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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Neal Morse Band - The Similitude Of A Dream  (Read 903 times)
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xx Neal Morse Band - The Similitude Of A Dream
« Thread started on: Nov 23rd, 2016, 2:00pm »

I wanted to share with you what I feel is the best album I have heard in 2016 and one that I think is up there with the likes of Pink Floyd's "The Wall" and Genesis' "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway!" I've tried to keep my reviews of the songs short and referenced towards other prog bands for those not familiar with Neal's previous work. It is a double album a based on John Bunyan's book "A Pilgrim's Progress." Those of you who love Genesis album art, the inside album art was done by Paul Whitehead who did "Nursery Cryme" & "Foxtrot."

The album cover can be found here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/40387900@N04/31213496682/in/dateposted-public/

The Similitude Of A Dream

1. Long Day
An orchestral intro with acoustic accompaniment that sets the stage for the journey ahead.

2. Overture
A Transatlantic-like launch into a series of themes that will be repeated throughout the album. Great guitar soloing Eric Gillette. Nice vintage keyboard sounds add to the atmosphere of epic instrumental.

3. The Dream
An acoustic intro that includes a Genesis-like feel similar to "Entangled." Seems fitting since that is a song to dream to!

4. City Of Destruction
An anthem of urgency that includes some great guitar licks by Gillette.

5. We Have Got To Go
This song has a Genesis-like keyboard solo with a "Firth Of Fifth" feel to it.

6. Makes No Sense To Me
The beginning of this song sounds like the the intro to a Genesis song entitled. Duke's End but then it quickly changes tempo into a Styx-like song.

7. Draw The Line
Drummer Mike Portnoy gets in some lead vocal duties on this one. It goes through several mood changes for a short song. From a driving metal feel to some Steely Dan-like soloing, this song has it all!

8. The Slough
A reprise of some of the themes played in the Overture with varying sounds including some very powerful soloing

9. Back To The City
A continuation of the more heavy driving themes of the album.

10. The Ways Of A Fool
This song is the oddball of the album, but that doesn't make it bad. Lead vocals are done by keyboardist Bill Hubauer. It's got a great hook that will stick in your head all day long! This sounds reminiscent of Queen's "Killer Queen" with great vocal harmonies. The keyboard soloing gives it a Yes/ELP feel.

11. So Far Gone
This is the heaviest driving song on the first disc and has Eric Gillette on lead vocals. It's an aggressive mix of guitar and keyboards that wakes the listener up!

12. Breath Of Angels
A mellow solitude of a song that slowly builds into an anthem accompanied by a small Gospel Choir.

13. Slave To Your Mind
A mix of ELP sounding soloing that is reminiscent of "Tarkus."

14. Shortcut To Salvation
This is the first song that sounds like something from a Neal Morse solo album. It has a killer sax solo that keeps it moving along.

15. The Man In The Iron Cage
If you thought "So Far Gone" had some heavy riffs, wait until you listen to this!

16. The Road Called Home
A Styx-like instrumental intro that winds down into a mellow mood of tranquility.

17. Sloth
A continuation of the mellow mood that includes some great vocal harmonizing.

18. Freedom Song
A blue grass type song that really fits the album lyrically. Those that know Neal's solo work will be reminded of "Sing It High."

19. I'm Running
Another Neal Morse solo-sounding song that lifts you up and doesn't let you down!

20. The Mask
The piano intro is reminiscent of Neal's song "Seeds Of Gold." On second listen, it also sounds similar to Tony Banks' piano intro to "Firth Of Fifth!" As the song continues, it has keyboard parts that duplicate the feeling of Pink Floyd's "Echoes."

21. Confrontation
A mix of the albums themes that produce an upbeat driving song leaving the listener asking for more!

22. The Battle
An all out solo battle of keyboards, drums, and guitar. A pre-grand finally!

23. Broken Sky/Long Day
The longest song on the album clocking in just under 10 minutes. Without giving too much away, it perfectly brings all the lyrical and musical themes together giving the album a perfect ending, thus begging the question, is this one of the best modern day concept albums since Pink Floyd's "The Wall" and Genesis' "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway?" That's up to the listener to decide...
« Last Edit: Dec 1st, 2016, 11:47am by HomeByTheSea » User IP Logged

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xx Re: Neal Morse Band - The Similitude Of A Dream
« Reply #1 on: Nov 23rd, 2016, 2:31pm »

I agree with you. It is a very fine album, indeed. Watching the making-of DVD that came with the digipak, I was surprised to see that Neal and Mike had a falling out as to whether it should be a double album. Mike's argument was that Dream Theater had just released a double album and he didn't want DT to think they were trying to one-up them. In the end, Mike believes this is the best album of his career, tied with DT's 'Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory.' I think it is fabulous and am glad Mike agreed to move forward with a double album. I have 4th row tickets to see them perform on January 21st 2017. Can't wait!
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xx Re: Neal Morse Band - The Similitude Of A Dream
« Reply #2 on: Nov 23rd, 2016, 2:33pm »

I have tickets for January 28th along with VIP. I can't wait to see Neal and company perform live for the first time! cool
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xx Re: Neal Morse Band - The Similitude Of A Dream
« Reply #3 on: Nov 23rd, 2016, 3:23pm »

on Nov 23rd, 2016, 2:33pm, HomeByTheSea wrote:
I have tickets for January 28th along with VIP. I can't wait to see Neal and company perform live for the first time! cool


I envy you, being your first time seeing them perform. The talent on that stage will make your head explode. These guys are amazing in concert.
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xx Re: Neal Morse Band - The Similitude Of A Dream
« Reply #4 on: Nov 23rd, 2016, 8:26pm »

Neal is the first artist outside of the Genesis collective that produce music this powerful IMO. You should write a review of the show in this thread. In the meantime I will try to post YouTube videos when I get a chance.
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xx Re: Neal Morse Band - The Similitude Of A Dream
« Reply #5 on: Nov 23rd, 2016, 9:42pm »

Here are some YouTube videos from the album for those of you who haven't heard any of the music:

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xx Re: Neal Morse Band - The Similitude Of A Dream
« Reply #6 on: Nov 23rd, 2016, 9:42pm »

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xx Re: Neal Morse Band - The Similitude Of A Dream
« Reply #7 on: Nov 23rd, 2016, 9:44pm »

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xx Re: Neal Morse Band - The Similitude Of A Dream
« Reply #8 on: Nov 23rd, 2016, 9:46pm »

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xx Re: Neal Morse Band - The Similitude Of A Dream
« Reply #9 on: Nov 23rd, 2016, 9:51pm »

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xx Re: Neal Morse Band - The Similitude Of A Dream
« Reply #10 on: Nov 24th, 2016, 06:28am »

Indeed, a very fine album.

Only on my second play, but enjoying it very much.

"So Far Gone" and "Breath of Angels" are instant standout tracks, however there doesn't appear to be any weakness at all smiley More listens required.
« Last Edit: Nov 24th, 2016, 06:29am by demolition man » User IP Logged

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xx Re: Neal Morse Band - The Similitude Of A Dream
« Reply #11 on: Nov 24th, 2016, 07:13am »

Hoping to get this for Xmas!
Loved Morse when he was in Spocks Beard,and his solo albums have all been excellent.I think a lot of people may be put off by his religious beliefs,and indeed in his earlier releases such as Testimony and Question etc,this was definitely the case.However his last album The Grand Experiment had less of this in the lyrics,so is this the case on The Simultude album?I understand its based somewhat on The Pilgrim's Progress stories?!
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xx Re: Neal Morse Band - The Similitude Of A Dream
« Reply #12 on: Nov 24th, 2016, 08:00am »

This album rated No1 so far during the 2016 releases, in the Prog/Archives web site. smiley
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xx Re: Neal Morse Band - The Similitude Of A Dream
« Reply #13 on: Nov 24th, 2016, 10:07am »

on Nov 23rd, 2016, 2:00pm, HomeByTheSea wrote:
I wanted to share with you what I feel is the best album I have heard in 2016 and one that I think is up there with the likes of Pink Floyd's "The Wall" and Genesis' "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway!" I've tried to keep my reviews of the songs short and referenced towards other prog bands for those not familiar with Neal's previous work. It is a double album a based on John Bunyan's book "A Pilgrim's Progress." Those of you who love Genesis album art, the inside album art was done by Paul Whitehead who did "Nursery Cryme" & "Foxtrot."


I like this album and can only rate this so far 7/10. Too me this album seems confused as it goes in all different directions.. Certain tracks has fantastic melodies and you get hooked to what sounds a great track, then all of a sudden the music will change instantly. This has definitely a Transatlantic feel to it on the style of the album. Have to agree on your review HomeByTheSea per track, spot on!... smiley

With Transatlantic they only had several tracks and the music dwelled extremely well together to what became a stunning band. The ELP/Genesis/Yes and Queen were spot on!! smiley

The tempo with the tracks is my only gripe with this album and hope I can get past that.. As a whole, music wise it's a wonderful album indeed. At the moment, there are some stunning tracks on this album.

smiley cool
« Last Edit: Nov 24th, 2016, 10:19am by Noni » User IP Logged

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xx Re: Neal Morse Band - The Similitude Of A Dream
« Reply #14 on: Nov 25th, 2016, 05:26am »

on Nov 24th, 2016, 10:07am, Noni wrote:
I like this album and can only rate this so far 7/10. Too me this album seems confused as it goes in all different directions.. Certain tracks has fantastic melodies and you get hooked to what sounds a great track, then all of a sudden the music will change instantly. This has definitely a Transatlantic feel to it on the style of the album. Have to agree on your review HomeByTheSea per track, spot on!... smiley

With Transatlantic they only had several tracks and the music dwelled extremely well together to what became a stunning band. The ELP/Genesis/Yes and Queen were spot on!! smiley

The tempo with the tracks is my only gripe with this album and hope I can get past that.. As a whole, music wise it's a wonderful album indeed. At the moment, there are some stunning tracks on this album.

smiley cool


Keep listening! This album has been getting great reviews by everyone and it seems to be on track for prog album of the year. The more listens you have the more it makes sense with all the melody and mood changes. It's sure to be a masterpiece! cool
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