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on 22 May 2012
Hot on the heels on the highly succesful Flying Colors [Limited Edition]here is more good news from the relentlessly creative pair of Neal Morse and Mike Portnoy. Covering 12 of their favorite songs.

And a very interesting collection covering a diverse range of artists: from Bee Gees and The Osmonds to Neil Young and King Crimson. A few classics like "The Letter" and "Rikki Don't Loose That Number", but mostly they have dug up some real gems. "The Teacher" and "Lemons never Forget" are certainly not the first tracks that usually come to mind when talking about Jethro Tull and the Gibb brothers.

Neal Morse sings everything with conviction and - once again - shows what a great multi-instrumentalist he is. Randy George is an inventive and versatile bassist and Mike Portnoy, well, I think it's fair to say he's simply one of the best drummers around. A man who can really PLAY the drums, not just banging around. Using his amazing chops instead of just 'demonstrating' them.

Like all good cover/tribute records they manage to make the songs their own. Putting a new spin of many tracks. But perhaps doing this they tend to make the album slightly monotonous, not really paying tribute to the individual song and it's uniqueness.

None the less this a true gift for all fans of classic rock, prog and the joy of superb musicianship and sheer class!
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on 22 May 2012
Messrs Morse, Portnoy and George playing some of their favourite songs.
And great fun it all is too!
I think this is much stronger than its predecessor, packing a lot more punch.
Fundamentally, these are sessions - the guys taking time out from recording "Lifeline" and the forthcoming "Momentum" albums.
If you purchased the Special Edition of "Lifeline" you will already have some of this material.
Given: excellent musicianship and performances!
Starting with a slick version of Boz Scaggs "Lido Shuffle" - a great and very enjoyable opener.
Next is Todd Rundgren's "I Saw The Light" - once again, very complimentary with some great harmonies. Likewise with "Rikki Don't Lose That Number" - smoothly done and without any fuss; almost like-for-like.
On to a great rendition of Jethro Tull's "Teacher" with Neal singing a la Ian Anderson; and there's some cool flute interludes.
"Driven To Tears" (Police), is - yet again, very deferential and Portnoy does a good Stewart Copeland!
Next - "Come Sail Away" (Styx) with its trademark 'gentle' intro before it bursts into full bloom giving Mike Portnoy a great opportunity to get muscular. Excellent!
Then we're into a Neil Young set - "Southern Man/Needle and the Damage Done/Cinnamon Girl" - nothing particularly standout but maintaining the standard.
Then it's time for Portnoy to thunder into "Crazy Horses" wherein he growls the lead vocals and Morse plays Osmonds harmonies!!
"Lemons Never Forget" is a (perhaps) lesser known Bee Gees song performed respectful way - nicely done. And - I write this the day after the death of Robin Gibb.
"The Letter" - in Joe Cocker mode - not The Box Tops; gives Neal a chance to go Cockeresque!
Nick Lowe's "(What's So Funny About) Peace Love and Understanding" - energetic and rather "punky" as it should be.
Finally - King Crimson's "Starless" clocking in a 12 minutes plus; it is a fitting homage to the song and an appropriate doth of the cap.
I really enjoyed this album having purchased it direct. Sorry but the Amazon price is (at the time of writing), way too much!!!
Fun - VERY enjoyable but never is there any compromise with quality - these guys do NOT compromise!
An important mention for Randy George, whose fine bass playing underpins this throughout!
I recommend this to the House!!!
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on 16 December 2012
Part of the fun with these guys is guesseing what they might cover. There are no boundaries. Except that the songs are all actually good ones. They have certainly reminded me of music I had forgotten or ignored from the past. I bet people go an buy the original versions due to hearing this. They should get paid by the original artists record companies for doing them and not pay to get a license to cover songs of someone elses.
This is a 5 star album from beginning to end!
You're So Wrong
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on 25 December 2014
I'd you like the musicians on the album you'll love there reworking of these classics.
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