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Neal Morse - Testimony CD (album) cover


Neal Morse


Symphonic Prog

4.05 | 433 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars Well, now I will go against the general stream because I have several problems with this release. Neal Morse left Spock's Beard and Transatlantic because he made a major, evocative exprerience which changed his life completely. That's something you have to respect. The difficulty is, that this experience is a religious one. Thus it is, so to speak, intersubjectively not accessible. Neal Morse fails because his subjective, individual experience is, to an extremely high degree, ineffable. Songs like "Oh lord my God" or "(God take me) I'm willing" may mean endlessly much to him but the individual meaning of the lyrics stays barred for all others. At best, Morse could have tried to explain how much it means to him, but the intention to explain WHAT it means to him is foredoomed and leads to banality. Parts of which Morse says they bring him to tears are supremely banal for the listener. That's what I blame Neal Morse for.

But also the music suffers. Testimony provides a lot of cheesy pop songs. It shows that there is a difference between Neal Morse music and Spock's Beard's prog rock. And I don't think that Neal Morse made the (quasi-) better Spock's Beard album. The prog elements unique to the so called "Overtures", "Colder in the Sun" and some bridge passages. There's nothing of it integrated in the songs.and that's what accounts for "Beware of Darkness" and other Spock's Beard albums. The sample Mp3 "Colder in the sun" really draws a misleadingly positive pattern. The song features everything I'm missing on the remain of the album and thus is everything but representative.

So that's my humble opinion, different from others but what can I do. Important is that Testimony has nothing to do with Spock's Beard and that it is, at least for me, lyrically banal. Many reviewers said that the lyrical content isn't as bad as they expected, but what did they expect then? So two stars for "Colder in the sun", the "Overtures" and some short parts in between. My personal recommendation: Stay away from it unless you have a fondness for "Jesus loves you records".

diddy | 2/5 |


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