Neal Morse (born August 2, 1960) is an American singer, songwriter, guitarist, keyboardist, and composer based out of Nashville, Tennessee. He was a founding member and front man of the Progressive Rock band Spock's Beard before leaving in 2002, is the lead vocalist/keyboardist of Transatlantic and Flying Colors, and has enjoyed an extensive solo career as a Christian Progressive Rock artist.
Originally from Los Angeles, California, Neal Morse learned to play guitar at the age of 9 and piano at the age of 5. He wrote two musicals, "Hit Man" and "Homeland" and did some session work, trying to get a record deal as a singer-songwriter. Eventually, he grew tired of the Los Angeles music scene and traveled around Europe playing on streets and in small clubs. He returned to the US in 1995, forming Spock's Beard with his brother, Alan Morse. They enjoyed some moderate success with their first album, The Light, and became one of the most successful Prog groups of the 1990s. In 1999 he, along with Mike Portnoy, Roine Stolt, and Pete Tewavas, would form the Progressive Rock supergroup Transatlantic.
In 2002, he became a born-again Christian and left Spock's Beard, wanting to incorporate his new-found faith into his music. He has enjoyed moderate success as a solo artist, making albums in a number of genres ranging from Progressive Rock and Progressive Metal to straightforward Praise & Worship and Christian Rock albums. In 2013, he was invited into another supergroup called Flying Colors with Mike Portnoy, David LaRue (Dixie Dregs), Casey McPherson, and Steve Morse (Dixie Dregs, Deep Purple).
- Neal Morse (1999)
- It's Not Too Late (2002)
- Testimony (2003)
- One (2004)
- Lead Me Lord (Worship Sessions Volume 1) (2005)
- God Won't Give Up (2005)
- ? (2005)
- Send the Fire (Worship Sessions Volume 2) (2006)
- Songs from the Highway (2007)
- Sola Scriptura (2007)
- Secret Place (Worship Sessions Volume 3) (2008)
- Lifeline (2008)
- The River (Worship Sessions Volume 4) (2009)
- Mighty To Save (Worship Sessions Volume 5) (2010)
- Testimony 2 (2011)
- Momentum (2012)
- Get in the Boat (2013)
- Songs from November (2014)
- The Grand Experiment (2015)
Neal Morse provides examples of the following tropes:
- Christian Rock
- Concept Album: A staple of his Prog output. Testimony and Testimony 2 are about his personal Christian testimony, ? is about the tabernacle of David, Sola Scriptura is about the Protestant Reformation, and One is about the creation of Adam and man's relation to God.
- Darker and Edgier: Sola Scriptura is heavier musically than the rest of his output.
- Epic Rocking: Happens almost once per album in the Prog album:
- One has "The Creation" (18:23), "The Separated Man" (17:59), and "Help Me/The Spirit and the Flesh" (11:14).
- Sola Scriptura has "The Door" (29:14), "The Conflict" (25:00), and "The Conclusion" (16:34).
- Lifeline has "Lifeline" (13:28) and "So Many Roads (28:43).
- Testimony 2 has "Crossing Over/Mercy Street Reprise" (11:46) and "Seeds of Gold" (25:59).
- Momentum has "World Without End" (33:39).
- The Grand Experiment has "The Call" (10:15) and "Alive Again" (26:42).
- Outside of the Prog albums, his self-titled album has "A Whole Nother Trip" clocking in at 23:58.
- Genre Roulette: Absolutely. Sola Scriptura is Progressive Metal, a lot of the albums are Praise & Worship, Songs from November is 80s-tinted Rock, Songs from the Highway is folk. And that's not even counting the occasional foray into other genres on individual tracks.
- God-Is-Love Songs: Pops up in the worship songs, occasionally in his other genre outputs.
- Gratuitous Latin: "Sola Scriptura" means "Scripture Alone" in Latin.
- Testimony has "Overture No. 1", "Interlude", "Overture No. 2", "Transformation", "God's Theme", "Overture No. 3", and "God's Theme 2".
- Testimony 2 has "Overture No. 4".
- Progressive Metal: Sola Scriptura
- Progressive Rock: Testimony, One, ?, Lifeline, Testimony 2, Momentum, The Grand Experiment.
- Rock Opera
- Shout-Out: "Mercy Street" from Testimony 2 is obviously one to Peter Gabriel.
- Uncommon Time: Naturally.