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Nick D'Virgilio Neal Morse Ross Jennings: Troika
Nick D'Virgilio Neal Morse Ross Jennings - Troika Album Art

DMJ: Troika

Melodic Acoustic Rock
4.5/5.0

Once more we revisit with Neal Morse, the accomplished songwriter, musician, and producer known for his solo work but also many collaborations from Spock's Beard to Transatlantic to Morse/Portnoy/George. Now he arrives with a new partnership: Nick D'Virgilio Neal Morse Ross Jennings and their debut album Troika, three musicians working together.

Nick D'Virgilio Neal Morse Ross Jennings - Click For Larger Image

Nick D'Virgilio Neal Morse Ross Jennings: Polaroid dudes.

As the tale is told by Morse, in 2020 some of his songwriting was leaning to the inclusion of multiple vocalists which were also songwriters. Wherein he invited Nick D'Virgilio (formerly Spock's Beard) and Ross Jennings (Haken) to the recording. Both fans of acoustic and vocal harmony, both singers were on board. That last sentence essentially describes the musical character of the songs within Troika. The songs are written around acoustic guitar and vocal harmony. Without making DMJ sound old, but a listener might think of this musical conception as an intersection of CSNY and Simon & Garfunkul, both outfits known for their vocal harmonization. If you're looking for some of Morse's progressive melodic rock, this is not the album. Nevertheless, the acoustic guitar lines and vocal harmony of the song arrangements are lively and gladly self-evident within Julia, If I Could, What You Leave Behind, and Another Trip Around The Sun. A personal favorite arrived with A Change Is Gonna Come. Reminding of Dylan's culture upsetting song from 1964, the lyrics are inspired by Martin Luther King's statement, "the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." While Troika may not necessarily be a "rock" album, DMJ get peppy, even heavy, with King For A Day and Second Hand Sons, which has some quite strong guitar riffs working. Most things considered, if you put a premium on songs with strong vocal melody and harmony, look to Nick D'Virgilio Neal Morse Ross Jennings's Troika and you will be pleased. Easily recommended.




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The Take Away

Most things considered, if you put a premium on songs with strong vocal melody and harmony, look to Nick D'Virgilio Neal Morse Ross Jennings's Troika and you will be pleased. Easily recommended.

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