Editors’ Notes The Whirlwind updates the grand visions of Yes and Procol Harum with rich melodies, heroic lyric themes and complex arrangement structures. Lead singer/keyboardist Neal Morse turns in some of his most transfixing performances since his Spock’s Beard days, tempering his dramatic vocal gestures with a sense of vulnerability and longing. Also noteworthy is Roine Stolt’s expressive acoustic guitar work and the vigorous, rhythmically challenging drumming of Mike Portnoy. Epochal numbers like “Rose Colored Glasses” and “It is Really Happening” are bound to delight any prog-rock devotee. Equally impressive are more concise, poppier tunes like “Out of the Night” and “Pieces of Heaven.” The otherworldly grandeur of the 12-plus minute closing track “Dancing With Eternal Glory/Whirlwind (Reprise)” is worth the price of admission alone. The Whirlwind’s sheer scope seems demanding at first, but proves surprisingly accessible as it unfolds track by track. If it takes nearly a decade to make albums this satisfying, so be it.

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