Hot on the heels on the highly succesful project Flying Colors here is more good news from the relentlessly creative pair of Neal Morse and Mike Portnoy: "MORSE PORTNOY GEORGE : Cover 2 Cover"
Together with Randy George (Ajalon), this group of talented musicians hand-picked a widely diverse selection of songs from all times that has impacted them in they formative years as performers.
Morse is one of the leading figures in progressive rock, whose notoriety follows his co-founding of the seminal band Spock’s Beard in 1995, recordings as a solo artist and contributions to the super-group Transatlantic.
Founder of Dream Theater, Portnoy is one of the most popular and respected drummers in both metal and rock, and an accomplished writer and producer, while Randy George has played in countless recordings including Morse's solo albums.
"Cover 2 Cover" is the follow up album to the trio's 2006 release and is it ever chock full of ear tingling, memory provoking music from over the years. Those songs are immediately recognizable and, yet, distinctly different, Morse, Portnoy and George have made these musical jewels all their own.
The selected material is eclectic, covering a diverse range of artists: from Bee Gees and The Osmonds to Neil Young and King Crimson.
A few classics like "The Letter" and "Rikki Don't Loose That Number", but mostly they have dug up some real obscure gems. "The Teacher" and "Lemons never Forget" are certainly not the first tracks that usually come to mind when talking about Jethro Tull and the Gibb brothers.
A favorite off of this album is the guys’ treatment of Styx’s "Come Sail Away", an outstanding cover of great classic. (Check the vido-sample below).
Another highlight is "Crazy Horses" (from the 2008 sessions), originally recorded by the Osmond Brothers back in 1972. Although not credited, virtuoso Paul Gilbert of Mr. Big fame play all the guitars on this track.
Choosing a third favorite out of an album full (twelve, to be exact) is difficult if not impossible. So, what I had to do was close my eyes and let my finger fall on the track list in order to make my choice. That choice? Their cover of Todd Rundgren's "I Saw the Light". What an incredible version of that iconic hit.
In "Cover 2 Cover", Morse / Portnoy / George manage to make these great songs their own, putting a new spin of many tracks.
Neal Morse sings everything with conviction and - once again - shows what a great multi-instrumentalist he is. Randy George is an inventive and versatile bassist and Mike Portnoy, well, I think it's fair to say he's simply one of the best drummers around. A man who can really PLAY the drums, not just banging around, using his amazing chops instead of just 'demonstrating' them.
If you were to have to pick one song to turn your friends on to the album, you couldn’t go wrong with picking any of the tunes from it. Morse, Portnoy and George are master artists, creating audio perfection with everything they undertake.
"Cover 2 Cover" is yet another example of that perfection, performed with soul and a warm feeling.
01 - Lido Shuffle (Boz Scaggs)
02 - I Saw the Light (Todd Rundgren)
03 - Rikki Don't Lose That Number (Steely Dan)
04 - Teacher (Jethro Tull)
05 - Driven to Tears (The Police)
06 - Come Sail Away (Styx)
07 - Southern Man / Needle and the Damage Done / Cinnamon Girl (Neil Young)
08 - Crazy Horses (The Osmonds)
09 - Lemons Never Forget (Bee Gees)
10 - The Letter (Joe Cocker version)
11 - (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding (Elvis Costello)
12 - Starless (King Crimson)
Neal Morse - Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards
Mike Portnoy - Drums & Percussion
Randy George - Bass
Paul Gilbert - Guitars on 8
BUY IT !