Neal Morse

One

Metal Blade

Along with Sweden’s The Flower Kings, Los Angeles-based Spock’s Beard represented the cream of ’90s progressive rock. Neal Morse left the Beard to its own devices after fronting it for a decade, and “One” is his second solo album since then and fourth overall. 

Handling all the keyboards and most of the guitars himself, Morse is joined by Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy, up-and-coming bassist Randy George and (on a few tracks) guitarist Phil Keaggy. The result is (pardon the pun, Neal) one hell of an album.

This time out, the artist is not as overtly religious but certainly more progressive than on his last solo effort, “Testify.” Lyrically, he addresses his/mankind’s separation from and return to God. Musically, the long songs and epic instrumentation — often enhanced by horn and string arrangements — are as good as and possibly better than anything by his former band or even his former side project, Transatlantic.

There’s a lot of questionable product out there under the “progressive” banner, but “One” unquestionably belongs to the genre.

Tracks
1. The Creation
    I. One Mind
    II. In A Perfect Light
    III. Where Are You?
    IV. Reaching From The Heart
2. The Man’s Gone
3. Author Of Confusion
4. 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
5. Cradle To The Grave
6. Help Me / The Spirit And The Flesh
7. Father Of Forgiveness
8. Reunion
    I. No Separation
    II. Grand Finale
    III. Make Us One

Total time: 1.3 hours

External links
artist’s website
amazon.com

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