Neal Morse “Momentum”

Gatot Widayanto

Kemarin saya sempatkan meulis review album keren ini. Jujur aja saya tadinya rada males muter album ini karena musik Neal ya gitu gitu aja ….gak jelek tapi njelehi. Lha gara2 kepincut sama album anyar Spock’s Beard tahun 2013 ini saya kok ujug-ujug pengen juga nyetel album solo Neal Morse. Ternyata diluar dugaan saya ….Album ini keren musiknya dan nuansanya sungguh prog ROCK karena memang dinamis sekali musiknya. Dari trek pertama hingga terakhir terasa dinamis meski ada lagu yang pelan. Lagu terakhir adalah sebuah epic yang menawan. Majulah prog!





Studio Album, released in 2012

Songs / Tracks Listing
1. Momentum (6:25)
2. Thoughts Part 5 (7:51)
3. Smoke and Mirrors (4:38)
4. Weathering Sky (4:15)
5. Freak (4:29)
6. World Without End (33:39)

Total Time 61:17

Line-up / Musicians
– Neal Morse / keyboards, guitars, vocals
– Randy George / bass
– Mike Portnoy / drums
– Paul Gilbert / guitar (1)
– Adison Sodre / guitar (6)
– Bill Hubauer / clarinet, flute, guitar, keyboards (6)
– Eric Gillette / vocals (2)
– Wil Morse / vocals (6)
– Chris Carmichael / strings
– Rick Altizer / vocals (3,4)


Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator

4 stars I only spun this album and pay attention to the music once I listened to the latest album of Spock’s Beard and writing the review about it couple of days ago. I have to admit that this is really an excellent prog album with full rocking spirit from start to end. I almost did not believe that in fact Neal is much better as solo musician than being a front man and major composer of his legacy band : Spock’s Beard. I do enjoy this album from start to end.First off …let me give my say about the concluding track which is actually an epic “World Without End”. The epic starts in an ambient mode with keyboard work which is then followed with a blast of excellent music that moves dynamically with no vocal line for such a long period, approximately first six minutes. Oh yes ..the first six minutes instrumental part is so captivating and it sets the overall tone of the epic. For sure I enjoy the intro part which presents great combination of excellent performance as well as tight arrangement that create the music flows naturally. The next four minutes is a musical segment with lyrical verse where Neal sings beautifully in a rockin’ style and at the end is the change in mood to slower in tempo and mellow in style. What I really love is the part – a rocking one! – that start at approximately minute 11:53. The music turns into differrent style and mood with excellent keyboard riffs. there arae many breaks aound this area. The guitar solo is really stunning and of course I love this part in particular and love the whole epic. I just cannot believe that Neal still can do this wonderfully crafted epic. The most important thing is that even though the epic runs over 33 minutes overall duration, I never get bored with it. In fact ..the more I spin , the more I enjoy it especially the intertwined work of keyboard and guitar solo in the middle of the epic. It’s so captivating!

I think ..considering only the epic, it does make sense to purchase this album regardless the other songs are lousy …

But that’s not the case, really! The other songs are very good and excellent as well. The opening track “Momentum” (6:25) is an upbeat and rocking music composition that I guarrantee you would love it at first spin. “Thoughts Part 5” (7:51) is in fact rockier and faster in tempo than the opening track. the important part of this second track is the choirs like the one Gentle Giant did in the past. The choirs are really great and I do enjoy it as it sounds natural in the beginning part of the track. There is an interesting bass guitar solo in the middle, followed by a stunning guitar solo. Yeah!

“Smoke and Mirrors” (4:38) brings the album into a nice ballad with excellent acoustic guitar work at intro part. This song is mellow with memorable melody. Neal’s voice sounds great. There is a little prog component right here but it provides an excellent melody all over the track. “Weathering Sky” (4:15) brings the music into a rocking style again with excellent guitar solo and singing style. This track is heavily influenced by The Beatles. “Freak” (4:29) reminds me to The Beatles’ Eleanor Rigby especially at intro part where it has string sounds that accompany vocal.

Overall, this is really an excellent prog ROCK album in its truest sense. The composition has excellent harmony and many style and tempo changes throughout the album. Despite many changes the album still maintains its structural integrity so that produces an excellent cohessive whole. Keep on proggin’ ,,,!!!

Peace on earth and mercy mild – GW

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Posted Tuesday, December 24, 2013




5 Responses to “Neal Morse “Momentum””

  1. Kristanto Says:

    Saya suka permainan Neal Morse justru di band Transatlantic, dua albumnya : “The Whirlwind” dan “Bridge across forever” lumayan dahzyat menurut saya … Neal, Roine Stolt, dan Mike Portnoy sangat bagus berbagi keseimbangan dalam aransemen2nya.
    Di album terakhir, “Kaleidoscope” yg konon segera beredar, konon mengikutsertakan beberapa lagu cover, termasuk “And You and I” nya Yes sebagai bonus dics …

  2. andria Says:

    di album proyek Mike Portnoy: Flying Colors ada yg pernah ngomentari, “syukurlah bukan Neal yg nyanyi, dia lbih baik main keyboard aja”.

  3. cosmic_eargasm Says:

    Thanks infonya mas. Anggapan sy tentang Neal Morse selama ini sama persis dgn anggapan mas GW. Sepertinya ini adalah “momentum” yg pas buat mendengarkan Neal Morse sekalian menyimak lagi album2nya yg sblmnya juga. Kelihatannya Mike Portnoy menjadi drummer tetapnya Neal ya mas=

    Wah ada Paul Gilbert jg di album ini. Memang yg paling keren pas bawain “Karn Evil” nya ELP. Mungkin dr sisi itulah Neal mengajaknya. Tp seingat sy juga, Paul Gilbert, Neal Morse dan Mike Portnoy pernah bermusik bareng membawakan lagu2 The Beatles, jg pernah Gilbert dan Portnoy mentribute lagu2 The Who bersama Billy Sheehan dan Gary Cherone(Extreme). Ke 2 tribute di atas setau sy dalam format DVD.

    ::: Stay Prog :;:

    • Gatot Widayanto Says:

      Apa sih yang gak di tribute-in sama Portnoy? Waljinah aja belum dia tributin ….qiqiqi .

      Sebentar lagi Portnoy bikin Tribute to Koes Plus “Pop Jawa” ….ha ha …

      Gatot Widayanto

      “Don’t manage – lead change before you have to.” Jack Welch

    • Gatot Widayanto Says:

      Apa sih yang gak di tribute-in sama Portnoy? Waljinah aja belum dia tributin ….qiqiqi .

      Bentar lagi muncul Portnoy’ s tribute to Koes Plus edisi Pop jawa dgn irama ngerock

      Gatot Widayanto

      “Don’t manage – lead change before you have to.” Jack Welch

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