Album review: FLYING COLORS – Third Degree

FLYING COLORS - Third Degree

Music Theories Recording/Mascot Label Group [Release date 04.10.19]

The third album by the supergroup Flying Colors who feature Casey McPherson (lead vocals, guitar), Neal Morse (vocals, keyboards, acoustic guitar), Mike Portnoy (drums, percussion, vocals), Deep Purple’s Steve Morse (lead guitar) and Dave LaRue (bass).

The thing I personally love about this band is that they go where the music takes them, be it a rocker in the shape of ‘The Loss Inside’, allowing Steve Morse to riff away and he again produces some wonderful solos throughout the course of the album. Or the 60’s psychedelic pop feel of ‘Love Letter’, where Neal Morse takes some of the lead vocals. Loving the vocal outro on this song.

‘Guardian’ features a bass solo which allows Dave LaRue to highlight his talented playing and a possible addition to the setlist to allow said bass solo to be performed live. Hints of Toto on ‘Geronimo’, another band who like Flying Colors, are not afraid to mix musical styles as they see fit.

Flying Colors have three talented singers, with Casey MacPherson taking lead vocals and you can hear the heartfelt passion he puts into ‘You’re Not Alone’, written by him after Hurricane Harvey in his hometown of Austin, Texas. Neal Morse and Mike Portnoy add their vocals to the harmonies on this. Simply superb, one of the many highlights on the album.

Even their epic songs (there are two on here ‘Crawl’ and ‘Last Train Home’ seem to pass by in a moment, such is the pleasure of listening to and enjoying them.

‘Third Degree’ is the band’s most cohesive to date and they definitely have their own sound/style, one that encompasses prog, rock, pop, AOR, jazz and more. Yet again Flying Colors lead the way musically leaving others to follow. ****1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie


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