It seems like the pandemic hasn’t had an impact on the musical creativity of Neal Morse. The musician from California has various outlets for his creative flow and with D’Virgilio, Morse, Jennings a next project was started by the singer and multi-instrumentalist in 2020.

Sometime during the pandemic and lockdown, Morse wrote songs that in his opinion could be enriched by other voices. With such a thought in mind the idea was even pushed to a next level. Why just asking other singers to join and why not letting them be part of the songwriting.

A few days after Christmas Haken frontman Ross Jennings received a phone call from Morse with the latter asking if Jennings would be interested in joining the project. The decision was quickly made and Jennings was on board.

With Nick D’Virgilio another singer joined which might not be the very big surprise. Morse and D’Virgilio have a common history with Spock’s Beard and doing such a soulful musical project together was tempting. With these three guys having found each other the name of the musical effort was easily found – ‘Troika’.

Eleven songs made it on ‘Troika’, elegant rock songs that unfold a first level of musical beauty right away. There are not the very complex structures that need to be unraveled. Catchiness and a light-hearted swing are the main pillars of the album. ’If I Could’ is an upbeat piece that invites for a sing-along. Although there is a charming expression that comes with ‘Troika’ the album also features lyrics that are beyond the rainbow-colored aspect of life.

‘A Change is Gonna Come’ has a political aspect and was written during summer 2020. It was Martin Luther King quote that inspired for the lyrics of this softly shining acoustic song. Next to these calmer moments, ‘Troika’ has with ‘My Guardian’ also a more rocking tune towards the end. All these tunes show the range of D’Virgilio, Morse, Jennings. This project is more than a pastime of three singers during the days of a global pandemic. It might be that this album would have never come to life under usual circumstances but looking for new opportunities in a different world was the ignition for ‘Troika’, an album that can help the replace negativity with a bit more of a positive mindset.

Rating: 8 out of 10.


  1. Everything I Am
  2. Julia
  3. You Set My Soul On Fire
  4. One Time Less
  5. Another Trip Around The Sun
  6. A Change Is Gonna Come
  7. If I Could
  8. King For A Day
  9. Second Hand Sons
  10. My Guardian
  11. What You Leave Behind

Label: Inside Out Music

Genre: Rock

Release Date EU: February 25th, 2022

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