Fireworks

Neal Morse - 'Testimony 2' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/8e/aa/ed/1371_nealmorsetestimonytwo_1309284800.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     June 28, 2011    
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
9550   0   1   0   0   0

Artist

Title

Another addition to what's becoming quite a phenomenal catalogue.

Despite the undoubted talent of Neal Morse and the distinctive and emotional nature of his music, I'm afraid I have a love/hate relationship with his sprawling 2003 double CD 'Testimony'. Musically it's excellent, and the shows in support of it were jaw-droppingly good, but lyrically I have a hard time relating to any of his tale of Christian awakening, and his subsequent exit from the brilliant Spock's Beard was disappointing to many long-term fans, me included. His last album with that band, 'Snow', was one of my desert island discs, and in an interview to support it he explained to me how he was looking forward to touring it and maybe even playing it in its entirety, only for the next few weeks to reveal that at the time we spoke he'd already made his decision to leave. Subsequent Morse albums have been much easier listens, even despite the ever-present Christian themes, but I can't say a further instalment of 'Testimony' was how I would have wanted him to follow a triumphant year with the Prog supergroup Transatlantic, even if you do get Mike Portnoy on drums throughout.

'Testimony 2' is another major piece of work with the main story (on disc one of this 2 disc set) covering his time with Spock's Beard and up to his departure. There are three parts, each divided into four or five songs, the whole thing covering a mammoth 78 minutes, although he has managed to keep all but the last one at well under ten minutes. Part Six (the first one – one to five were on the first 'Testimony') is probably the most upbeat and is made up of a brilliant and typically grandiose Morse song with huge arrangements and a Transatlantic feel ('Mercy Street'), a complex prog instrumental ('Overture No.4') and a big ballad ('Jayda'), whilst the major talking point will undoubtedly be 'Time Changer' – an obtuse Spock's Beard type song with an a capella section and plenty of quirky, off-the-wall ensemble playing. The oddest thing about it though, given the events of the last decade, is that it's played and sung by most of the current Spock's Beard line-up, reuniting with their former frontman for a tune that pays homage to what they had.

Part Seven is a little more low-key and has a few musical departures, like the straight boogie parts of 'Nighttime Collectors', the Beatles-like 'Time Has Come Today', and the emotional and bluesy 'Jesus' Blood', where the lyrics make things a little uncomfortable before the progressive epic 'The Truth Will Set You Free' picks things up again.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

This website uses cookies to help us give you the best experience when you visit. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Statement.

I accept cookies from this site


I have to admit that Part Eight is where most of the talking points are, as that's the part of the story where he actually leaves the band, with 'Jesus Bring Me Home', 'Road Dog Blues' and 'It's For You' being the most poignant and heartfelt lyrics on the whole album, and with music to match. If you compare the album to 'The Whirlwind' then 'The Crossing/Mercy Street Revisited' is the coda that brings all the musical and lyrical themes together in one emotionally brilliant crescendo, the way only Neal Morse can.

If it's light relief you want – and let's face it, you probably need it at this point – then the 37 minute disc two features just three stand-alone tracks. 'Absolute Beginner' is a simple rocker that's so unlike his usual writing style, and 'Supernatural' is a superb upbeat song with great hooks and melodies, but it's the 26 minute 'Seeds Of Gold' that's probably the most valuable addition here. It twists and turns in typical Morse fashion with more good ideas than most artists have in their entire careers. There's plenty of light and shade, different song parts, time changes and great keyboard solos, not to mention an extended guitar solo from guest Steve Morse (no relation!)

Like the rest of his output, 'Testimony 2' is brilliantly written and produced, and the limited edition version of it includes the usual 'making of' DVD from Morse's ever present camcorder. If you've stuck with him thus far then this is a no-brainer and another addition to what's becoming quite a phenomenal catalogue.

Phil Ashcroft

Share this on the web.

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.

 


Comments (0)add comment

Write comment

security image
Write the displayed characters


busy

Member Login



Calendar

<<  October 2021  >>
 Mo  Tu  We  Th  Fr  Sa  Su 
      1  2  3
  4  5  6  7  8  910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031

Search Here

Shout Here

Latest Message: 4 weeks ago
  • Berny : RIP Alan Lancaster! :(
  • Berny : @Barneypippa: I forwarded your mail to the Fireworks team. You should receive a reply asap.
  • Barneypippa : My magazine (#96) hasnt arrived yet - should have been here last week
  • Rocktopia Te : @bakerstreetish: Pls. check your email for download instructions.
  • bakerstreeti : Hi, I just bought digital download #96. How will I be able to receive/access it? First time on this site. Thanks!
  • zom414 : Have they been posted out yet? Not received mine yet but may have the release date wrong!
  • Johns Band : Received glossy Fireworks 96 and one of best ever. I am still looking at pictures and "Revisit The Gods AOR Festive" should be great. Probably get download from issue 101 to save on space & it is read to me from audio voice. Already got Robben Ford Instrumental album "Pure" great stuff & Freddy King singing & guitar I love, so Bernie Marsden new album I will have on Amazon Prime. If you are into 70's Rock then new Help Yourself 6 CD Boxset + info will be good for you plus expert to pay no more
  • Berny : Fireworks #96 is out now! :)
  • Berny : @Paul wiv: Pls. check your email!
  • Paul wiv : I have paid for issue 92 but it hasn't downloaded yet.
  • Berny : @Adamson: Bitte kontaktiere mich direkt, meine Mailadresse lautet «email»
  • Adamson : kann man hier auch auf Deutsch schreiben? denn ich hätte eine Frage?
  • KI2000 : Wow, issue #95 has to be the BEST one so far. Congratulations guys!!
  • Hysteria : GREAT MAGAZINE! Keep on rockin' guys!!!
  • Berny : Fireworks Magazine #95 is out now!
  • Berny : @Paul wiv: Many thanks for your purchase, pls. check your mail.
  • Paul wiv : I have bought issue 89 on download but it has not appeared on my account
  • Berny : @pomper: BOTH of your mails were forwarded to the Fireworks Team, please contact me directly at «email» should you still haven’t received a reply.
  • bpomper : trying to confirm my fireworks 94 order with no answer from team rocktopia??
  • bpomper : i ordered fireworks number 94 but never got a conformation other than my paypal receipt. can you confirm it went out. i have transaction id if you need it
  • Berny : @ALL: Should you have any questions about your Fireworks orders, pls. contact me directly at «email»
  • Berny : Hi @Stuey6666: You are using two user names on Rocktopia. All current orders were assigned to your second account, pls. check your mail again.
  • Stuey6666 : Hi Berny - ordered 4 issues last week - still not arrived - have checked spam etc not there. cheers stu
  • Berny : @Adolfo: I've also just sent you the magazine via WeTransfer. But please check you junk mail folder, the mail was definitely sent earlier today.
  • Berny : Hi @Adolfo: Have you already checked your spam folder? If the mail cannot be found, pls. contact me at «email»
  • Adolfo : «email»
  • Adolfo : My e - mail
  • Adolfo : I don't have any e - mail.
  • Berny : @Adolfo: Pls. check your e - mail for download instructions.
  • Adolfo : I have order the #94 but I can't find the download

Only registered users are allowed to post

Follow Us

FacebookTwitterYoutubeGoogle

This website uses cookies to help us give you the best experience when you visit. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Statement.

I accept cookies from this site