Release Date: 2005

Track Listing
1)  the temple of the living god
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2)  another world
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3)  the outsider
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4)  sweet elation
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5)  in the fire
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6)  solid as the sun
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7)  the glory of the lord
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8)  outside looking in
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9)  12
10)  deliverance
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11)  inside his presence
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12)  the temple of the living god
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Member: Sundstrom
Date: 10/11/2005


Neal Morse: master musician, composer, arranger, producer & great singer (if you ask me!) is back with a brand new (and fresh) album simply called:"?" And YES it is brilliant! Yes, he still has a Christian belief and his lyrics shows just that. So what?? In my opinion this fact doesnft scare nor hinder me from saying that this is a superb album! If you are a true prog fan then this album should be on your want list! For this my friend is a top notch prog album of the highest order (parden the pun!) I will go so far as to say that this Neal Morse album is superior to ONE which I actually found very strong and a true contender to for the prog album year 2004!

Neal has this time called upon friends to participate on the album. The sensational drummer Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater/ Transatlantic/Yellow Matter Custard!) and sidekick Randy George, bass. Both of them old friends of Neal and they are a solid rhythm section on this album! In addition we have Nealf s brother Alan , Spockfs Beard member on guitar, Roine Stolt (Flower kings/ Transatlantic), guitar and Steve Hackett, guitar supreme, Jordan Rudess: (Dream Theater) keyboards, Mark Leniger (contributed on Testimony), sax.

In Nealfs own words:
"Musically this album is more concise!"
"We´ve left out the complicated parts!"
Well, that may be, but there are plenty for you prog freaks to enjoy for there are many a time-signature and breaks to make your day!! For me this album stands out as a masterpiece of prog music! If you are new to Neal Morse, where did you come from? If you havenft heard Spockfs beard or Neal Morse then you must be new to the prog world!?

On this fine album, well, Ifm just amazed of the sheer ability of Morsefs talent to write..No..make that ability to keep on writing such beautiful songs. I guess his GOD must be with him! "Outside looking in" is a fine example of his superb songwriting. Itfs a ballad which will have you chanting the chorus after a few listenings...beautiful stuff! "The temple of the living god" the intro song (and by the way the outro song!) is another
fine example of his supreme songwriting! With everyone doing their best and believe you me, that is very good! Morsefs main inspiration (and I dont mean GOD, although he
probably had something to do with it!?) Ifm talking Beatles here and that inspiration really shines through and in a wonderful way!

This is a killer album! Make no mistake! This one goes to prog history! On a final note: check out track # 9 "12" It starts out a ballad (wonderful vocal arrangements of course!) then turns into a soothing typical Morse song...suddenly a guitar solo (Steve Hackett) rips through the theme..WOW! what a guitar solo. The crescendo at the end...well you have to buy the album to hear it...dont you!?
2 words for you!

G E T T H I S A L B U M !!!!!!

Whats that?... 3 words....so what ??!!
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Member: BrotherJon#9 (Profile) (All Album Reviews by BrotherJon#9)
Date: 11/2/2005
Format: CD (Album)

Christian Progressive (Cprog) artist, Neal Morse exposed his soul and Christ-journey with the 2003 release of Testimony, put man's struggle to rejoin with God in the 2004 release of "One", and has once again outdone himself with his latest release, ?. ? is a progressive rock masterwork that is fixed hard in both prose and musical content. What ceases to amaze me is Morse's ability to present extensive Christian themes without sounding like any CCM (Contemporary Christian Music) artist I have ever heard. I believe it is the marriage of progressive rock music with the subject matter and Morse's perceptive insight to the "everyman" approach to presenting his message.

The CD is really one continuous song (don't worry, it is time segregated so you can navigate the tracks) that subtly flows without notice. The ? title helps to establish the entire feel to the CD using the biblical Tabernacle as the hub of his subject matter. Morse keeps his stable of musicians that helped to make his previous works their best - Randy George (Ajalon) on Bass and Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater, OSI) on drums while adding a bevy of guest prog artists both old and new. Veteran Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett delivers an absolutely haunting solo on the track, "12". It conjures up his signature sound from his early solo work - "Voyage of the Acolyte." On "Into the Fire", Alan Morse (Spock's Beard) and Roine Stolt (The Flower Kings) turn in simpatico guitar solos that ebb and flow as if human. "Solid As the Sun" features three exciting
sections: guest saxophonist Mark Leniger solos, Neal's Church Pastor delivering a poignant sermon backed by Randy George's inventive and tasty bass solo. The pinnacle of the CD is in the track "Outside Looking In." - a gentle tune that reverberates the very cage around my heart. This is the "everyman" hook that will illuminate everything Morse is conveying. This tune beautifully builds to an emotional crescendo that will deliver "goosebumpery" on your arms and neck. The capper for this CD is in the lyrics for "12" cataloging the mysterious "numerology" that riddles the bible. Simply stated passages that get your noggin a buzzing.

Morse left the progressive rock band Spock's Beard some while back to fulfill his calling to God. Fans remain divided as to whether or not they will accept his new direction. As I have stated before, his delivery of his spiritual point of view does not put off. His musical direction hasn't really changed much from Spock's Beard; in fact much of it is the same. I would challenge those who
remain "outside looking in" to suspend their disbelief for a moment and give ? a listen - I promise that you will not be disappointed. One of the best CDs I
have heard this year.

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Member: Dragonflame713
Date: 11/3/2005


?: a question. I have often thought of progressive music being a sort of musical question. A question in which the artists use their instruments, pens, voices, and minds in an attempt to answer it. During these many attempts, the listener is taken on a fantastic musical journey. This music I feel is the perfect vehicle for Neal Morse to portray an even grander quest: the search for the tabernacle of God.

In the booklet, there are many passages from the Bible shared within the lyrics, which I believe to be the map used on this musical adventure. One could see Neal’s 3rd solo release simply titled ? as Indiana Jones styled adventure (instead of searching for the lost ark, the tabernacle of God is what is sought) or as a Bible study set to prog. Also within the booklet, there are writings in Hebrew. More on this later…

Musically, I found this album at times to be the most Spock-like since his leaving Spock’s Beard. Part of this is due to his brother Alan’s appearance on the album and I have to say that’s great to hear his brilliant quirky guitar work again in the song “Into The Fire”. Another reunion (this time from Transatlantic) on this album is with Flower Kings guitarist Roine Stolt, who’s present in places all over the album. Other guest stars on this album are Dream Theater keyboard whiz Jordan Rudess (who gets into an blistering instrumental duel with Alan during “Into The Fire”), and the legendary Steve Hackett who’s work graces the song “12”. Saxophone player Mark Leniger also makes an appearance on his album. Want more details about who did what and other fun things to think about? Find a way to translate the Hebrew in the booklet! While doing this research for this review, I came across this in the forum at Neal’s official site. The presentation and imagery of this entire project is nothing less than fascinating, not to mention intriguing.

To the songs themselves (although I believe in reality, they are all supposed to be all parts of one long song), they don’t seem to be as long time wise as the epic length tracks on One. The longest track “Into The Fire” clocks in at 7:24. There is so much to enjoy here! The short song “The Outsider” is simply gorgeous, with a beautiful melody and 12-string guitar reminiscent of Genesis’ “The Musical Box”. I have mentioned “Into The Fire” throughout this review, and this song really smokes! Brilliant instrumental passages, and a rather punchy tune kind of in the Kansas vein. “12” is one of my personal favorite tracks on the entire album. It has a great epic feel to it (despite clocking in at 6:46), and some really brilliant musical passages throughout. The song has a very spiritually uplifting feeling throughout. “Solid As The Sun” features Bro. Paul Farmer preaching briefly while Randy George’s bass is simply smoking in the background! “Inside His Presence” has that gospel meets prog feel to it, as does the short “The Glory Of The Lord” where the album’s choir comes into play. Harkening back to what Neal did on Testimony, the first song and the last song have the same title which is (in this album's case) “The Temple Of The Living God”. The Alpha and Omega, the beginning of the quest and the end of the quest.

So does this album answer the ? Do we discover the whereabouts of the Tabernacle of God? With so many questions in life, one must look within. There one just may find the Answer they have been searching for…
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