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Split Decision

  out of 4 Music Review: Split Decision

Artist: Steve Morse
Genre: Instrumental, Rock
Release Date: March 2002

Review by Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck
No rating supplied

I don't know how, but Steve Morse just keeps getting better and better. His music consistently remains fresh and new as a newborn's cry. "Spilt Decision" is the latest montage of six-string virtuoso from one of the world's greatest and perhaps most unheralded musicians. It amazes me to this day why this man has not reached legendary status on every corner of the planet. He seems to remain a cult hero, but he is steadfastly regarded as one of the premier masters by all of his contemporaries. Steve went back and forth with the label folks at Magna Carta about what concept he would use for this album and he finally decided that because he couldn't make up his mind…he came up with a split decision. Just going with the normal creative flow to present all the aspects and styles in his compositions is the zone he needs to be in. Magna Carta has allowed him that flexibility and more. It's nice to see a good man like Morse get his due respect and actually enjoy the label folks he is working with; it's a nice change that needs to be recognized.

Just when you think he outdid himself with his previous release "Major Impacts", he comes charging back like a raging bull back to raise the bar one more notch. Man, where do I start with this guy? He is always all over the musical map and it would be beyond reason to actually write about his music in absolute detail, so I will give you some highlights. First of all, let me say that this is a rock solid release with no weaknesses whatsoever in any department. The sound, production, and the musicianship are outstanding as always. You get some "Heightened Awareness" right out of the starting block as the opener is a rocking rave up in the usual straight ahead (complex) no frills style that he is so well known for. What a ferocious string bender Morse is, his tone is out of this world whether he is rocking in a "Mechanical Frenzy" or laid back doing an acoustic number like the Celtic influenced "Back Porch" or the new age textured "Natural Flow."

To say I enjoyed this is an understatement. By the third listen I was finally ready to sit down and actually ponder what I was going to say. There is so much to take in on a Morse album. His technique is amazing and he is a true-to-form master technician in every sense of the word. Simply put, he is a guitar player's guitar player, and a gift to all who find him along their path. I am always "Majorly Up" to listen to Steve Morse music.

1. Heightened Awareness - 4:19
2. Busybodies - 2:34
3. Marching Orders - 4:58
4. Mechanical Frenzy - 4:26
5. Great Mountain Spirits - 4:22
6. Majorly Up - 3:54 7. Gentle Flower, Hidden Beast - 5:37
8. Moment's Comfort - 5:33
9. Clear Memories - 3:21
10. Midnight Daydream - 5:18
11. Back Porch - 4:04
12. Natural Flow - 4:42



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