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The Grand Experiment (Special Edition) by Neal Morse

3 Disc Special Edition Digipak (containing the main disc, bonus audio disc featuring 3 unreleased studio tracks and 2 live tracks from the phenomenal [Morse]fest weekend, and a "making of" documentary DVD in special packaging)

For the first time ever prog icon Neal Morse came into a recording session with his long time friend and collaborator Mike Portnoy, Randy George, Bill Hubauer and Eric Gillette...with NOTHING! He had no prepared material at all. Neal comments, "I wanted to see what it would be like to create freely in the room with no preconceived notions. It was quite a risk!" On previous albums, like the Testimony album for example, Morse had the entire album written in advance. "I used to be rather paranoid about whether things would turn out in the short space of time we had available...so I would fill all the space in advance!" This album was totally different. "I made a lot of room for the other guys to create and express themselves and the result is outstanding! We wanted to experiment, do something a bit different, and see what everyone is capable of...we found out...in SPADES!" The results are obvious! This was a "grand experiment" that produced something far beyond anyone's expectations!

Votes:
4
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327
Year:
2015
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Likes (3)

Pendragon MikeInFla oldschooldoom

Comments (1)

Feb 14, 2015 08:27:33 PM
I love most everything Neal touches. I have been a fan since the Spock's Beard days. I have been a member of the Neal Morse Inner Circle since it started. So, all of that to say, I have quite a bit of his stuff, and love most all of it. This release was a grand experiment. For those not knowing the idea behind this being called the Neal Morse Band, it is because usually Neal writes and demos everything before entering the studio. Those demos are sent to Mike Portnoy and Randy George, and then they bring it together in the studio and record it all. However this time, Neal did none of that. Plus instead of the majority of the music coming from the core three guys, the other 2 touring musicians came in too - and the five guys wrote and worked things out in the studio. All five had input, and the majority of the tunes were freshly worked out at that time.

I like it, I really do. But I have to be honest, it is unlike other releases, in that it does not grab me from the start and carry me thru to the end. It's good, but it doesn't strike me as being as great as most all previous releases have from the start. I will probably end up loving it over time, but after 2 weeks of playing it, it just still hasn't really "grabbed me" like usual.

I am glad i purchased the deluxe set, because a couple of the bonus tracks I actually like more than a couple album tracks. Overall it is a well rounded prog rock album with flairs of metal. I guess I am more used to a bit more of the heavier edge than we find here.
#1The Call
#2The Grand Experiment
#3Waterfall
#4Agenda
#5Alive Again
#6New Jerusalem (Freedom is Coming)
#7Doomsday Destiny
#8MacArthur Park
#9The Creation (Live from Morsefest)
#10Reunion (Live from Morsefest)
#10Reunion (Live from Morsefest)
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