NEAL MORSE BAND, now known simply as NMB, will release of its fourth studio album, "Innocence & Danger", on August 27.
With NMB's previous two releases being concept albums, it's perhaps remarkable that "Innocence & Danger" is a series of unrelated songs, but drummer Mike Portnoy says: "After two sprawling back-to-back double concept albums in a row, it was refreshing to get back to writing a collection of unrelated individual songs in the vein of our first album."
Indeed, making this album came easy to the band; while the initial inspiration came particularly from Bill Hubauer (keyboards) and Randy George (bass), the ideas flowed from everybody from there on, as George recalls: "I am excited about the level of collaboration that we achieved on this one. We even went in with a lot of ideas that weren't necessarily developed, and I think in the end we have something that represents the best of everybody in the band."
In fact — like its two acclaimed predecessors — "Innocence & Danger" is a double album by inspiration, rather than design, as Portnoy explains: "As much as we wanted to try and keep it to a single album after having just done two double albums, we wrote so much material that we found ourselves with our third double album in a row. That's pretty prog."
There is also plenty in "Innocence & Danger" to excite those prog fans who have a thirst for epics, as Neal Morse explains: "There's one half-hour epic and another that's about 20 minutes long. I really didn't realize that they were that long when we were recording them, which I guess is great because if a movie is really good, you don't realize that it's three hours long. But there are also some shorter songs: some have poppier elements, some are heavier and some have three-part acoustic sections. I'm excited about all of it, really."
The album will be released as a limited 2CD+DVD digipak (featuring a making-of documentary), 3LP+2CD boxset, standard 2CD jewelcase and digital album, featuring artwork by Thomas Ewerhard (TRANSATLANTIC).
CD 1 (Innocence):
01. Do It All Again (08:55)
02. Bird On A Wire (07:22)
03. Your Place In The Sun (04:12)
04. Another Story To Tell (04:50)
05. The Way It Had To Be (07:14)
06. Emergence (03:12)
07. Not Afraid Pt. 1 (04:53)
08. Bridge Over Troubled Water (08:08)
CD 2 (Danger):
01. Not Afraid Pt. 2 (19:32)
02. Beyond The Years (31:22)
NEAL MORSE BAND was formed in 2012, featuring longtime collaborators Neal Morse (vocals, keyboards and guitars), Mike Portnoy (drums, vocals) and Randy George (bass), as well as Bill Hubauer (keyboards, vocals) and Eric Gillette (guitars, vocals). The band's first album, "The Grand Experiment", showed both a freshness and maturity that was further developed in 2016's "The Similitude Of A Dream", 2019's "The Great Adventure" and 2021's "Innocence & Danger".
Look for NMB on tour in North America in October 2021 and in Europe throughout May/June 2022.