This is a real great singer/songwriter style album from my all time favorite artist. If you are familiar with Neal, be aware that this is NOT a big prog project. If you are looking for 30 minute epics, this isn’t your album. It is an up-beat, poppy, singer-songwriter style album in the vein of “Neal Morse” and “It’s Not to Late”. This one however is much stronger than those two albums though. The melodies are strong, the lyrics are uplifting, with plenty of catchy hooks.
Whatever Days is an up-tempo, Billy Joel inspired song about days long gone.
Heaven smiled is a slower acoustic tune that reflects on the beauty and joy found in the simple things in creation. Includes some nice gospel-choir style backing vocals.
Flowers in a Vase is an acoustic ballad written to his wife with a bit of a Eagles feel to it with a nice vocal melody in the chorus and a healthy dose of steel guitar peppered in for effect.
Love Shot an Arrow is a piano-led ballad about a life being changed by love. The song features more choir vocals and a nice string section to really make it stand out.
Song for the Free is an upbeat, percussion and synth driven worship tune.
Tell Me Annabelle is another piano-led piece which is one of the real vocal highlights of the album to me. Neal’s vocals sound quite good on this one.
My Time of Dying is a deep and introspective song about being at peace with one’s mortality and the afterlife. Musically it features some nice string parts and a really nice vocal harmony in the chorus and bridge.
When Things Slow Down is another Eagles/light southern rock inspired song about being to busy and longing for having more time to spend with family.
Daddy’s Daughter is exactly what it sounds like, it is Neal’s song dedicated to his daughter Jayda. Almost Neal’s answer to Steven Curtis Chapman’s “Cinderella”. If you are familiar with Neal’s story, then this one really is a standout.
Wear the Chains is a song about growing up, raising a family, paying bills, and how we often choose to “Wear the Chains” of what is safe instead of taking the risk and taking hold of the freedom when we have opportunity.
The Way of Love closes out the set similar to how it began, with an upbeat, Billy Joel inspired piano lead tune. This time around reminding us to search for and find love even when it’s difficult. This one has a nice groove and some good horns as well.