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RHETORIC

Credo

 

Neo-Prog

3.93 | 92 ratings

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SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars 'Rhetoric and lies'

My first acquaintance with the songs from Credo's second album, Rhetoric, was not with this studio album version but with the live DVD release This Is What We Do on which all of the tracks from this album are featured in live versions (though not in the same running order as on the studio CD). It was not until much later that I heard this original studio version of Rhetoric and needless to say what I first heard on the live DVD did not create a strong enough desire in me to search out the studio album at the time, though I guess I always intended to do so at some point or other. And now I finally did. Frankly, I expected the studio versions to be very similar to the live versions and to add little or nothing of value to what I already had, and I was indeed very right about this. Still, both the live DVD and the studio album are worthy releases in their own right.

In many (most?) reviews of Neo-Prog albums one can read that the band in question is derivative and similar to Fish-era Marillion. Very often such accusations are inappropriate and out of place, but regarding Credo's Rhetoric it is actually very apt. Rhetoric is a concept album that revolve mostly around love, (failed) relationships and emotions of loss, etc. Both the lyrics and the vocals here are heavily in the 'romantic' style of Fish and (like some of Fish's lyrics) some of the lyrics here are rather self-indulgent and naive. The lyrics of The Letter, which is musically one of the strongest numbers on this album, are really pathetic! I guess we all feel something like this sometimes, but expressed like this it comes across as self-indulgent in the extreme. As I have mentioned in some previous reviews, I would like to call the style of the music found on Rhetoric 'romantic' Prog. Other examples of this style are Marillion (especially Misplaced Childhood) and Clive Nolan's Shadowland (especially the Ring Of Roses album).

This album is hardly original or ground-breaking in any sense and I think it is fair to say that it is a rather typical British Neo-Prog release, heavily in the tradition of 80's Marillion. As such, it is far from the worst, but also not the best. Credo were still struggling to find their own musical identity at this time and while they clearly are competent musicians and all of the songs here are good, it is hard to be impressed by anything on Rhetoric. If traditional British Neo-Prog is your favourite type of music, you probably cannot go wrong with this album. But the classic Prog purists should avoid this like the plague.

Good, but certainly not essential

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |

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