|©2000 Magna Carta
1. Derailleur Gears
2. Well, I Have
5. Led On
6. The White Light
7. How Does It Feel?
8. Bring It To Me
9. Something Gently Weeps
10. Free In The Park
With Major Impacts, his first solo album on uber-prog label label Magna Carta, guitarist Steve Morse returns with a tribute of sorts to some of the musicians who have shaped his hybrid style. The eleven compositions written "in the style of" concentrate on such classic 60s and 70s artists as Hendrix, Lifeson, McLaughlin, Clapton and the Byrds.
Musically, the songs are greatly enjoyable rock instrumentals with characteristically exciting playing by Morse and his usual acolytes Dave LaRue and Van Romaine. The production is surprisingly dynamic and ear-pleasing compared to some of Morse's other albums, which are often flat and dull. And for the first time in his career, the album features an elegant cover.
To the musician's credit, but to the detriment of the album's tribute aspect, however, is Morse's own unmistakable voice. The songs are clearly his; only in a few cases does one recognize the emulated artist ("Well, I Have" / Hendrix, "TruthOla" / Eric Johnson, "Led On" / Page, which features a very convincing Bonzo impression by Romaine, and "Something Gently Weeps" / George Harrison). This is probably because Morse is so much more proficient as a musician than his models (save McLaughlin and Johnson)...
In conclusion, this ranks among Morse's better trio records, if one is able to overlook the tribute side of the album.
Review by Rog The Frog Billerey-Mosier
Review date: 05/2001