I’m not really one for Xmas music; I’ve heard enough of Noddy Holder and Roy Wood to last a lifetime, frankly and thank my lucky stars that my flat door doesn’t open onto the street: all the better to avoid the sound – and rattling coin boxes – of those pesky carol singers. There are exceptions to the rule, mind: I could listen to Fairytale of New York, Stop The Cavalry and It’s Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End) anytime of year, and whilst I’m not religious in the least, if there’s ever a good day for a bit of God-bothering then it’s today. So here’s one you won’t have heard on the radio: Neal Morse first made his name with American Neo-proggers Spock’s Beard, and left following the release of acclaimed sixth album, Snow in order to pursue music inspired by his new-found Christianity. Help Me/The Spirit and the Flesh featured on his solo debut, One, is the first song of his I heard (aside from Transatlantic) and it’s still among my favourites. Sure, it’s a little (ok, very) ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’, but it’s full of passion, melody and great playing. Featuring Morse on lead vocal, guitar and keyboards, there’s also tip-top backing from Randy George on Bass and one Michael Portnoy nailing the backbeat with uncharacteristic (by his and Dream Theater‘s standards) understatement. Damn, I’m feeling so festive right now I can even forgive Mr Morse his cheesy whoop at 7.27 😉
Merry Xmas and enjoy!