Album Reviews

Neal Morse – Momentum Review

Released by: Inside Out Music

Release Date: Out Now!!!

Genre: Progressive Rock

Links: http://www.nealmorse.com/

 

Line Up:

Neal Morse-Vocals, keyboards, Guitars

Mike Portnoy-Drums

Randy George-Bass

 

Tracklist:

1 Momentum

2 Thoughts Part 5

3 Smoke and Mirrors

4 Weathering Sky

5 Freak

6 World Without End

I. Introduction

II. Never Pass Away

III.Losing Your Soul

IV. The Mystery

V.Some Kind Of Yesterday

VI. Never Pass Away (Reprise)

 

Ever since leaving Spock’s Beard in 2002, Neal Morse has released a string of successful prog rock albums at a nearly semi-annual pace. This summer we’re treated to Momentum, an hour-plus of everything he’s known for-a lush soundscape of different elements, complex time changes and as solid pop sensibility.

Most of this, in fact borrows from his legacy with the Beard. “Thoughts (part 5),” a continuation of a theme from his older work, could easily be an outtake of V or Day for Night, bouncing between quirky keyboards, solid guitar jams and multilayered group vocals. My favorite so far, “Freak,” has a trippy Elanor Rigby-esque vibe that I get so wrapped up in that it took me a couple listens to catch the lyrics, which makes you look at the street people we see every day from a perspective we probably should…

I think another cool aspect is his continued work with his touring band of Avalon bassist Randy George and Dream Theater/Avenged Sevenfold/whoever else? drummer Mike Portnoy, along with another guest appearance of uber-guitarist Paul Gilbert on the title track. It’s obvious these guys really enjoy playing together, whether in the exuberant jams of the opener and Weathering Sky, or the somewhat brooding ballad “Smoke and Mirrors.”

It wouldn’t be a Neal Morse album without a epic multi-part composition, and “World Without End” is 7-parts that fit together into 30 minutes that sometime seems to have no end! Don’t get me wrong-this is a great piece that builds as it goes and is easy to get real lost in…but to enjoy it you’ve got to make a time investment to really enjoy it as a whole. A great one for a road trip or breaking in a good set of headphones.

Overall, I’d give this a 8. This would great intro for a newcomer to Neal’s music, and if you a fan…why haven’t you got this yet?

 

Written by Anton

Ratings    Anton    8/10

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