It's Not Too Late (2001)
- It's Not Too Late
- All The Young Girls Cry
- The Angels Will Remember
- So Long Goodbye Blues
- The Change
- Broken Homes
- Oh Angie
- The Eyes Of The World (George's song)
- Ain't Seen Nothin' Like Me
- I Am Your Father
- Something Blue
- The Wind And The Rain
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
Review by Bob Mulvey
Courtesy of The Dutch Progressive Rock Page
It's Not Too Late is the second solo outing for Neal Morse and
follows in the footsteps of his first CD. This is a more intimate,
piano/keyboard led album and covers a wide variety of styles through
melodic rock and blues to gentle acoustic tracks and strong ballads. The
album comprises of thirteen songs, written over a long period of time -
the earliest dating back 1982 and all have the comfortable air of an
intimate almost "live" recording. Neal chooses to count in and
even comment on a number of the tracks, this laid back approach and
obvious passion for the songs makes you feel almost a part of the music.
The songs that make up It's Not Too Late are more concise and
song orientated than the music found on Spock's Beard albums, however,
Neal's distinctive voice and style of delivery will make it accessible
to followers of the band and ultimately, given the right airplay It's
Not Too Late could introduce Neal Morse to a much wider audience.
The opening song and title track of the album starts with piano and
voice and gradually builds into full flow with swirling hammond organ
and fellow Beard, Nick D' Virgilio, doing what he does best and laying a
great foundation for the track. It's Not Too Late is the longest
song on the album and Neal, Nick and the rest of the band "jam
out" to the end of the track. All The Young Girls Cry is a
catchy driving guitar based track with an infectious chorus line and
strong harmonies, if I were to take a track from the album as a single,
this would be the one.
First of the ballads and as with the title track, opens with piano and
solo voice, however Leah is a more melancholic track and the
instrumentation helps to build to make this an emotive and strong song.
The Angels Will Remember, So Long Goodbye Blues and The
Change follow very much in the mould and arrangement style
established with the first few tracks. Next track up is Broken
Homes, which sees Neal backed only by a solo acoustic guitar and
serves as one of the tracks that could easily form part of a longer
piece from Spock's Beard.
Oh Angie follows in the same style as All the Young Girl's
Cry - a possible follow up single perhaps? The Eyes of the World
(George's Song) features some interesting slide guitar and again
strong vocal harmonies in the chorus sections. Next up is You Ain't
Seen Nothing - a fairly laid back number with a nice bluesy feel.
I Am Your Father is the second of the ballads from the album
again starting with Neal's solo voice and piano which builds and is
possibly the strongest track on the album.
Something Blue lifts the tempo once again - an infectious track
in a similar vein as All the Young Girls Cry and Oh Angie.
The Wind and the Rain finishes the album - again a strong chorus
but for me the highlight of this track was the interplay between the
piano and drums on the outro - an excellent section.
This is not a progressive rock album by any stretch of the imagination,
however, it is a must for all Spock's Beard devotees. The tracks are
strong and full of melody and after listening to the CD several times, I
found many of the songs I could not get out of my head. Tracks for me
were Broken Homes, I Am Your Father and Leah. This
is a tricky one to give a rating for many of the reasons already
mentioned, however, I enjoyed listening to the material and for this
type of album I would rate it at an 8+.
Review by Captain MDA
Courtesy of Prog4you.com
I'm a diehard Spock's Beard fan. I've LOVED almost every single release
by them. So being offered a chance to review Neal Morse's second solo
release made me feel warm all over. Here was a strong member/part of a
band that was talking to me in a more modern version of the style of
prog I love. And I've been asked to review his newest release.
Okay. This is not a Spock's Beard CD. While Neal's voice with its gravel
sounding tremolo and his powerful punch can remind you of Spock's Beard,
this is of course NOT Spock's Beard! The reason this is not a Spock's
Beard CD is that the quality of the players (of course with the
exception of the phenomenal drum Master Nick D' Virgilio who stands as
tall as any drummer in any style of music and who of course is Spock's
Beard drummer), while good beyond question, do not mesh as a
As I listen to this Neal Morse CD, as well as his first, I can only
imagine what the musical world would be like if Kevin Gilbert had not
left this physical plain. Neal's work is so comfortably poppy. Kevin's
work was so prog poppy. I can only imagine of what a Gilbert/Morse CD
might sound like... But I ramble...
The songs on this CD are the type that should be all over the airways of
the radio in this musically bankrupt nation we live in. Songs of life,
songs of love, love lost, and more. But damn it, the songs are just to
heavy for the radio listening public to "get it".
There are songs on this CD that touch me in levels of my heart and soul
that most of the music I like avoid like the plague if you will. That
most music overall purposely avoid because, well it's just too real.
"The Angels Will Remember" should, no would be BIG if a larger
audience ever heard it. "Broken Homes" comes far too close to
my own life than I want to admit. "Leah" made me cry. The
beauty and ultimate truth of this song was something I had a hard time
not seeing. "I Am Your Father" had me calling my father that I
had not spoken to in almost 20 years. Its songs like this that make
those of us that "think and care" ask for something musically
deeper than we think we can see.
Neal Morse is a poet and a thinker. A man who has been in this R & R
Biz quite some time and who has penned a CD of highly emotional, heart
wrenching music. From "It's Not Too Late" all the way through
"The Wind & The Rain" this is a top notch CD. Is it better
than Neal's first solo release? Well, that's for you to decide. For me
this is an emotional roller coaster of GREAT music. I like it a lot. To
sum it all up, "Ain't Seen Nothin' Like Me" pretty much say's