Wow, Neal is a musician, who basically procreates amazing music.
This album was a must have for me, after I had heard Sola Scriptora (check my review on how I believe it is the greatest album ever made).
Now a fully fledged Morse fan, I ordered One online and recieved it on Halloween...oooh spooky.
This album was actually quite raw and experimental than Sola Sciptora and was even more flexible with arrangements and technique. The songs I believe don't stand out as much as they did in Sola Scriptora, but I do believe that each song had it's own goal for Neal, even if it's to make use of heavy distorted guitars, contrapuntal vocals, amazing keyboard sections, folky and acoustic sections and even some gospel and liturgical inspired moments.
Lyrically and concept wise, the album is about how Man had lost his way with God, and how at the end he comes back, a slightly more modern view of The Prodigal Son parable. Being an athiest, I took the lyrics with a pinch of salt, but now and then, the idea of what modern and youthfull Christian religious bait strings up, which, basically means, "God just wants to love you and give you a big hug", which is great and all that, but I always answer this question with, "Then why doesn't he...Come on, I'm waiting." No answer is ever recieved, Christians just leave me alone and reflect upon their faith, as they usually do.
Once again, there is amazing musicianship from Neal, Mike & Randy.
1. The Creation - This song starts off very beautiful, with a amazingly arranged chamber style section. After 4 minutes of prog induced musicianship, the vocals come in, and as always, Neal colourful tone, lightens up the song. This song reminds me of a Genesis song, something off Nursery Crime or Foxtrot, where there needn't be any hooks, just alot of dramatic twists and turns to grab the listeneres attention. All in all, a classic and amazing piece of prog masterpiece.
2. The Man's Gone - This is a bit of a folky tune, with a sad melachonic mood to suit the lyrics, leads into the necxt song quite weridly and perfectly.
3. Author Of Confusion - How can you not love this song. The Dream Theater esque instrumental with touches of King Crimson & Van Der Graaf Generator like madness. Then the vocals come in. Counterpoint has always been a common thing in Spock's Beard (Neal's old band) and to see Neal going back to his routes was amazing. The layered vocals performing create amazing harmonies and discourse. The song ends off on a slightly sadder mood.
4. The Seperated Man - This song takes many dramatic twists and turns, from upbeat, to melachonic, to angry, to cheery and then a more reflective mood. The instrumentation in this song is to die for, especially the wonderfully arranged acoustic section. Another epic on this album.
5. Cradle To The Grave - This song reminds me of Heaven In My Heart, in that it is the ballad of the album. The other vocalist on this song reminds me of Irelands favourtie folk master, Kieran Goss, and I thought it was him, but it turns out it wasn't. Probabbly the most cathiest song on this album, expressing deep emotion, amazing vocals and great musicianship.
6. Help Me| The Spirit & The Flesh - This song is probabbly the most liturgical on the album, and is probabbly the most nicest moment as well. Beautifully arranged.
7. Father Of Forgiveness - Another ballad, but more upbeat than Cralde To The Grave. Still a great song though.
8. Reunion - I would have made a more epic end, but as this album ends on a happy ending, I'll let Neal off with this one. The brass sections remind me of ska, like Less Than Jake, for some strange reason. I like the layered vocals for the ending.
CONCLUSION - Not as good as Sola Scriptora, but not much is. I loved how the limit for a one disc album is 80 minutes, and Neal made his 79:57. Ha, what a genius. But it, or else...