Next to Transatlantic, Flying Colors seems to crystallize as the most consistent of all projects by former Dream Theatre drummer Mike Portnoy. But beware: the word "project" is not a word you like to hear in this context. All five musicians involved insist at every opportunity that Flying Colors is a real band. Anyone who has experienced the supergroup consisting of string witch Steve Morse (Deep Purple, Dixie Dregs), keyboarder/singer Neal Morse (ex-Spock's-Beard, Transatlantic), Drum-Oktopus Portnoy, bassist Dave LaRue (Dixie Dregs, Steve Morse Band) and vocal wonder Casey McPherson (Alpha Rev) live will immediately sign this statement. The chemistry seems to be absolutely right, to which its almost triumphant European tour in 2012 certainly contributed. Flying Colors is something special for everyone involved, that is clear. On "Second Nature" the quintet now shows itself as a clearly matured unit, which is why they no longer needed an external producer like Peter Collins. While the amazing debut in 2012 was even more of an experiment, a collection of different facets and timbres, now you get the impression of a unified band sound (incl. strings and gospel choir at the mega ballad "Peaceful Harbor"). Of course, all five members will include their typical trademarks. But the result is a refreshingly fresh sounding mix of rock, pop and an increased prog portion, whereby the surprise effect of the debut is compensated by a more sophisticated songwriting. Frighteningly beautiful catchy choruses and melodies, wonderful instrumental descents and fantastic harmony songs make "Second Nature" an extraordinary album, which contains with "Open Your Eyes" and "Cosmic Symphony" two impeccable long tracks.
Top track: Cosmic Symphony