Title - 'Songs From November' (Radiant Records)
Artist - Neal Morse
Now this really is an album to breeze through the impending Fall season with, trust me! Having spent the first half of 2014 which on tour with progressive-rock supergroup Transatlantic, Neal Morse is about to release here in August a brand new solo album entitled Songs From November.
Some may say that November finds singer/songwriter Morse much the same musical vein as his last album, It's Not Too Late, but I would disagree. I would say he's ramped things up, smoothed out the curves by bringing in both Chris Carmichael and Jim Hoke; as well as the McCrary sisters.
Word has it Morse had to choose these 11 songs from 21 that he had originally recorded. Song recorded, of course given the title, made up mostly of songs written in November 2013. That said there are also some choice cuts from deep within his immense back catalogue.
It kicks-off, quite literally with the joyous pop saxophone inflections of 'Whatever Days,' before immediately quietening things down on the acoustic brilliance of 'Heaven Smiled.' Next up is the country-tinged 'Flowers In A Vase' ("Let's light up the fireplace, let's slow down the human race"), then comes the we've-all-been-there tale 'Love Shot An Arrow,' then the fast-paced, and highly patriotic 'Song For The Free.'
The American singer, multi-instrumentalist, bandleader and progressive rock composer based in Nashville, Tennessee continues onwards with the haunting 'Tell Me Annabelle,' before the balladeer comes to the fore within Morse for the uber impressive, 'My Time Of Dying.'
The laid back tempo of 'When Things Slow Down' is next and this album-to-watch is then finally brought to a close (sadly) with the (one assumes) personal-to-Morse 'Daddy's Daughter,' the stand-up-and-be-counted 'Wear The Chains,' and then finally the fun 'The way Of Love.'
Reviewed by: Russell A. Trunk