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The New Neal Morse Appreciation Thread

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infandous View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote infandous Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 24 2013 at 10:34
I check in on this thread occasionally as I love most of Neal's music.  Now I see zumacraig has gone off ranting!  Not a surprise though, from his comments on the Flower Kings thread over the past year or two.  While I actually agree with him almost completely, I find this sort of discussion is not really suited for music appreciation threads.......don't we have a place on the site for non-musical discussion? (there is, it's called General Discussion Wink )

It used to really bother me that Neal focused on such Christian lyrics and themes, to the point that I avoided buying his music.  After a while though, I just decided that music isn't about beliefs or political views or anything besides "moving air molecules around" (to paraphrase Frank Zappa).  It can be used as a vehicle for such things, but that is completely secondary to me........though I do enjoy good lyrics.  On Momentum, I liked that Neal has toned it down a couple notches, and the lyrics were no longer such blatant references to his beliefs.  Not that there is anything wrong with that per say, but I just got tired of it because it's not something I relate to.  However, I have found that I CAN relate to his general theme of being lost and confused and not sure what to believe.  I just didn't come to the same resolution as he did (I'm not an atheist, but I'm not a Christian and don't follow a specific belief system......they are all man made and man is, as should be obvious to everyone by now, inherently flawed and self deceiving).

Anyway, getting back to music, I wasn't crazy about Momentum musically.  I have always loved Neal's "patented prog formula", as I call it, but it has started to get old for me.  I'm hoping on the new TA some more risks will be taken, some new avenues will be explored.  I seriously doubt this will happen though, as TA knows what their fans want.......good old fashioned retro 70's prog with modern production values and approaches.  This still can be quite good for my tastes, but we'll see.  I really liked the Whirlwind, but wouldn't ever call it a masterpiece or even great.  Just very good and suited to my tastes.  So we'll see.

In any case, I have a great deal of respect for Morse, despite my not sharing his religious beliefs.  My feeling has always been, more power to him for doing what he loves and saying what he wants to say.  More and more musicians are doing that these days, with less and less reward for it.  And who am I to judge another persons motivations anyway?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 24 2013 at 15:23
Originally posted by rushfan4 rushfan4 wrote:

My last.fm account shows as follows:

32


What evil irony this is. Evil Smile


LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote zumacraig Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 25 2013 at 19:08
@infandous,

to be fair, that rant was last springWink  and i kind of pulled it together at the end.  your point that religion is 'made up' by us deluded humans is exactly what i was getting at.  unfortunately, those who believe reify these myths and construe them with reality taking no responsibility for the inherent consequences of such beliefs.  then, as a society, we say that's okay because everyone can believe what they want.  morse's message is searching for meaning and hope in a desperate world and finding jesus, but he takes no responsibility for how infantile and dangerous this type of theology is.

rant over...i am looking forward to new TA.  I like the title.  it seems it will kind of be a mix of album one and two with some short tunes, a longer tune and an epic.  i too hope they mix it up a bit.  morse's formula ran it's course a long time ago, but if he can come up with compelling themes and melodies strung together, then i'm on board.  i thought whirlwind was ridiculous.  the only part i can listen to anymore is the overture.  the rest is just too damn long and bloated.  especially dancing in eternal glory.  prog bombast at it's worst/finest Big smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BrufordFreak Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 25 2013 at 20:14
RE OP:  Sorry, I just can't get there! Still too neo and derivative/formulaic/predictable for me. Though I will put him above The Tangent and The Flower Kings!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote geekfreak Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 30 2013 at 10:29
right i`m wondering why you come on a website that is for the neal morse. appreciation. so do you all listen to.
transatlantic music. i`m going to pre-order new album once you can.  
geekfreak progressive rock MUSIC for a world on AUTO-PILOT
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote geekfreak Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 01 2013 at 09:59
arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh, its news to me trying to getting a friend. into the music. of Neal. but its the same old Dead qustions!. of too long, boring nothing new to hear. its so same, same with the poeple whom don`t get prog!.   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Catcher10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 02 2013 at 19:39
^ I stopped trying to get people to listen to any music I like eons ago...it makes no sense trying to convince someone to like what you like.
I don't tell people I listen to prog....I tell them artists I listen to and if they have interest they are more than welcome to my home and I will spin them some prog.
      
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Crumple Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 26 2013 at 10:38
Originally posted by zumacraig zumacraig wrote:

to be fair, that rant was last springWink  and i kind of pulled it together at the end.  your point that religion is 'made up' by us deluded humans is exactly what i was getting at.  unfortunately, those who believe reify these myths and construe them with reality taking no responsibility for the inherent consequences of such beliefs.  then, as a society, we say that's okay because everyone can believe what they want.  morse's message is searching for meaning and hope in a desperate world and finding jesus, but he takes no responsibility for how infantile and dangerous this type of theology is.
rant over


Well I have been lurking on the forums for a while because I enjoy prog and this is my first post!

It seems I know half or less than so many here on these boards. I loved Floyd and Yes growing up and still do. Rush also. I have never listened to King Crimson and didn't enjoy ELP. Marillion was a running joke back then...I recall a Radio City Music Hall show where they warmed up for Rush and were booed so badly they had to stop the show and scold the crowd. (1985 I think).

I missed early Genesis totally. But a friend gave me SEBTP in 2009 and I have since enjoyed all there Gabriel stuff and have seen Musical Box twice now. I also have always liked Jethro Tull but never considered them prog. I was shocked to see Thick as a Brick as the #2 prog album of all time on here.

At that same time, in 2009, someone turned me on to Dream Theater. (I turned them on the Savatage and specifically Wake of Magellan which I WOULD consider a prog album (and a darn good one) but I haven't seen them mentioned around here.)

anyway, DT led to an enjoyment of Portnoy's post DT stuff and specifically Transatlantic. I've seen TA in 2010 in NYC and I have tickets for the March 2014 show. What a GREAT band. Just love them.

And TA led inexorably to Morse solo and Spock's Beard. Of Morse's solo stuff I REALLY like Question. I like a few tracks on Sola Scriptura and lots of Testimony I (I don't have II).

But I really dig TA!!! so yeah I appreciate Neal Morse and am happy to add my appreciation to the appreciation thread!

Anyway, and besides that...regarding the post I quoted above...and some of your other ones on here...I might be able to answer some of your questions/statements but before I do....can I ask why you think Morse's theology if "infantile"?

I don't understand that at all.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote zumacraig Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 26 2013 at 13:04
Crumple,

Infantile as in 'pleasing father god'. Believing the Big Other will save me from the human condition. Lack of ability to think beyond the implications of one's beliefs or question such beliefs.

What questions are you going to answer?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AlanB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 26 2013 at 16:02
Welcome to the forum, Crumple, from a fellow Neal Morse fan. I got into Neal's music via Transatlantic and I now have all his prog albums except Lifeline (which from what I've heard isn't worth getting). I love Question and Sola especially, but parts of the others are great also. Testimony 2 is worth getting just for Seeds of Gold.
 
I too am not sure why belief in a loving, forgiving God is infantile, even more puzzling is why Zumacraig thinks it's dangerous? Surely the dangerous beliefs are those that say it's a good thing to kill people in the name of your religion, and that certainly isn't what Neal believes.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote zumacraig Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 26 2013 at 17:36
The danger is that you say you believe in some loving god.  Is this the god of the bible?  Because this is not the god of the bible.  The god of the bible precisely called on his followers to kill in his name.  In addition, it's dangerous to believe in some sort of salvation that requires arbitrary action, belief, words while those that do not ascribe to such beliefs are...left to hell?  It's infantile and dangerous to not take responsibility for the implications of your mythological beliefs in a world where it's obvious you have no corner on the truth.  Saying, 'I'm puzzled' is an infantile response.

Obviously its impossible for you to have any objective thought about your religion much less be critical about your beliefs.  To someone who has thought rigorously and seriously about this stuff for decades 'infantile' and 'dangerous' are just the tip of the iceberg.  

That being said, Seeds of Gold pretty much rocks!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote guyuz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 28 2013 at 12:29
Woo! A Neal thread!

To be honest, I learned about Neal Morse through Transatlantic (And I learned about Transatlantic through Portnoy, shocking), but I've listened more to Neal's solo projects than to Transatlantic...

I think he's an amazing composer and well deserving of respect. Momentum, ?, One, Both Testimonies, Sola Scriptura, they're just great.

I've never been so satisfied chanting "Jesus!" as I do when I sing Neal Morse. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote M27Barney Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 28 2013 at 13:02
Originally posted by AlanB AlanB wrote:

Welcome to the forum, Crumple, from a fellow Neal Morse fan. I got into Neal's music via Transatlantic and I now have all his prog albums except Lifeline (which from what I've heard isn't worth getting). I love Question and Sola especially, but parts of the others are great also. Testimony 2 is worth getting just for Seeds of Gold.
 

I too am not sure why belief in a loving, forgiving God is infantile, even more puzzling is why Zumacraig thinks it's dangerous? Surely the dangerous beliefs are those that say it's a good thing to kill people in the name of your religion, and that certainly isn't what Neal believes.

What the "Zuma" was trying to reference was the evolutionary meme adaption that homo sapiens has used quite effectively to protect their offspring from Harm.
When a child is told not to go near the river on your own , because a crocodile may get you - they need to believe their parents. Because if you live near an African
or Australian river - then this is very good advice.
Unfortunately, children are programmed to believe everything their parents tell them, even the damaging things (like playing with your willy will make you go blind!)
As we grow older we test some hypothesis, and find it to be false! (like Father xmas, when you find out that it's your dad who eats the mince pie and nicks the large
carrot to use on your mother later that night!).
Anyway - people who dismiss father xmas should then also dismiss a personal god who listens to prayers, since I tested that hypothesis out
when I was 11 and Debbie Harry didn't appear naked in my bed!!!


Edited by M27Barney - November 28 2013 at 13:04
Play me my song.....Here it comes again.......
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AlanB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 28 2013 at 14:36
Originally posted by M27Barney M27Barney wrote:

 I tested that hypothesis out
when I was 11 and Debbie Harry didn't appear naked in my bed!!! 

Good thing too, otherwise Ms Harry would be the next celebrity arrested for kiddie-fiddling.....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote M27Barney Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 29 2013 at 05:23
Originally posted by AlanB AlanB wrote:


Originally posted by M27Barney M27Barney wrote:

 I tested that hypothesis out
when I was 11 and Debbie Harry didn't appear naked in my bed!!! 

Good thing too, otherwise Ms Harry would be the next celebrity arrested for kiddie-fiddling.....

I lost my virginity when I was 15....to a sixteen year old - technically making her a paedophile and liable to prosecution. though I think that the Police/CPS are unlikely to take up my case
Play me my song.....Here it comes again.......
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Crumple Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 01 2013 at 18:07
Originally posted by zumacraig zumacraig wrote:

The danger is that you say you believe in some loving god.  Is this the god of the bible?  Because this is not the god of the bible.  The god of the bible precisely called on his followers to kill in his name.  In addition, it's dangerous to believe in some sort of salvation that requires arbitrary action, belief, words while those that do not ascribe to such beliefs are...left to hell?  It's infantile and dangerous to not take responsibility for the implications of your mythological beliefs in a world where it's obvious you have no corner on the truth.  Saying, 'I'm puzzled' is an infantile response.

Obviously its impossible for you to have any objective thought about your religion much less be critical about your beliefs.  To someone who has thought rigorously and seriously about this stuff for decades 'infantile' and 'dangerous' are just the tip of the iceberg.  


Thanks for elaborating a bit on on labeling Neal's faith "infantile".

When I think of "infantile" I think of "revolves around me".  Because the only thing infants are capable of is worrying about themselves.  they are the center of their universe.  Which, in an adult, many times leads to the conclusion that man created God, e.g. your statement about mythological beliefs.

Christians, on the other hand, belief precisely the opposite.  Infantile is, therefore, an inaccurate descriptor for Christians.

As for the post above, I would question your definition of love.  I agree with what you say is in the Bible...and add to it that in many places it says to FEAR God.  But it's short sighted to stop there and not ask WHY God acted that way and then WHAT he did to rectify the problem.

And if we are going to talk about Neal's faith...and he has put it out there to discuss for sure...and you are going to rail against it...perhaps you would share what you have put your faith in so we may see the contrast?






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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote infandous Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 02 2013 at 11:25
I'm unclear on how the supposition that "man created God" is in anyway related to an infants perception that they are the center of the universe?  I would never claim that I, personally, created God.  Nor would I ever claim that I, or even mankind as a whole, is the center of the universe.  I don't think you'll find a single atheist that would ever claim such a thing (certainly not an atheist who is a scientist, or understands anything about science).  Yet I feel certain that man created the God of the bible, since it was written by men (same with any other holy book you care to name).  I'm not an atheist myself, and I don't really strongly support either side of this argument.  However, the center of an infants universe is not itself, but it's parents, so I'd say belief in an all powerful father figure is far more infantile than the belief that we are merely a conglomeration of matter, no more important or special than any other conglomeration of matter.  But that's just my feeling.

Personally, I'm fine with people have strong religious beliefs, as long as they are not trying to force them down my throat.  I don't feel that Morse ever does this on his albums, or even in interviews and such.  So I've never had a problem with his lyrics in that regard, only in the fact that I get tired of the same tired old subject for every track on every album (or nearly so, anyway).  I realize that he's found something that gives him peace and happiness and want to share that with the world, but as an artist, surely he has other interesting topics he could put to music?  In any case, the music itself is enjoyable to me, and the lyrics don't really bother me, so until that changes I'm good with what he does.


Edited by infandous - December 02 2013 at 11:27
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Crumple Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 02 2013 at 15:50
@Infandous

I agree about Neal's music...it has never seemed evangelical to me. He's just telling stories...whether his own or Martin Luther's or one about the Temple system in old Israel. It's a matter of personal opinion whether these are interesting. I enjoy them.

Re: Infantile and your lack of clarity on my statement: I think perhaps you've taken my "center of the universe" statement too literally, and I worded it poorly. The point is that infants are self-centered (they aren't focused on their parents, they are focused on their needs) and it's inherently self-centered to believe Man created God.

I was equating "infantile" with "unintelligent". But if your point is that belief in a higher being who genuinely loves you is similar to what a child feels from their parent then I agree with you. the bible is full of metaphors that support that point.

I agree atheists would not say they are the center of the universe...quite the contrary...all we are is dust in the wind, Cosmik Debris, star dust or as you put it a conglomeration of matter.

And yet the atheist feels Man created God, which takes a lot of hubris. And a LOT of faith to believe, with not a shred of proof to back it up.

I find it to be an interesting contradiction.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote zumacraig Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 02 2013 at 18:39
Originally posted by Crumple Crumple wrote:

Originally posted by zumacraig zumacraig wrote:

The danger is that you say you believe in some loving god.  Is this the god of the bible?  Because this is not the god of the bible.  The god of the bible precisely called on his followers to kill in his name.  In addition, it's dangerous to believe in some sort of salvation that requires arbitrary action, belief, words while those that do not ascribe to such beliefs are...left to hell?  It's infantile and dangerous to not take responsibility for the implications of your mythological beliefs in a world where it's obvious you have no corner on the truth.  Saying, 'I'm puzzled' is an infantile response.

Obviously its impossible for you to have any objective thought about your religion much less be critical about your beliefs.  To someone who has thought rigorously and seriously about this stuff for decades 'infantile' and 'dangerous' are just the tip of the iceberg.  


Thanks for elaborating a bit on on labeling Neal's faith "infantile".

When I think of "infantile" I think of "revolves around me".  Because the only thing infants are capable of is worrying about themselves.  they are the center of their universe.  Which, in an adult, many times leads to the conclusion that man created God, e.g. your statement about mythological beliefs.

Christians, on the other hand, belief precisely the opposite.  Infantile is, therefore, an inaccurate descriptor for Christians.

As for the post above, I would question your definition of love.  I agree with what you say is in the Bible...and add to it that in many places it says to FEAR God.  But it's short sighted to stop there and not ask WHY God acted that way and then WHAT he did to rectify the problem.

And if we are going to talk about Neal's faith...and he has put it out there to discuss for sure...and you are going to rail against it...perhaps you would share what you have put your faith in so we may see the contrast?







Christianity is about individual salvation.  Focus on the individual is infantile as per your definition above.  I'm not interested in arguing about whether god exists or not.  It's a no win argument.  There obviously is no god remotely close to that described by today's Christians.  All these convoluted theories and apologetics are an utter waste of energy while we could be changing the world for the better.  As I said earlier, your unable to think critically about your beliefs.

My focus is on Truth as described by Baidau.  Everything is ideological and created.  We must increase this awareness and work as the collective we are to bring about some of the liberation that is symbolized in the old myths.  It's hard work and it's scary as hell to hear the Truth.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote zumacraig Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 02 2013 at 18:51
Originally posted by Crumple Crumple wrote:

@Infandous

I agree about Neal's music...it has never seemed evangelical to me. He's just telling stories...whether his own or Martin Luther's or one about the Temple system in old Israel. It's a matter of personal opinion whether these are interesting. I enjoy them.

Re: Infantile and your lack of clarity on my statement: I think perhaps you've taken my "center of the universe" statement too literally, and I worded it poorly. The point is that infants are self-centered (they aren't focused on their parents, they are focused on their needs) and it's inherently self-centered to believe Man created God.

I was equating "infantile" with "unintelligent". But if your point is that belief in a higher being who genuinely loves you is similar to what a child feels from their parent then I agree with you. the bible is full of metaphors that support that point.

I agree atheists would not say they are the center of the universe...quite the contrary...all we are is dust in the wind, Cosmik Debris, star dust or as you put it a conglomeration of matter.

And yet the atheist feels Man created God, which takes a lot of hubris. And a LOT of faith to believe, with not a shred of proof to back it up.

I find it to be an interesting contradiction.

Your ideas about atheism are misinformed and infantile in themselves.  This is not an insult, it's what's you've written.  Read any intro anthropology book and you'll find that religion is absolutely man made and to come to any other conclusion is astounding.   Words like faith, proof, believe are so slippery here and to prove your god exists you have to keep coming up with more and more explanations of previous explanations.  You need to educate yourself on the atheist position and the responses to your claims before calling hubris.  In addition, read some intro philosophy in order to get yourself thinking rather than parroting all this hearsay your spouting.  You can't argue for the existence of GOD from the standpoint of belief in God.  This premise is fatal and becomes impossible to argue with when you get into the character of such God etc.
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