sky/Long Day (Reprise) (9:57)
Total: 77:32

So, any thoughts? :)

It's pretty hard to do, 'best of' albums. I encountered a few problems. Because with concept albums, you want to capture the essence of the story. For instance, with "Testimony" I want a good balance of first and second disc. Same with "TSOAD". But most of the time I tend to like the first disc of a double album more. So I left out a few good songs in favour of the story/flow/balance.
With "T2" I obviously want Seeds Of Gold but it leaves me only a few songs of the first disc.
"Lifeline" is probably the weakest of Neal's solo albums. It's also the one album where I don't prefer the 20+minute epic. (Sorry)
"Sola Scriptura" is only epics, so I can only take one song unless I want to edit the track (which I don't).

Offline maddox

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Re: Neal Morse
« Reply #63 on: Sat, 2017-04-29, 11:56:27 »
I for one would buy it, no doubt. ;)
Best of Similitude is quite hard to do i think because when you pick out 'the best' songs, you end up with a few songs without context.

But like I said. I would buy it. ;)  *horns*
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Offline PH

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Re: Neal Morse
« Reply #64 on: Wed, 2018-06-13, 19:54:22 »
I'm at the Neal Morse gig in Utrecht! Excited!! And They're going to film it!

Offline PH

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Re: Neal Morse
« Reply #65 on: Thu, 2018-06-14, 08:54:45 »
Yesterday was a fantastic concert! I must have been smiling all the time because afterwards I could feel it in my jaws! And since they were filming, I hope they don't catch me on that one occasion where I was crying, haha. I got very emotional at the end of his Question Mark medley. It was so intense! But seriously, to see yourself at a dvd of one of your favourite artist, wouldn't that be cool!

This was the first time I attended a Neal Morse concert, and it was a solo concert. So he did all instruments by himself. Him and a looping machine, which was really cool! Collin Leijenaar guested on percussion on a few songs. (Why do all cool drummers have silly beards? ;D )
I attended the gig with my mom, which is another first for me, and she had a blast!

Afterwards there was a meet and greet moment and he really took the time for everyone. There were all sorts of questions I wanted him to ask, but when I finally got there I just didn't know what to say. I felt like a little kid who was meeting his hero, which essentially was true of course.
I'm such a fanboy...

Yeah, it was a surreal experience. Phew! Back to reality now.

Offline Teunis

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Re: Neal Morse
« Reply #66 on: Thu, 2018-06-14, 19:52:14 »
Great experience 8). I attended a Neal Morse concert in 2011 (album Testimony Two). Collin Leijenaar was on drums that day too and it was a wonderful evening.
'I will surrender my heart to the sky
Oh, our love doesn't end here, it lives forever on the wings of time'
-------------------------------------------------------
Toto - Wings of time (Kingdom of Desire)

Offline PH

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Re: Neal Morse
« Reply #67 on: Fri, 2018-10-19, 16:42:30 »
Ok, so Neal Morse, or actually The Neal Morse Band, will release a new studio album on 25 January.
It's called "The Great Adventure" and it seems the cover artwork looks like this:



I hope this is not final, because it looks too much like "The Similitude Of A Dream". Perhaps Paul Whitehead's artwork was so expensive that they decided to reuse it, to get the most out of it. ;D

All jokes aside, this is a companion album to the aforementioned album. And it's even a double album again, can you believe it! Needless to say I'm super excited about this!

Offline Teunis

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Re: Neal Morse
« Reply #68 on: Fri, 2018-10-19, 19:46:53 »
Ok, so Neal Morse, or actually The Neal Morse Band, will release a new studio album on 25 January.
Yeah, great news, very excited too!  8) *horns*

Quote from: PH
I hope this is not final, because it looks too much like "The Similitude Of A Dream". Perhaps Paul Whitehead's artwork was so expensive that they decided to reuse it, to get the most out of it. ;D
;D

Yeah, I'll save some money for this upcoming release 8)

'I will surrender my heart to the sky
Oh, our love doesn't end here, it lives forever on the wings of time'
-------------------------------------------------------
Toto - Wings of time (Kingdom of Desire)

Offline PH

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Re: Neal Morse
« Reply #69 on: Fri, 2018-10-19, 22:14:27 »
Kind of off topic on the subject, but on topic in the topic (???):
I have been listening intensively to "?" and "Sola Scriptura" again these past weeks and I have come to the conclusion that these albums are the best that he has done.
I thought it would be fun to make a top 9 of his prog solo albums. (Soon a top 10.) Mine looks a lot like this:

1. Sola Scriptura
2. ?
3. The Similitude Of A Dream
4. One
5. Testimony Two
6. Testimony
7. The Grand Experiment
8. Momentum
9. Lifeline

The first five choices are pretty solid, but after that it got more difficult. Let me explain.
(And a note: while typing my explanation of my top 9, it turned into something different. Sorry for that. I just wanted to speak my heart and reflect on it.)

The top four:
It seems, from this list, that I just like concept albums a lot. I think that's where Neal excels. He is a great story teller. Not necessarily a good lyricist (although I think he is way above average!). His stories are thought provoking and full of depth. Especially when you also connect to it on a spiritual level, I think that's where you get most out of it. Where others try to be a poet, Neal tries to be a servant of the Word of God. His albums "Sola Scriptura" and "?" seem like some sort of sermon to me sometimes. I learned a lot as I was analysing the lyrics. Looking up lyrics in the bible. I learned about the Bible and about God's will, and I learned about myself. Still now, I can get emotional when I listen to this music, and I know it goes deeper than the music alone.

The middle two:
Both of his Testimony albums are a bit different. Yes, they are concept albums, but they tell his life story. It's very personal, which is totally understandable of course. But there's little to no biblical analysis (or exegesis if you like), like in "One", "?" and "Sola Scriptura". Some of his experiences I recognise, albeit not always in the same way. And then there are parts in the Testimony albums that are (should be) recognizable to christians in general. Like how he feels so down "while [he is] deep in [his] sin", always trying, always failing. Still, even after finding God, he discovers that he's still drawn to sin. But there's not all misery of course, there's also deliverance. That wonderful feeling when "something's started moving in your heart" and you want to "sing it high". All the way through these two albums (but also beyond of course) you can hear the gratitude. "Rejoice, for the king has come. Let the spirit move now and His will be done." Man, I love Neal's openness. His testimony is uplifting, catching (and catchy!) and 'contagious' in a good way.

The bottom three:
Then there's albums like "Lifeline", "Momentum" and "The Grand Experiment" which are not concept albums. To me, "Lifeline" is just a bit shallow, both lyrically as well as musically. Not enough meat to sink my teeth into, so to speak. It's like a worship album but in a prog coat, or maybe the other way around. I often wonder what caused this. Of course one year after "Lifeline" we got "The Whirlwind", which is a wonderful album. And the reunion was a big hype of course. I'd like to think that Neal, during "Lifeline", was saving all of his skills for this Transatlantic album. Now, it might seem strange to add "The Whirlwind" into my little rant here, but I think it was some sort of turning point for Neal. In Transatlantic, Neal was always speaking about his faith, but veiled. For his solo albums he was more open about his beliefs. After "The Whirlwind" he sort of took this custom (veiled lyrics) back to his solo albums, starting with "Momentum". I used to praise "Momentum" and "The Grand Experiment" when they were just released. While I still really like these albums and enjoy every song whenever I hear one, the initial fire is partially gone. Musically it's fantastic (but not better than the other albums), and I especially like the epics (World Without End is great!), which are sort of 'conceptual' in their nature. But to me, it's like listening to Transatlantic. Obviously, I like Transatlantic, but for other reasons than I like Neal's solo music. With "Momentum" and "The Grand Experiment", the lyrics are less tangible, less radically biblical. And I know that for some that's a plus. Even the word 'radical' makes people jump up in disgust. I think Neal's being too careful here, perhaps adding water to the wine.

That being said, while I think these are the bottom three, they're still three of the better albums compared to a whole lot in my cd cabinet.

With "The Similitude Of A Dream", Neal is finally back in concept album territory, and I feel that he's more focused. His lyric writing is more founded in something tangible again. There's a lot to analyse again and a lot to learn from. And now he is (they are) going to release another double concept album along the same lines. I'm sure it's gonna be a great adventure and a grand experiment.
« Last Edit: Fri, 2018-10-19, 22:18:57 by PH »