Supergroups – What do we make of those? Well, for starters, supergroups has a tendency to either not keep to what they have promised or fall apart very shortly after they did keep their promise, due to clashing egoes!
Flying Colors is a supergroup, which consists of guitarist Steve Morse (Dixie Dregs, Deep Purple), Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater) on drums, Neal Morse (Spock’s Beard) on keyboards, bassist Dave LaRue (Dixie Dregs) and vocalist, rhythm guitarist Casey McPherson (Alpha Rev). Just one look at the names of the members day jobs tells you more or less of which kind of music that could be expected on this record. Progressive hard rock that borders on metal, right? Well maybe… To put people like this together and not get something that’s in the vein of progressive is impossible. The question is how progressive? It’s really nice to be able to state that this album is much more accessible than one might think. I mean the performances by the musicians are of course faultless and they always play at the height of their ability, but the fact is the songs could very well be appreciated by both progressive fans and common mortals who just want to hear great songs. Because great and songs are the key words to this album.
”Blue Ocean” is brilliant and sounds like a progressive Foreigner, I can find a bit of Muse in the fantastic ”Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda”, on the masterful ”Kayla” I’m thinking The Beatles joining forces with The Sweet, writing a progressive ballad, ”Love Is What I’m Waiting For” mixes Beatles with Queen brilliantly and ”Better Than Walking Away” is a magnificent cheeseless ballad. Sounds interesting, huh? But there’s more. I hear different killer bands like Muse, Sixx A.M. and Dream Theater in the hard rocking ”All Falls Down” and ”Fool In My Heart” starts out like a 50’s pop song but moves into progressive AOR territory. Killer!
In the 12 minutes that ”Infinte Fire” embraces us, we get the album’s most progressive tune. It starts out as a heavy pop song that holds both funk and jazz, keeps going in a direction that makes me think of both Opeth and Dream Theater to finally take stroll down Yes lane. A masterpiece in one song.
So, do they hold up to what the names of the musicians promise? More so, Because this is one of the best CDs I have heard in years. There is nothing wrong with this album at all. Nothing! Will they be falling apart shortly due to egoes and what not? Probably not, because first of all, this is not a band per se, more a project, which is a pity and the musicians here aren’t known for being ego maniacs. What I do hope, though is that they at least tour a bit, maybe festivals and make another album. It would be a waste not to.
Jon Wilmenius (10/10)
01. Blue Ocean
02. Shoulda Coulda Woulda
03. Love Is What I’m Waiting For
04. The Storm
06. Forever In A Daze
07. Everything Changes
08. Better Than Walking
09. All Falls Down
10. Fool In My Heart
11. Infinite Fire