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Neal Morse - Lifeline CD (album) cover

LIFELINE

Neal Morse

 

Symphonic Prog

3.05 | 199 ratings

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infandous
2 stars So..........is it the will of God that his true believers can only write terrible lyrics???

I just don't understand. The guys in Glass Hammer are all Christians, yet they manage to write lyrics that aren't sappy and trite (well, okay, they DO write lyrics like that.......but at least the vary the topics of their songs a bit more). Even Morse himself managed some interesting lyrics on the previous album (first two tracks at least) and on the question mark album.

But here we have nothing but retreads in the lyric department. I will admit, the first track and Leviathan the lyrics are not terrible. In both cases the music is fantastic, if drenched in the Neal Morse Patented Prog Formula (in the case of the opening track, at least). The Way Home, God's Love, and Children of the Chosen should have been put on one of his worship album, as I thought that's what they were for. Albums for people who want exhortations of love to God. But his solo works, I thought, were supposed to be his PROG albums. Not worship music.

Then we have the obligatory epic. I generally love Neal's epic pieces, but this one just doesn't cut it. Sure, it has good moments, but it doesn't flow as well as his other pieces (the first two tracks on the previous album, for instance) and the Patented Prog Formula actually starts wearing thin for me on this track. On top of that, the lyrics are basically a condensed retread of the Testimony album.

The last track is another fairly bland paean to the glory of God (no! REALLY?????).

I said in my previous review that I was getting a bit tired of the sameness and blandness of much of Neal's lyrics. He obviously has a very specific style when it comes to prog music, but that really never bothered me much as I enjoyed his approach to it even if it was pretty repetitive in design. But here it just starts to wear on me. I think it's because this is a step down musically from the previous album, and lyrically it's a huge drop (which is saying something, considering the fact that every solo album since leaving Spock's Beard has had the exact same lyrical theme).

I'll add an extra star for the opening track and Leviathan, the latter being the most interesting and different track on the album (by Neal standards at any rate). But they are all that save it from being a one star album. Let's hope he finds some much needed inspiration working with Portnoy, Stolt and Trewavas on the upcoming new Transatlantic album.

infandous | 2/5 |

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