Morse, Neal - It's Not Too Late

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Radiant Records
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 60:57:00

Neal Morse and Nick D'Virgilio, both Spock's Beard musicians of the highest caliber, release solo albums that are quite retired from their symphonic rock settings and have instead a delectable and radio-friendly pop nature ... methinks it's a conspiracy! Oh yes, this is progressive rock's latest plot to take over the world and gradually submit listeners to self-indulgent, album-long epics ... ok, maybe not. But Morse's second solo effort, It's Not Too Late, does feature the kind of music that is more likely to appear on your local radio station than either Spock's Beard or TransAtlantic. Can you spell it? Oh yes, you can: P - O - P.

If you can't stand the mere thought of one of modern symphonic rock's brightest beacons writing stuff that everyone you know wouldn't have a problem with listening to, do yourself a favor and stay away. If you're a Spock's Beard diehard, chances are you already know exactly what kind of keyboard adornments and touching ballads will cover the work of Morse, due to your experience with the man's first solo outing. If you just don't have a clue, and don't have a problem with radio-friendly music making you look less "intellectual" in front of your friends, you might actually want to check this out. It's not everyday that someone with a penchant for the progressive decides to slow down and record an entire record of short and simple songs; a task that, contrary to what many people may think, is not as easy as it looks.

The principal problem with the much-disdained genre of pop is that mental images of N'Sync immediately come up as soon as the three-letter palindrome is mentioned, instead of other, more respectable exponents like Don Henley. Additionally, it's not precisely easy to limit oneself to an average song length of roughly four minutes when one is accustomed to working without boundaries. The strength of good pop is found in memorable melodies, to-the-point arrangements, a healthy dose of feeling, and hopefully the avoidance of the one-hit-wonder syndrome, not in technique or multi-movement arrangements of majestic grandeur. And just like Bo, Morse knows.

Not only does he know, however; he uses this knowledge to the utmost when giving the beautiful ballad "Leah" a heart-rending tenderness, "The Change" an undeniably catchy chorus line, and "Ain't Seen Nothin' Like Me" a nasty, yet safe, zest of good-humored blues. All in all, the album is a good dose of well-written pop that maintains a balance between the serious and the slightly irreverent, yet never really becoming too dangerous. A healthy choice for pop enthusiasts, as there is really no way of going wrong with It's Not Too Late, but a bit more bite or danger would not have been entirely out of place here, and would have probably brought the album closer to the here unattained pop ideal.

Similar artists: Don Henley, NDV

Also released by SPV/InsideOut (08541692/41692) and by Ear Candy (ECRCD)

It's Not Too Late (6:26) / All The Young Girls Cry (4:59) / Leah (4:02) / The Angels Will Remember (4:33) / So Long Goodbye Blues (4:39) / The Change (4:40) / Broken Homes (3:58) / Oh Angie (3:19) / The Eyes Of The World (George's Song) (4:09) / You Ain't Seen Nothin' Like Me (5:10) / I Am Your Father (4:19) / Something Blue (4:23) / The Wind & The Rain (6:09)

Neal Morse - keyboards, vocals
Nick d?Virgilio - drums
Jordan Zimmerman - drums
Brad Wetmore - bass
Greg Westall - guitar
Chris Carmichael - strings
Letty Jones - french horn
Jim Hoke & Neil Rosengarden - horns
Susanne Christian & Debbie Bresee - backing vocals

Spock's Beard - The Light (1991)
Spock's Beard - Beware of Darkness (1995)
Spock's Beard - The Beard Is Out There Live (1995) (cd/vid)
Spock's Beard - Official Live Bootleg (1996)
Spock's Beard - The Kindness of Strangers (1997)
Spock's Beard - From The Vault - 1995-1998 (1998)
Spock's Beard - Day For Night (1999)
Spock's Beard - Live At The Whiskey and NEARfest (1999)
Neal Morse (1999)
Spock's Beard - Don't Try This At Home (2000)
Merry Christmas From The Morse Family (2000)
Neal Morse and Nick D'Virgilio - Two Separate Gorillas - Live In Europe (2000)
Spock's Beard - V (2000)
Transatlantic - SMPTe (2000)
It's Not Too Late (2001)
Transatlantic - Live In America (2001)
Transatlantic - Bridge Across Forever (2001)
Transatlantic - Bridge Across Forever - Special Edition (2001)
Spock's Beard - Snow (2002)
Testimony (2003)
One (2004)
Lead Me Lord (Worship Sessions Volume One) (2005)
? (2005)
Morse Portnoy George - Cover To Cover (2006)
Sola Scriptura (2007)
?: Live (2007)
Lifeline (2008)
Testimony Two (2011)
Testimony 2: Live In Los Angeles (CD/DVD) (2011)
Cover 2 Cover (2012)
Momentum (2012)
Neal Morse Band - The Grand Experiment (2015)
Neal Morse Band - Alive Again Tour 2015 (2016)
Neal Morse Band - The Similitude Of A Dream (2016)
Neal Morse Band - Morsefest 2015 (CD/DVD) (2017)
Life & Times (2018)

Transatlantic - Live In America (VID) (2001)
Testimony Live (DVD) (2004)
Sola Scriptura And Beyond (DVD) (2008)
Neal Morse Band - Morsefest 2015 (BR) (2017)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: August 11th 2002
Reviewer: Marcelo Silveyra
Artist website:
Hits: 677
Language: english


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