March 29, 2010

Neal Morse-So Many Roads (3 CD Live Set) Review

Neal Morse is a prolific musician with a long and successful career. With So Many Roads, a three disc live set recorded in Europe, he gives the listener a glimpse of his career. The discs span his lead role in progressive rock band Spock’s Beard to his more recent solo career creating his unique blend of Christian-Prog Rock and the prog super group Transatlantic. You have to admire an artist that is in total control of their career while releasing mostly all of their recordings on a homegrown indie label.

I think Morse has lost, gained, and kept fans along the way on his incredible journey of self discovery. Most importantly is the fact that he always makes quality music. Morse and his band take you on a fascinating musical journey on this impressive 3 disc set. The reason most listeners that enjoy prog will enjoy this is the fact that Morse gives a little bit of each collaboration he has embarked on, which entails a very impressive resume with several recordings.

The recording is excellent for a live setting and the vocals from Morse are clear and full. The musicianship is outstanding throughout the run of this comprehensive set. I enjoyed how Morse and his band create such powerful imagery with the lyrics and music. This is what the intention is when he gets on stage, he wants to convey a message, the most important being how he was once a lost soul that took all the wrong roads until he found the right one. The warnings and danger signs of a misguided soul are mapped out in the words and music (check out “Author Of Confusion/I’m The Guy”) and you find yourself rocking out and getting totally absorbed by the performances and hopefully along way getting some of the messages that Neal Morse holds so dear to his heart.

I know a lot of prog fans have been turned off by the strong Christian base of this music but there is more to this than just the subject matter. If you really love progressive rock and can put your own belief system and thoughts aside for a while then you can really enjoy all of this great music. I live a Christian life but I do not have a strong conviction and dedication for a religion like Neal has but that does not close my mind to what he has to offer. I can tell you this, I know great music when I hear it and all three CDs offer some of the best live prog-rock you will ever hear.

Key Tracks: So Mamy Roads, Author Of Confusion/I’m The Guy, Testimedley

4/5 Stars

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck

March 28, 2010

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