Flying Colors - 'Second Nature'

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Flying Colors - 'Second Nature'

This is one of the best albums that I have heard - ever!

The debut by Flying Colors was highly praised by both fans and critics alike. Like many, I feared that they might be struck down by the dreaded "second album syndrome" that seems to plague so many bands. I wondered if such a busy bunch of musicians could, or would, have the time needed to come up with another powerful album?

Basically I worried needlessly because the answer to have FC done it again is an emphatic YES! 'Second Nature' is without a doubt one of the most important pieces of music that I have heard and as a musical spectacle it is head and shoulders above the debut, in every single way possible. The melody, musicality and just sheer enjoyment you get each and every time you play 'Second...' is astounding and I have no problem saying that this is one of the best albums that I have heard – ever!

Now I could blather on about how good Neal Morse, Mike Portnoy and the others are but I won't. What I will tell you is that this album is really built around the mesmerizing talents of two people; vocalist/guitarist Casey McPhersen and guitarist Steve Morse. The latter because he has, quite probably, put in the best performance that I've heard by him and McPherson because he brings a new dimension to the (sometimes) stilted and samey world of Prog vocalists. It is a dimension that moves FC from being labelled as this or that type of band into one that defies pigeonholing. These two men make 'Second...' the best that it can be and as you listen to it, the joy and escapism it delivers is just out of this world.

Picking songs from an album that I think borders on perfection is therefore damn near impossible. Instead I'll just tell about one, my "Song Of 2014", the superb, amazing and any other superlative you can think of 'Peaceful Harbor'. A song that has just about everything you could want in a piece of music. Soft plaintive vocals, melodies galore, musicianship that is so good it will make weep, gospel choirs, full orchestration and production values that are second to none. Plus just to top things off, a guitar solo that makes the hairs on your neck stand-up every time you hear it. '...Harbor', as Portnoy told me in our interview, is just a magical song.

I could go on (and on) about just how much I love this album but space won't permit, so instead I have to say to you that no matter what genre of Rock you like/love, you have to own this truly mind-blowing hour of music. Without it no record collection is complete; simply beautiful.

Ian Johnson

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