Flying Colors
Flying Colors


2.8
good

Review

by Greg Fisher STAFF
March 28th, 2012 | 58 replies | 12,716 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Constantly ranging between exhilarating and lacklustre, Flying Colors is a shockingly uneven rock album.

Aside from the title of Jethro Tull's song, Flying Colors is a brand new super group formed by such progressive rock legends as Mike Portnoy (drums, vocals), Neal Morse (keyboards, vocals), Steve Morse (guitar) and Dave LaRue (bass) who unexpectedly team up with Casey McPherson, a fairly unknown pop singer with an admirably wide vocal range. This line-up has been intriguing from the get-go, which has only aroused sky high expectations for their self-titled album. Fans of labyrinthine progressive techniques of songwriting may be sorely disappointed since the band opts for straightforward, alternative-inclined songs most of the time. Flying Colors, in fact, is a varied album that revolves around the multitude of references including various nods to traditional progressive rock, accessible hard rock or even melodic pop.

While Casey McPherson seems to be the odd one in the group of refined musicians, he truly lives up to the game with his diverse vocal delivery. It's not entirely his fault that the album doesn't quite measure up to the talent involved in creating it. As expected, Flying Colors features top-notch musicianship from every player with numerous flashy moments scattered throughout. However, it's the clearly lacking in consistency song craft that bogs the record down. The disc begins superbly with “Blue Ocean,” a loving ode to the 1970s progressive rock that feels both playful and genuine. The track that follows, awfully titled “Shoulda Woulda Coulda” contrasts the idyllic tone of the opener with a high-octane, driving guitar play that references King's X in its prime. Additionally, McPherson recreates Scott Weiland's falsetto combining it with a hook-driven chorus to startling effect. After these two standout tracks, the album slowly mellows out and thus deteriorates in quality. “Kayla” has endearing verses that build to an overly sappy chorus, while “The Storm” is a forced attempt at radio rock that recalls Coldplay with its tepid arrangement.

Later on, the songwriting continues to be hit or miss interweaving irresistible infectiousness of “Forever In A Daze” and Beatlesque playfulness of “Love Is What I'm Waiting For” with drab, trite and downright unmemorable ballades in “Everything Changes” and “Better Than Walking Away.” The title of the most captivating cut in the clearly inferior second half of the disc goes to endearingly restrained “Fool In My Heart.” This track, which is almost exclusively sung by Portnoy, appears to have an autobiographical undertone that reflects on his break-up with Dream Theater.

Given the collaborative character of the project, it comes as apparent that the record should capture the personal style of each member. Apart from pop tendencies which derive from McPherson's aesthetics, Neal Morse has managed to leave his stamp on the vast sections of the album with his distinct pastoral take on progressive rock. In particular, the splendid opener would feel at home on his religiously themed records. It's a shame that his contribution often had to give way to a simpler, less challenging approach to many songs. With a yawning gap in quality between its highs and lows, Flying Colors might be regarded as an album of lost potential which seems tepid and half-baked, especially when compared to the best work of musicians involved.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Funeralopolis
March 28th 2012



11218 Comments


sounds ambivalent

Digging: Banks - Goddess

NeutralThunder12
March 28th 2012



8742 Comments


heard one song off this and it was pretty good, far superior to adrenaline mob

greg84
Staff Reviewer
March 28th 2012



7361 Comments

Album Rating: 2.8

This is ambivalent. I love some songs on here. Totally don't care for the others.

Digging: 68 - In Humor and Sadness

Funeralopolis
March 28th 2012



11218 Comments


neutral thunder hotel- in the Boeing P-12 Over The Sea

greg84
Staff Reviewer
March 28th 2012



7361 Comments

Album Rating: 2.8

It's better than Adrenaline Mob for sure... yet, it isn't saying much.

bloc
March 28th 2012



34773 Comments


Was going to check this out a few days ago, but decided not to.

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

Killerhit
March 28th 2012



5249 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

download link or stream?

greg84
Staff Reviewer
March 28th 2012



7361 Comments

Album Rating: 2.8

Blue Ocean, Shoulda Coulda Woulda, Forever In A Daze, Love Is What I'm Waiting For, Fool In My Heart are all worth checking out.

D41V30N
March 28th 2012



949 Comments


Drum legend Mike Portnoy...
...
...
... (remembers Adrenaline Mob)
...
...
... (remembers that I gave that a 1)
...
...
... Maybe I shouldn't check this out. Great review, though.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
March 28th 2012



7361 Comments

Album Rating: 2.8

Thx. Haha. I get what you mean. I've only checked this out because of Neal Morse.

Jethro42
March 28th 2012



12391 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great review, Greg. I guess you guys have already listened to the album for me. Thank you. Well, due to the prestigious lineup, I have to give it a listen. A quick one I guess.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
March 29th 2012



3367 Comments


Hi! Good review! I checked this and the record has its moments. It's cool.pos

greg84
Staff Reviewer
March 29th 2012



7361 Comments

Album Rating: 2.8

@Jethro42:
I think you may like it more than me. So give it a spin. I predict a 3.5 from you.

@insomniac15:
Yeah. The good moments on this are awesome. Thanks.


JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
March 29th 2012



20416 Comments


I still need to check this out.

Great review as always, Greg.

dante1991
March 29th 2012



531 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I really enjoyed this.

Blue Ocean and Infinite Fire are the instant standouts, but Kayla is extremely catchy with great melodies (should be the single), Everything Changes is great and All Falls Down is nice and energetic. Also, Portnoy gives a surprisingly good lead vocal performance on Fool in my Heart, unlike his terrible contributions to vocals in Ad Mob / DT

NeutralThunder12
March 29th 2012



8742 Comments


is this better than disturbed mob

Palimpsest
March 29th 2012



77 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review, though I disagree with the general sentiment. And yes, it's better than Adrenaline Mob by a mile.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
March 29th 2012



7361 Comments

Album Rating: 2.8

I knew many people would disagree. For me, the first two tracks are highlights. All Falls Down really seems out of place. I can't really stand Kayla. Everything Changes and Infinite Fire are decent at best.

kingsoby1
Emeritus
March 29th 2012



4950 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

album is stupid

DoubtGin
March 29th 2012



6749 Comments


agree with the rating greg

expected too much after reading who was involved in this I guess (especially Neal Morse)



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