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The Similitude of a Dream and Pilgrim’s Progress

From the blog An Oz of Perception and a Pound of Obscure

..  The Similitude of a Dream is a masterpiece. Whether you’ve read the book or not, whether you’re religious or just a fan of good music, you’ll gain something from listening to it a few times and appreciating it for the flowing, sweeping work of art that it is. The Neal Morse Band is more than just another Morse/Portnoy project, with every band member getting multiple moments to shine and being smartly integrated (especially on the vocal front) in the band in a meaningful and profound way. Truly, The Similitude of a Dream isn’t just one of the greatest progressive rock or religious albums of all time, it’s one of the greatest pieces of music of all time, borrowing from so many great musicians across all genres, representing a centuries-old work, and creating a new piece of music with something to say while doing so. After you listen to it, you’re sure to be left with something that will be with you from this world to that which is to come … under the similitude of a dream.

My son, after selectively assuming some of my musical tastes and discarding others, developed an affinity for progressive rock at about the time I introduced him to RUSH (by snagging Moving Pictures from the bargain CD bin on a trip to Fry’s Electronics). Like a lot of people, I abdicated my interest in what’s played on the radio a few decades ago, and so rely upon what I stumble upon on Amazon as my primary source for new/different music. So, it’s been a real delight to see my son’s musical horizons expand.  In general, he’s got pretty good taste (IMHO).  As a drummer with no little talent, he pays a lot of attention to the nuances in musical performance as will become evident in his review of the new Neal Morse Band double concept album The Similitude of a Dream.

I have enjoyed listening to The Similitude of a Dream all week on my commute to and from work.  My son was so excited about a scheduled tour, that he immediately bought tickets for the two of us to go. Figuring I’d enjoy the show more if I knew what to expect, he lent me the CDs. He flew into town this weekend for the concert. We’re going to the show tonight.

Over the Christmas break, his interest piqued, he said he’d like to read Pilgrim’s ProgressWe were out at the time, but I allowed that I thought I might just have an old edition I’d saved from the downsizing of my parents’ collection after they moved. I wasn’t entirely sure. A few hours later, when home again and I’d forgotten about it, he asked if we could look for it.  I had an idea in which of the many (15) book cases we might find it, and sure enough, there it was, a copy published in 1895. Over the next week we took turns reading the book aloud to one another.  We were both surprised at how much we enjoyed this book. It’s clever, whimsical, and serious all at the same time. (The author’s introduction is not to be missed – it’s written in verse!)  And the edition we had was filled with delightful illustrations.

I’m looking forward to the show and am grateful to my son for having introduced me to this and getting me to read Pilgrim’s Progress!

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2 comments

1 Ann Herzer { 01.22.17 at 1:52 pm }

I enjoyed the CD. I’ll forward to my musical family.

I read Pilgrim’s Progress years ago in grade schools “dark ages period of history”. I’m now reading Lion of Liberty Patrick Henry and the Call to a New Nation by Harlow Giles Unger. A great book about a great man.

[Reply]

2 Martin { 01.22.17 at 4:30 pm }

Thanks Anne. I thought The Lion of Liberty was particularly good too (reviewed here).

[Reply]

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