BAND/AUTHOR:

FLYING COLORS

(UNITED STATES)

TITLE:
THIRD DEGREE (2019)
LABEL:
MASCOT LABEL GROUP
GENRE:
ROCK

"An effective, varied and insolently easy album that avoids the mainstream !"
ABADDON - 31.12.2019 - (0) minds from our readers - (1) comment(s)
4/5
You don't change a winning team. The super-group Flying Colors is faithful to its principle: to bring together (very) famous names to offer titles with progressive colours carried by a song with pop accents, a way of transmitting to as many people as possible a more sophisticated music than the mainstream. And it works: the project initiated in 2008 by producer Bill Evans ended four years later with the release of a critically acclaimed debut album. On instruments, a dream quartet, Neal Morse (Spock's Beard, Transatlantic), Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater, Transatlantic), Dave Larue (Dixie Dregs, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai) and Steve Morse (Dixie Dregs, Kansas, Deep Purple). On the microphone, a name proposed by Portnoy and from Disney Hollywood Records (!), Casey McPherson, who in addition to his background as a singer, had a solid experience as a composer and instrumentalist. After two studio albums and two live albums, here is "3rd Degree" which covers exactly the same recipes.

The same ingredients, the same result: from the outset, the band's mastery is an evidence, with accessible melodies, a clear and dynamic production and a sovereign instrumental mastery. Each instrument is highlighted, Neal Morse's keyboards ('The Loss Inside','Crawl','More'), Steve Morse's guitar ('Geronimo','Crawl'), Dave Larue's bass ('Guardian'), and throughout the Portnoy's drums which have been discreet (and efficient, of course) here. With its pop placement, Casey McPherson brings a beautiful freshness that doesn't forget the precision ('You Are Not Alone').

On the composition side, it was to be feared that Neal Morse would phagocyte the style, but, as in previous editions, each contribute for a very well-melted whole. It is only on 'Cadence' and 'Last Train Home' that Neal's style is evident, but different reminiscences emerge, from the Dream Theater soft ('More') to Kansas ('Last Train Home' - funny when you know that Kerry Livgren had been approached to be part of the project !). On the longest tracks, which are not surprisingly the most complex, the parts intertwine with evidence, interspersing scat ('Last Train Home'), 70's choirs ('Love Letter' with a great shuffle), and many progressive touches (theme covers, solos, breaks...) naturally resulting from the protagonists' journey. The only relatively weak track is the ballad (required passage) "You Are Not Alone", well caught up by the final guitar takeoff.

Efficiency, variety, virtuosity, insolent ease... "Third Degree" is certainly to be put in all hands even if it lacks a little of the soul that makes great albums. But what a lesson in mastery at all levels!

More informations on http://flyingcolorsmusic.com/



SIMILAR BANDS:
KINO, NEAL MORSE, KARMAKANIC, JEFF BUCKLEY, MUSE, TRANSATLANTIC

TRACK LISTING:
01. The Loss Inside
02. More
03. Cadence
04. Guardian
05. Last Train Home
06. Geronimo
07. You Are Not Alone
08. Love Letter
09. Crawl


LINEUP:
Neal Morse: Chant / Claviers
Casey McPherson : Chant / Guitares
Dave Larue: Basse
Mike Portnoy: Chant / Batterie
Steve Morse: Guitares


TAGS:
Easy Listening / FM, Chorus
 
 
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NEWF - 24/11/2019 17:14:26
0
Très bel album, particulièrement agréable et éclectique. Chaque pointure formant le super groupe Flying Colors sait rester à sa place et se mettre au service des compositions tout en sachant s’exprimer quand il le faut. Un travail d’équilibriste qui mérite vraiment d’être souligné vu le CV de chaque musicien. Deux morceaux m’empêchent cependant de classer "Third Degree" dans la catégorie des albums incontournables : ‘More’ et sa filiation avec Muse bien trop voyante et ‘Love Letter’ dont la référence aux Beatles et aux Beach Boys me parait un poil anachronique. Malgré ces petits bémols, l’album est d’une grande richesse mélodique et reste un régal de rock à tendance progressive vivant et inspiré.
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