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The Twenty Committee - A Lifeblood Psalm CD (album) cover

A LIFEBLOOD PSALM

The Twenty Committee

 

Crossover Prog

3.77 | 59 ratings

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ScorchedFirth
2 stars (5/10)

I'm usually willing to give any free music a chance, and since this was available on BandCamp, and also because the music comes with the implied endorsement of Neal Morse (whose studio was used for the recording), I thought I'd give it a go. So I went into The Twenty Committee's debut album, "A Lifeblood Psalm", with some hope but without many prior expectations.

I've found a reasonable amount of high quality music available for free on the internet, but this was a bit of a let-down. A lot of the songs just plod along unthreateningly with no real excitement, ending without much ceremony, and I do struggle to remember many passages (even writing this straight after having listened to the album). It isn't anywhere into annoying or thoughtless pop, but for me it is slap bang in the middle of bland. Maybe I haven't given it enough listens, but none of the reviews mention this as a particular 'grower' so I think I'll just leave it here.

One of the biggest problems for me are the vocal lines. Though they may be pleasant enough to listen to, they come across as very standard with no real personality behind them. There's not much intensity or range, and crucially very little variation.

Some parts call to mind the duller sections of Coldplay or maybe Elvis Costello; music that I have no problem with, but do not personally care for. It's not that the album is downbeat or depressing but on the whole dull, with not enough overall variety in the sound. The softer ballady sections of the album are so by-the-numbers as to be completely unremarkable. The keyboards and guitar can also feel a little lifeless and cheap at times. I'm not sure if this is a problem with recording, mixing, or the instruments themselves, but I do think it is a noticeable and distracting flaw. Half the time the sound is just rather insubstantial, especially in the vocal sections.

There are some good touches in the music here and there. Some of the keyboard solos grab my attention, and the instrumental sections of the multi-part suite "The Knowledge Enterprise" are an album highlight (especially the piano in the overture/finale). But a lot of the album is just too generic for me to swallow, and my reaction at the end of it just ends up being a resounding 'meh'. I usually write a bit more than this for my reviews, but on this occasions I don't have much else to say about it, it all just feels a bit... flat really.

If it sounds like I hate this, I actually don't, there's nothing here really I hate, personally I just find the majority of this album to be forgettably mediocre, really not much more than a mild bore. But I am perfectly content listening to it in the background whilst doing something else. Good for you if you enjoyed "A Lifeblood Psalm", but this album didn't really hold anything noteworthy for me, especially with respect to progressive music.

ScorchedFirth | 2/5 |

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