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Neal Morse - The Restoration - Joseph: Part Two CD (album) cover


Neal Morse


Symphonic Prog

3.89 | 48 ratings

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kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Honorary Reviewer
4 stars I strongly felt Neal's last album was a real return to form after his previous Christian musical, 'Jesus Christ The Exorcist', which was for me one of his weakest releases, although to be fair I do not think it is possible for Morse to put out a truly poor album. Needless to say, I have been looking forward to hearing this, and at long last we have the concluding part of the well-known story. 'The Dreamer - Joseph: Part One' finished with Joseph unjustly imprisoned, and in 'The Restoration - Joseph: Part Two,' we find him becoming the viceroy of Egypt and reuniting with his family. Neal assumes the lead vocalist role, plus there are a host of guests including Nick D'Virgilio (Spock's Beard, Big Big Train), Ted Leonard (Spock's Beard, Pattern Seeking Animals, Enchant), Matt Smith (Theocracy), Ross Jennings (Haken), Jake Livgren (Proto-Kaw, Emerald City Council) and Alan Morse (Spock's Beard), along with members of the Neal Morse Band, such as Bill Hubauer and Eric Gillette.

It must be said that some of this does seem somewhat like Morse by numbers, and there is no doubt we have previously heard the vocal approach on "The Argument" on songs like "Gibberish" ? it is very clever but there is definitely the feeling we have come across this before. It is a shame as the driving guitar which precedes it is simply wonderful, and then we morph into "Make Like a Breeze" where we are into classic driving prog which makes me almost forgive what just came before. The man is a genius, of that there is no doubt, but when working in a multi- instrumentalist fashion there is always the risk of not taking on new ideas and falling back on what is safe. The result is an album I have thoroughly enjoyed but is not at the heights of being truly indispensable, and given how much I enjoyed the first part I must admit to being somewhat disappointed. I understand that Neal feels it is his duty to keep spreading the word of Christianity as it is incredibly important to him, and over the years he has released some truly great albums (seeing him perform 'Testimony' in London was a very special event indeed), but if he is going to have the impact he desires then he also needs to rethink his musical approach, as while there are times when this is truly brilliant there are also others where we feel we have heard it before and are looking for something new.

It may not have been the brilliant conclusion I was looking for, but it is still worthy of investigation for those like me who have followed his career with interest ever since the arrival of 'The Light' all those years ago.

kev rowland | 4/5 |


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