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It's Not Too Late (2001)

Neal Morse - It's Not Too Late Tracklisting:

  1. It's Not Too Late
  2. All The Young Girls Cry
  3. Leah
  4. The Angels Will Remember
  5. So Long Goodbye Blues
  6. The Change
  7. Broken Homes
  8. Oh Angie
  9. The Eyes Of The World (George's song)
  10. Ain't Seen Nothin' Like Me
  11. I Am Your Father
  12. Something Blue
  13. The Wind And The Rain
Additional musicians:

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

Produced by:

Neal Morse

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 "band".

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 it all!


© 2003-2017 Mark Bredius and The Neal Morse Band