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Roine Stolt and Neal Morse: Degrees of Separation

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2011 has been a banner year for progressive rock, the genre that emerged in the late 1960s, peaked in the mid 1970s, and was threatened with extinction (certainly from a commercial perspective) with the advent of punk and new wave. Of course, prog never went away, and the music of seminal bands such as King Crimson, Genesis, Yes, Emerson, Lake and Palmer and Gentle Giant continues to sell well, forty years after some of them first emerged. If anything, prog's resurgence--which really began, with urgency, when the internet and message boards provided a place for fans spread around the world ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Neal Morse: Testimony Two Special Edition

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Neal MorseTestimony Two: Special EditionRadiant Records 2011 There are those who've claimed that rock music is “the Devil's Music," but for Neal Morse it's been just the opposite. Born again while leading Spock's Beard--on the vanguard of a new wave of symphonic progressive rock gaining traction in the late 1990s--the keyboardist/guitarist/vocalist's solo albums, beginning with 2003's Testimony (Radiant), have almost single-handedly created their own niche. Never shying away from his spiritual proclivities, Morse continues to produce some of the most eminently appealing progressive rock to stem from 1970s progenitors like Genesis, Yes, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Neal Morse: ?

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Multi-instrumentalist/vocalist/composer Neal Morse once again conveys his spirituality, set to progressive rock music, on this multifaceted presentation. He's an eloquent storyteller, regardless of whether he's being dogmating or simply dishing out a good-natured vibe. And there's no doubt about it: Morse's conviction cannot be reproached. Together with the ensemble's knotty time signatures and flair for the dynamic, the leader also gets his word across via sanguine intervals and appealing melodies. Think of classic Yes mixed with a contemporary progressive rock stylization, awash with propulsive rhythms, weighty crunch chords, and layered keys. Morse also implements the now ancient, but still popular ...



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