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Split Decision

18 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 26, 2002
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$13.99
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$13.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 3 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Split Decision + Out Standing in Their Field + Stressfest
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Morse and company deliver delightful, memorable music. Good for the ears, good for the soul. -- Jedd Beaudoin for Ytsejam.com 2/27/02

Morse possesses an uncanny ability to play and compose tunes that effectively cross boundaries of rock, classical, jazz and folk. -- Conrad Stinnett for Goldmine (Review Of The Week) 2/20/02

From the Artist

"Working for Magna Carta was a real joy," says Steve. "They allowed me so much freedom. And it was a great executive collaboration; that is, they'd suggest certain things. Like on my entire 'Major Impacts,' album, they came with that whole idea. I mean, when was the last time a record label came up with a an idea that made a musician go, 'That's really cool.'?" On this second outing, Steve affirms it was the label's idea to present the songs in a thematic fashion, that is, with the first half more being upbeat and the second more mellow.

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Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
  1. Heightened Awareness 4:18$0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. Busybodies 2:30$0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. Marching Orders 4:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. Mechanical Frenzy 4:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. Great Mountain Spirits 4:20$0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. Majorly Up 3:53$0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. Gentle Flower, Hidden Beast 5:33$0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. Moment's Comfort 5:30$0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. Clear Memories 3:18$0.99  Buy MP3 
10. Midnight Daydream 5:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
11. Back Porch 4:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
12. Natural Flow 4:40$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 26, 2002)
  • Original Release Date: 2000
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Magna Carta
  • ASIN: B0000634G2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #99,068 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By southqwerty on March 28, 2002
Format: Audio CD
For someone of Morse's stature in the industry, you'd think he'd be content to just rest on his laurels and crank out sound-alike albums until he retires. Steve shows us again with this record that it ain't gonna happen!
This record is much different than anything I have heard out of him. Overall the record is much simpler than the rest of his work, emphasizing his melodic blues chops when not displaying his softer side with lush acoustic layers and layering of clean guitars - few do this better, by the way. About half the album is mid-tempo or slower ballads, immediately bringing to mind his 1989 solo effort, "High Tension Wires". But this is Steve Morse, so you can expect that most of the songs rock out pretty well at one point or another...it's just that it's a little more subtle. A good thing? I think probably so.
There's a ton a variety on this album, from the hooky opening track which sort of had me waiting for the vocals to come in (HA HA just kidding Steve!), to the one tune where he decides to knock your socks completely off from start to finish, "Mechanical Frenzy". Most of the songs on the first half of the record start with a softer intro part and then morph into something that really moves. The aptly named "Gentle flower, Hidden Beast", for instance, starts out with a Santana feel to it and then rocks into a classic Morse anthem.
It's interesting to note that the album he did before this was Major Impacts - which for the uninitiated, was an album of original music written in the vein of several different infulential artists. That record definitely left a mark on this one, with some of the influences on that record shining through loud and clear - like the Leslie West/Mountain parts in the title track.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 10, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Call this the mellowing of Morse. Though there is just one single truly acoustic song on the CD, there is a balance struck between ripping rock 'n roll and more introspective but uplifting melodies. In the liner notes, Morse claims he couldn't make up his mind whether to go with the rock band concept or explore his more mellow side instead, hence the title "Split Decision."
The resulting song cycle offers plenty of variety, a pleasant and engaging blend that drives the listener through many moods. The opener, "Heightened Awareness" is a heavy duty rocker, followed by the uptempo baroque ditty "Busybodies" in which Morse and bassist Dave LaRue play in unison throughout. "Marching Orders" encompasses the nature of the CD in a single song, starting out slightly jazzy and subdued, ultimately morphing into a raging assault. "Mechanical Frenzy" combines speed metal riffs with southern rock leads as well as Morse ever did with the Dregs, then out of left field, LaRue takes over with a bass lead.
My immediate favorite track on the album, "Great Mountain Spirits" is one of the stately mid-tempo rockers, with multi-layered guitars over booming bass and drums. The only instruments credited in the liner notes are guitars, bass and drums, but if that's not a flute and keyboards I'm hearing in this song, then it is some pretty stellar guitar synths! Nice. Soon, the CD then slows down to a jazzy, sometimes meditative tempo for several tracks, including the brilliant and enthralling "Moment's Comfort," another track where virtuoso Morse makes room for a Dave LaRue bass solo.
"Split Decision" is one of the most fully satisfying CDs of 2002.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 5, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Steve Morse has been a brilliant and innovative musician for so long that his formidable talents are taken for granted. On "Split Decision", Morse explores a variety of tones, textures, and styles. Morse has continually redefined the power trio in the last 10 years or so, exploring such musical forms as bluegrass, jazz, rock, and classical music within this musical form. Only Rush has stretched the musical boundaries of the power trio as much as Morse.
"Split Decision" is somewhat of a departure for Morse, incorporating more ethereal textures than his previous work. His collaborators, drummer Van Romaine and bassist Dave LaRue are just about the best rhythm section working, and they ably execute Morse's multifaceted musical visions. This CD is a cross between his early solo work on "The Introduction" and later solo works such as "High Tension Wires" and "Stressfest." The first half of the CD contains the heavy-hitting, finger twisting lines that we have come to expect from Morse. The second half contains more atmospheric, but no less stunning, music. Morse continues to grow as a musician, a rare and admirable trait.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By karlsarch on October 3, 2002
Format: Audio CD
As a long time Steve Morse fan, I would say that this album ranks high among all of Steve's solo and Steve Morse Band albums. Steve's versatility and virtuosity both in composition and performance are well showcased, and all of the tracks are consistently strong without being repetitive. The musicianship on this CD is astounding - but we've come to expect that from the Steve Morse Band. This CD won the "back-to-back" test for me - the first time I finished listening to it, I went right back to the beginning and cranked it again. Highly recommended!
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