I know why I got this album to review. One of the people that I really share musical taste with suggested it and so here we are. It starts ticking my boxes – a concept album and here is an introductory track, War In Heaven, that aims to be an overarching theme setter for this album. There are deep strings, orchestral brass, samples of songs and this is all in mid 70’s. It swells, it promises and we get the first track…
Look, you’re going to have a simpler time if you ignore the lyrics because this album is an homage to the church of the latter day saints. Listening to the lyrics is like eating cardboard with jam on; sure there maybe something there but it’s very hard to do and you don’t get much out of it. Maybe the message is fine but it does NOT gel, not here and I am sorry to say so.
Before the Beginning starts slowly with melancholic vocals over a simple piano. A real point of amusement was:
We knew that we could leave one day and cry.
On the end of that emotional line comes the sound of a baby’s cry, no reason, just to illustrate what crying is; it’s a little on the nose. Saying that:
Ever since we came to be,
With the plan, we learned to see.
We alone would guide our destiny.
This passage gives a really passionate and musically rich sound; it’s quite good and shows an ability to write. This is the problem! There is talent here but the execution is all over the place, there are bits that I like, really there are moments where I think I’m going to get into a song and there are sounds and motifs I like. Movie Man starts brilliantly with an almost circus theme that sounds like we’re in for a treat but the main body of the track is so. Damn. Bare.
I have to confess, The Osmonds actually actually work better when there either doing the mildly honey-filled ballads, which is why Let Me In works somewhat better, you can actually picture the five of them in matching white outfits doing synchronised slow hand movements as they sing the chorus. It’s mushy and slow enough to be considered good. It is alright.
You’re going to get a lot of straightforward blues here, it’s quite paint by numbers but there are good moments like the descending bass line in The Last Days. This track has a really heavy and grumbling bass, it’s the perfect moment for a bit of musical aggression, which I guess is being attempted but I don’t think is quite getting across.
Overall, it’s one where I could listen to a track or two I guess in isolation. It’s not a “turn that noise off” album but I’m not going to be listening to the whole thing again in a hurry. Maybe I’ve been quite harsh too… I guess the album is fine.
Is this album for you?
Maybe. It’s not really for me but there’s nothing too offensive, as long as you can skip merrily past a lot of obscure religious subtext. It’s fair writing with some quite good moments and some misfires.
My scores have always been a bit unclear and I should clarify; writing is about the ability to formulate a new work, performance is the passion and ability with which it’s delivered and style is how well you do a favour to your genre or forward it.
- Writing: 7/10
- Performance: 6.5/10
- Style: 5/10