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Neal Morse - ? [Aka: Question Mark] CD (album) cover

? [AKA: QUESTION MARK]

Neal Morse

 

Symphonic Prog

4.20 | 574 ratings

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SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars Solid as the sun

The theme is again Christian here, but I do not find it 'preachy' in the way that I found Testimony and to a degree One too, preachy. While the subject matter of the lyrics is the tabernacle, most of the songs can easily be given other meanings by the listener. The theme is partly historical and partly Morse's own theology according to which 'the temple of the living God is you'. For me as an atheist, I don't believe in this at all, but I find it an interesting idea that is more individualistic than most Christian doctrine.

The musical influences seem to be Pink Floyd, The Beatles and Kansas. And Morse can indeed be seen as a songwriter in the same class as Lennon/McCartney and Kerry Livgren! The melodies are often Beatles-esque and very strong throughout, all the songs are very memorable. ? runs for less than an hour, which is great after the overlong Testimony and the quite long One. This album is much more consistent than Testimony and the tracks flow perfectly into each other to create a strong unity. I found it very hard to listen to Testimony both because its length and its overly religious theme. But here it doesn't bother me at all.

Steve Hackett, one of my absolute favourite guitarists of all time guests on this album to great effect. On 12 Hackett's guitars are mesmerizing!

? is a solid album and clearly one of Neal Morse's very best works, highly recommended!

SouthSideoftheSky | 4/5 |

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