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NEAL MORSE ? Inside Out (2005)

Former Spock’s Beard member Neal Morse is certainly cracking along with his solo career, this being the follow-up to last year’s accomplished ‘One’ album.

Unlike last time there are some guests including Dream Theater’s Jordan Rudess (keyboards) and Mike Portnoy (drums), along with guitarists Alan Morse (Spock’s Beard), Roine Stolt (The Flower Kings) and Steve Hackett (ex-Genesis/GTR).

Like his previous two solo releases, lyrically it is very full on with religious content but don’t let this put you off as you’d be missing some fine music.

The grand string arrangements are still in place (opener ‘The Temple Of The Living God’ would give ELO a run for their money string wise!) to which has been added newer sounds like sax and bagpipes.

The secret to these albums success for me is that whilst having some long musical workouts to keep the prog rock fans happy (‘Solid As The Sun’ and ‘Outside Looking In’ on this album) the songs are based first and foremost on melody.

Overall this album is tighter with fewer long instrumental breaks and the new instruments added to the mix only further the enjoyment of listening to this album.

Three albums in and Neal Morse is maintaining his high musical standards. Wonderful music to be enjoyed by all!


Review by Jason Ritchie

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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