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2.96 | 4 ratings | 1 review
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Album · 2001

Filed under Non-Metal


1. It's Not Too Late (6:26)
2. All the Young Girls Cry (4:59)
3. Leah (4:02)
4. The Angels Will Remember (4:33)
5. So Long Goodbye Blues (4:39)
6. The Change (4:41)
7. Broken Homes (3:59)
8. Oh Angie (3:21)
9. The Eyes of the World (George's Song) (4:09)
10. Ain't Seen Nothin' Like Me (5:10)
11. I Am Your Father (4:20)
12. Something Blue (4:24)
13. The Wind + the Rain (6:08)

Total Time: 60:56


- Neal Morse / Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Organ, Piano, Mellotron, Synth Percussion, Drums (tracks 9, 10 (bridge only))

Guest/Session Musicians:

- Nick D'Virgilio / Drums (tracks 1-6, 8, 10, 12-13)
- Debbie Bresee / Backing Vocals (tracks 2, 6)
- Susanne Christian / Backing Vocals (tracks 2, 6)
- Letty Jones / French Horn (track 3)
- Jim Hoke / Horn (track 5)
- Neil Rosengarden / Horn (track 5)
- Brad Wetmore / Bass (track 11)
- Jordan Zimmerman / Drums (track 11)
- Greg Westall / Guitars (track 11)
- Chris Carmichael / Strings (track 12)

About this release

Release date: June 11th, 2001]
Label: Ear Candy / Radiant Records

Thanks to adg211288 for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Neal Morse’s solo career started with a couple of albums that are quite different from the type of releases that will characterize his solo discography after he left Spock’s Beard in 2002. His first solo album, the self-titled album he released in 1999, bore only faint traces of progressive rock, focusing instead on a lighter pop-rock sound that only occasionally veered into prog territories. His follow-up release, 2001’s It’s Not Too Late, is even less prog-inclined. It is a largely acoustic album, built around simple, singer-songwriter tunes that prefer emotional directness and melodic accessibility over technical wizardry and structural complexity.

Oddly, this is an album that I like and at the same time dislike more than Morse’s 1999 solo debut. I like it better than his first album because it feels more honest and authentic. It does not try to strike a balance between Morse’s simple pop ambitions and his progressive rock “day job”, but it fully embraces his singer-songwriter sensibilities, presenting a collection of acoustic tunes written by Morse between 1980s and the months prior the release of the album. However, among the record’s 13 songs, I only find a handful of tunes that I can say I truly like. Most tracks are fairly anonymous and inoffensive light pop numbers that disappear from my musical memory as soon as the album moves on to the next song. Others are fun to listen to, but feel quite derivative and make me almost feel as if I were listening to a bar band rather than to one of the greatest prog rock musicians of our times (“So Long Goodbye Blues”, “Ain’t Seen Nothing Like Me”). Other tracks are just plain boring, as they lack a strong melody to carry them through (“The Eyes of the World”).

The tracks I fully enjoy are few and far in between. “I Am Your Father” is one of them. This is a song Morse had written with his old band from the 1980s, which in fact accompanies the singer on this re-recorded version of the tune. It is a very emotional pop-rock number, driven by Morse’s piano and powerful vocal delivery and enriched by some poignant lyrics about fathership. “Something Blue” is the other highlight of the record for me. It’s a more uptempo number graced by a gloriously catchy chorus that elevates the song to a different level.

There’s not much going on instrumentally throughout the album. Morse’s superb piano playing shines in some of the song and Nick D’Virgilio precise and sophisticated drumming is always a pleasure to listen to. But the songs feature intentionally simple and essential arrangements that leave little space for musical showmanship.

In short, there’s virtually no prog on this one, just a collection of simple and mostly acoustic tunes that are often pleasant, but rarely extraordinary. Morse is a great player, singer and songwriter, so it is really hard to find parts of his discography that are tout court bad, and It’s Not Too Late is no exception. Yet, this is probably among the weakest albums released by the man, and, unless you are a hardcore Morse’s fan or a completionist, you may want to skip this one and save your money for one of the other albums in Morse’s rich discography.

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