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Neal Morse: The Restoration - Joseph - Part Two
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Neal Morse: The Restoration/Joseph: Part 2

Melodic Progressive Rock

And now for the conclusion of the story. Neal Morse brought us the first part of his story of the Biblical character Joseph (Genesis 37-50) last August (2023) with The Dreamer - Joseph - Part One. In this first part, Joseph is sold into slavery by his brothers who were jealous of his dreams. Wherein he arrives in Egypt, gets accused of rape, and then thrown into prison. Now, we have the rest of the story, The Restoration - Joseph - Part Two. Once more the Biblical account is wrapped up in Morse's signature melodic progressive rock.

Neal Morse - Click For Larger Image

Neal Morse

Yet, with this second recording, Morse becomes the lead vocalist. He's assisted by friends and notable prog compadres, including Nick D’Virgilio (Spock's Beard), Ted Leonard (Spock’s Beard, Pattern Seeking Animals), Matt Smith (Theocracy), Ross Jennings (Haken), Jake Livgren (Proto-Kaw, Kansas) and Alan Morse (Spock's Beard).

Turning to the story, I once more direct you to your handy Old Testament, specifically Genesis 37 through 50, for better detail of the story. But, here's a general skinny synopsis.

While in prison, two things he interprets, correctly, the dreams of two fellow prisoners: the chief cupbearer and the chief baker to the Pharaoh. Later, Pharaoh would have his own troubling dream. When his own sorcerers could not explain it, he call for Joseph. Again, Joseph correctly interprets the dream: there will be seven years of famine (one that would consume the known world). Pharaoh then appoints Joseph as second in command, the prime minister as it were.

After this, the story turns to Joseph's family who are in desperate need of food. His father, Jacob, sends his brothers to Egypt to buy grain. This is the beginning of The Restoration, but the friction between Joseph and those who wished him harm remains. Some duplicity and misdirection follows, which you can discover chapters 43 and 44. Eventually, Joseph relents and brings his family to Egypt to stay in Goshen as the famine reaches its worst. This is the second part of the restoration: Egypt, Israel, and all the world makes in through the famine thanks to God's providential work thorough Joseph.

Meanwhile, Joseph's father dies and he's inconsolable. Worse, Jacob was seen by his brothers as the one mitigating Joseph's wrath against them for what they had done to him long ago. The say, "It may be that Joseph will hate us and pay us back for all the evil that we did to him." They would beg Joseph for mercy. But Joseph would offer them wisdom and comfort (Genesis 50:19–21). This is The Restoration:

But Joseph said to them, "Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones." Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.

The substance of this matter is found in the concluding three songs: Restoration, Everlasting, and the epic crescendo, Dawning of a New Day (God Uses Everything for Good). Which is Morse at his finest. But the music is spectacular from start to finish, especially the vocal arrangements. If you're a Morse far, or simply a prog fan, then these two albums are a must buy.

As I said of part one, I say of the whole: The Dreamer/The Restoration is "impressive: a massive achievement of intriguing and entertaining melodic progressive rock from a gifted master of the genre. Easily recommended." - New fiction, crime fiction by Craig Hartranft

Note: All Amazon advertising in this review first benefits the artist, then Craig Hartranft also receives a residual. Click, and thanks for your support.

The Take Away

As I said of part one, I say of the whole: The Dreamer/The Restoration is "impressive: a massive achievement of intriguing and entertaining melodic progressive rock from a gifted master of the genre. Easily recommended."

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