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Neal Morse - One (CD)

Neal Morse
by Thodoris Pantazopoulos at 07 December 2004, 9:49 AM

The whilom Spock's Beard leader, Neal Morse, yet continues to contribute to our favorite music but from another pitch. Having chosen the lonesome path of artistic expression, this charismatic and famed figure in the field of Progressive Rock proves that there can be life after the band, which consolidated him as a musical personality and is here to deliver his 2nd very personal child after his departure from the Beards very soon after the successful Testimony (2003).
The truth is that, musically Neal Morse's solo project isn't far differentiated by his former band. Prog Rock was always the case, and still is but this time the artist gives a greater depth in his music and does not totally converse with the direct and cheerful melodies as he once did. Having upon it the stamp of the grandeur and complexity of the lengthy compositions hailing from the 70's, Neil Morse's music borrows elements from bands like Queen, Flower Kings,Rush, Pink Floyd and becomes a prey for it's creator mood and limits. The possibility of getting something mediocre or just good from this kind of musicians is somehow out of the question . It's just all about how deep someone can go into this music; whether or not all notes have taken the right, coherent place in our minds.
Neal Morse's new album is a very sophisticated, multifaceted creation that demands and truly deserves attention and dedication. The fact that only 3 out of 8 compositions are below 9 minutes must sound intolerably boring or tiring to some, but think of what this music treats and the standards this artist has set. I personally assure you that especially the lengthiest tracks of this album will give you the greatest satisfaction, if of course you 're into that kind of challenge.
For some, Mike Portnoy's appearance behind the drum kit is probably the album's selling point, a commercial beneficence that couldn't happen otherwise. What I have to say over here is something really simple and honest: Morse's music kicks ass. It is by so many levels superior to millions of stuff I've heard in a long time, that even with a drum machine instead of a drummer it could still sound heavenly. God damnit, I bow before Mike Portnoy and I worship every fuckin' thing he has achieved with my all time favorite band, but if there's one protagonist in this album, it's none other than the music itself. Don't even speculate if it's superior or not to Testimony, Progressive Rock has reached it's peak for the year 2004.
- Album Highlights:  The Creation, Author Of Confusion,The Separated Man and Reunion
\[Chief Editor's Note: The rating changed from 4/5 to 4.5/5 after the author's request - Initial score was wrong]

4 Star Rating

The Creation
I) One Mind
II) In A Perfect Light
III) Where Are You?
IV) Reaching From The Heart
The Man's Gone
Author Of Confusion
The Separated Man
I) I'm In A Cage
II) I Am The Man
III) The Man's Gone (Reprise)
IV) Something Within Me Remembers
Cradle To The Grave
Help Me/The Spirit And The Flesh
Father Of Forgiveness
I) No Separation
II) Grand Finale
III) Make Us One
Neal Morse - Keyboards, Guitars & Vocals
Mike Portnoy - Drums
Randy George - Bass
Record Label: Inside Out Music


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