Michigan based recording artist Jeremy Morris continues to add to his already impressive discography racking up an impressive 50+ titles. In the 30 years since he began this musical sojourn Morris has dabbled in a variety of musical genres including pop, classical, psychedelic, folk, prog, and Christian rock.
Earlier this year I review his album "From The Dust To The Stars", which I found highly enjoyable.
"Searching For The Son" , released on the Russian label MALS, is his second collaboration with Uzbekistan musician Vitaly "Progressor" Menshikov. Their first album, the 2005 release "The Pearl Of Great Price" was a blend of classical music and electronic space rock.
For their follow-up "Searching For The Son", the duo and fellow guest musicians seemingly morph into a single mind. Listening to this impressive wall of keyboards from three different musicians makes it impossible to tell just who is responsible for what. I suppose any one of the three accomplished musicians could have recorded the keyboard tracks alone - but what fun would that have been. I'm assuming they all brought something new and different to the table to justify three keyboardist. Just not sure who served up what on each track. But that aside, the end result is nothing short of astounding.
"Searching For The Son" is a finely crafted collection of electronic orchestral compositions propelled by driving guitar and layer upon layer of lush melodic keyboard arrangements; complete with a deeply spiritual message reflecting Morris' devout Christian ideals.
Multi-instrumentalist Morris (vocals, lead guitars, 12 string guitars, bass, grand piano, Mellotron, synthesizers, drums) and Menshikov (synthesizer, organ, electric & acoustic guitars, bass, drums) are joined by guest musicians Jon Dawson (keyboards, guitar, bass, drums percussion, loops), Who alumni John "Rabbit" Bundrick (drums), Fromuz mainstay Albert Khalmurzaev (keyboards) and Bill Morris (trumpet, saxophone).
Jeremy Morris' vocals are a cross between John Lennon and Pete Sinfield giving the tracks a trippy psychedelic era Beatles feel.
With three superb keyboardists adding layers of orchestral textures, otherworldly synthesizers, and soaring Mellotron chord washes the effect is quite majestic. As is the smoking guitarwork from both Morris and Menshikov.
The band that immediately comes to mind when listening to "Searching For The Son" is the Canadian group Klaatu - once rumored to be a pseudonym for The Beatles.
Comparisons can also be drawn to early Syd Barrett Pink Floyd, Kinetic Element, the instrumental interludes of The Moody Blues, Mike Pinder's solo album "The Promise", and Pete Sinfeild's album "Still", and any number of 60s' psychedelic bands.
Echoes of David Bowie's "Major Tom" can be detected on the spacy ballad "The Mirror".
Recommended to fans of the above mentioned bands as well as electronic synthrock bands like Tangerine Dream, Alicia Coral, and Vangelis.
Reviewed by Joseph Shingler on November 25th, 2013