Flying Colors: Second Nature

Eclectic second record from pop-prog supergroup.

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It seemed like a fun idea, fusing four virtuosic big fish with one small-but-talented fish (vocalist/guitarist Casey McPherson) and seeing what happened. Having proved they could write decent tunes, rather than just exchange fiddly solos, album number two was about cementing their kudos as a real band – not a side project.

In places, certainly on first listen, Second Nature seems a little bit mental. From Steve Morse’s searing guitar heroism, to oh-so-proggy tangents in the epic likes of Open Up Your Eyes, a lot is packed in here. Spearheaded by a duo accustomed to progressive odysseys – Transatlantic buddies Neal Morse and Mike Portnoy – this shouldn’t be surprising.

But be not afraid of the synth noodles or the tempo changes, for amid all that trickery lie first-class tunes; owing as much to The Beatles in The Fury Of My Love as anyone else. “Pop with prog overtones”, as Portnoy has said. An eccentric, lush work./o:p

Polly Glass
Deputy Editor, Classic Rock

Polly is deputy editor at Classic Rock magazine, where she writes and commissions regular pieces and longer reads (including new band coverage), and has interviewed rock's biggest and newest names. She also contributes to Louder, Prog and Metal Hammer and talks about songs on the 20 Minute Club podcast. Elsewhere she's had work published in The Musician, delicious. magazine and others, and written biographies for various album campaigns. In a previous life as a women's magazine junior she interviewed Tracey Emin and Lily James – and wangled Rival Sons into the arts pages. In her spare time she writes fiction and cooks.