Faithscience Reviews

On Friday, April 19th Tim was interviewed for Blog Talk Radio by Simon Barrett, you can listen to it here:

-- Simon Barrett

Multi-instrumentalist Tim Morse takes your breath away the second you press play with his fantastic opening track, "Descent". The piece is expertly crafted, with each break complementing the next and the pure, clean tone of the drums shining through. Morse's ability to leave the listener astounded by his professionalism and talent in less than three minutes is incredible. Although his work is heavily influenced by seventies symphonic rock sounds, Morse is able to inject a fresh, contemporary feel, working other musicians flawlessly into his creations in just the right places. Morse plays keyboards with Parallels, a Yes tribute band and the influence of this legendary group is evident in his music. But you can also hear traces of other seventies icons,including Van der Graaf Generator, Genesis, Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Kansas. The contribution of violist David Ragsdale in particular is reminiscent of Kansas.

The record alternates between enchanting synth and guitar solos with an occasional touch of fusion woven in to the mix. The acoustic piano that can be heard in "Closer" is more than worthy of backing from a symphonic orchestra, but this is an addition that will probably remain nothing more than a pipe dream in the current economic situation. However, the lack of orchestra on the track, with its nods to Echolyn, doesn't make the experience any less enjoyable for the listener. In "Window", Tim Morse follows in the acoustic footsteps of Steve Howe. The wandering style of "Numb", heavily influenced by the music of Anthony Phillips, does feature an authentic cello — but in my eyes the track was missing the elegant tones of a flute that would have elevated it to an even higher level. "Found It" unfolds into a fantastic, bombastic track with a great synth solo intro. The smooth, sleek "Rome" could have been written by Kevin Gilbert himself. "The Last Wave" is a wild, fast-paced piece with a few intriguing twists, including a pure jazz intermezzo. Absolutely wonderful!

Even though Morse plays a number of instruments himself, he has enlisted a permanent guitarist, drummer and bassist, resulting in a consistent and coherent sound. Faithscience is a brilliant record that exudes musical and lyrical quality from beginning to end. Tim Morse deserves to make it into the mainstream, as he is surely one of the greats of the genre. There's definitely something special about the name Morse! Enjoy!

-- John Bollenberg, iO PAGES

Faithscience is the sophomore release from progressive rock multi-instrumentalist/singer/composer Tim Morse, and follows up his 2005 debutTransformation. He's assembled quite a long list of musicians and vocalists to help him flesh out the songs on Faithscience, and the end result is a pleasant, melodic, at times symphonic affair that has a modern touch but still plenty of vintage prog elements for all those old school fans out there.

You can hear traces of Yes and Spock's Beard on spirited tunes like "Voyager" and "Closer", as Morse mixes in plenty of tasty keyboard passages into these adventurous but highly melodic numbers. Most of the vocal melodies & harmonies throughout the album are quite well done, as Morse's lead vocals and the numerous backing singers perfectly fit these quirky prog rock songs. Though there are 11 songs in total, the album is set up with a handful of short instrumental pieces that bridge the gap to the longer pieces. Some of the more acoustic based tracks, like "Window" and "Numb" are quite well done, but it's the more rock based songs such as "Myth" and the ultra proggy "Rome", which features the superb violin of Kansas' David Ragsdale, that really work best. The same can be said for the near 10-minute "The Last Wave", a bombastic tune for all the Spock's Beard, Flower Kings, and Transatlantic lovers in the house, chock full of vintage sounding keyboards and chunky guitar work from Morse, Jerry Jennings, and Mark Dean.

As a solid entry here in 2012, Faithscience might not re-write the book on progressive rock, but it sure if a fun & engaging listen. Those looking for something that will satisfy their craving for classic prog but also deliver it in a modern manner would be well advised to seek this CD out.

-- Pete Pardo, Sea of Tranquility

Faithscience is the second album from multi-instrumentalist Tim Morse – the first being Transformation in 2005. Tim has also written a couple of Prog related books along the way and was also in a Yes tribute band called Parallels (after the track on Going For The One). This album started out as a concept about the life of the aviator Charles Lindbergh, however along the way it changed direction to become the album that is now Faithscience. On his website Tim talks through the inspiration behind each track which adds insight and depth to the entire album. Tim is a very adept musician and his real strength, along with his compositional skills, is in his keyboard work which underpins much of this album using some sounds that will sound very familiar to anyone familiar with Yes. This is possibly unsurprising given Tim's Yes connections although the guitar work of Jerry Jennings is no mere clone of Steve Howe but uses a subtle blend of melody, harmony and power to add some deft touches to the proceedings. Faithscience album opens with atmospheric keyboards before shifting tempo into a decidedly rhythmic sound with some soaring guitar on display. It's a good opener and sets the stall for much of what follows. The second track is Voyager which was originally the start of the aborted Lindbergh concept but still stands up well in the context of the rest of the current album. It has several distinct movements and Tim's voice is heard for the first time which, whilst not a classic "prog" voice, fits the material here well enough. There is some wonderfully subtle bass playing on this track that gives it an extra sheen and this is a great example of all that is good about Faithscience in that it is imaginative, constantly shifting and a great song. Track 3, Closer, opens with a lengthy instrumental before the vocals come in, the song having a very pleasant feel and groove to it. Again Jerry's guitar adds a Steve Howe type solo that lifts the song before Tim's synths take over. When he lets fly on his keyboards it's always interesting to see where he is going to take the song to next. This is another of the longer tracks so there is time for the ideas within to be expanded upon. Myth has a real swagger and groove to it based on a recurring organ riff over which Tim sings. It's got a real style to it but is also fairly sparse so there is room for the instrumentation to come to the fore. There is a gentler passage in the middle before leading to an extended synth passage before the riff comes back in along with Jerry's soaring guitar coming to the fore. Track 7, Found It, is another of the longer tracks opening with a very lengthy keyboard solo and with a stunning guitar break at the 4:20 mark. In between all this are Tim's impassioned vocals. Another great track, this is one of the best on the album. The Last Wave is the longest track here at 9:43 and what a belter it is too. It opens with keyboards before changing direction into a jazz fusion type groove with keyboards dancing over the almost abstract rhythm. This is a very twisting track with shifting time signatures, the strong fusion-type backing holding it all together. It's fully instrumental and shows off Tim's composition well; there's even a trumpet solo! Overall Faithscience is a strong album with some great ideas and is a worthy album and one that I enjoyed tremendously. JOHN WENLOCK-SMITH, DPRP


"Faithscience is a remarkable step forward for Tim in many respects – especially compositionally, and in applying his multi-instrumental skills on guitars, bass and percussion alongside keys. He makes effective use of multiple contributors (among them Kansas violinist David Ragsdale) for a smartly arranged, melodic-symphonic opus... For a summary of Morse’s instrumental and compositional talents, check out the whimsically playful “The Last Wave,” a 10-minute crazy quilt of shifting styles and tempos dominated by powerful blasts of symphonic prog."

-- John Collinge, Progression Magazine (14/16)

Album of the day: Faithscience by multi-instrumentalist Tim Morse. This is a progressive rock tour-de-force of a record worthy of your attention, that includes David Ragsdale on violin. You'll also encounter some very thoughtful lyrics, touching on some provocative subjects we can all relate to.

-- Anil Prasad, Innerviews

Faithscience has a classic symphonic prog style. It's not so retro that it sounds like it was recorded in another era, but it has that early-1970s quality, sounds, and influences of Yes, Genesis, Van der Graaf Generator, ELP, 70s fusion, and more. Many other musicians participate, including David Ragsdale (Kansas) on violin. Probably the biggest surprise of the year,, and highly recommended to fans of classic prog.

-- (Kinesis)

"A very interesting album, with some great musicianship throughout...the production is superb and really makes the listener feel that they are in the middle of the band."

-- Kev Rowland, Prog Archives

"Very very good!"

-- Nad Sylvan (Agents of Mercy, Steve Hackett)

"I love the music, and the outside chords and odd time signatures, but above that, the smoothness of your voice is so very inspiring. It is what makes this good record great. It doesn't get old; if does not lose weight or dissipate after time. It remains potently beautiful throughout and it is what ties the record together. I hear Floyd, Yes, Gentle Giant, a touch of Rush. ... But it sounds like no one but you. And that's a good place to be. Simply put; the disc is inspiring!"

-- Gary Wehrkamp (Shadow Gallery)

"I love the album - it's great!"

-- Bill Martin (author of Listening to the Future: The Time of Progressive Rock)

"Faithscience" is the most recent release from songwriter/vocalist/keyboardist/guitarist, Tim Morse.

As a follow up to the previously released "Transformation", this new recording takes Tim's musical vision to the next level. Featuring heartfelt songwriting combined with interesting arrangements and virtuoso musicianship, this new CD provides the listener with 11 tracks of musical enjoyment that is sure to please the most discerning listener.

Returning with Tim is veteran audio engineer and guitarist extraordinaire, Mark Dean. The CD also features the superb talents of Jerry Jennings on guitar, Gordon Stizzo on drums and Jim Diaz on bass, David Ragsdale on violin, Timothy Stanley on Cello and Spencer Byrnes on Trumpet.

Thoughtful lyrics, soaring Moog lines, blistering guitar solos, rhythmic wizardry and terrific production make this a CD that I'll enjoy listening to over and over again. Well deserved kudos go to Tim and crew for an outstanding job!

--Matt Riddle (Going for the One/Minstrels in the Gallery)

Tim Morse has released his second CD, Faithscience on the Amethyst Edge label. Fans of his previous work, Transformation, will not be disappointed. That CD's powerhouse duo of Tim Morse & multi-instrumentalist Mark Dean is a forceful presence here. All the virtuosity, muscular exhuberance, and angular time changes of their metal-influenced 'power prog' of Transformation are present in force on songs such as 'Found It' and 'The Last Wave.'

But this collection also finds Tim partnering with other musicians and exploring different musical directions. Guitarist Jerry Jennings excels in styles ranging from rock to jazz to prog, and his solos emphasize melody and feeling. Drummer Gordon Stizzo plays solidly and stylishly, laying down solid grooves with great feel and soloing easily across odd-meters. Bassists Jim Diaz and Sean McMillan provide musicality, power, and elegance to complement each song. From moment to moment one can hear influences ranging from ELP, Tull, Steely Dan, and Kansas, all combined in a new, fresh way. Speaking of Kansas, violinist David Ragsdale guests as Nero and fiddles away in 13/8 on the fade-out of 'Rome.'

Lyrically, the songs see Tim telling a story ('Voyager'), providing social criticism ('Rome'), and plumbing sensitive emotional dimensions brought about through crisis ('Numb) and tragedy ('Afterword'). The last two, in particular, deal with disillusionment and loss in a open, vulnerable manner in stark contrast to the CD's more aggressive tunes. The poignant reflections offered here are simultaneously raw and touching, yet compassionately sympathetic.

All in all, there is much to enjoy in this collection of songs. Repeated listenings reveal the depth of the compositions and lyrics, the thematic development throughout, and above all, the hard work behind this art. Faithscience is a burst of creativity and musical expression.

-- Jim H.

"Great lyrics, inventive music, and very strong vocals! I especially liked Rome and The Last Wave. It Rush and Yes had a baby; and Genesis and StarCastle had a baby; and they grew up and have their own baby it would grow up to be a great musician -Tim Morse!"

-- Mark W.

How to put Faithscience into words could be harder then playing it! Okay maybe not, however listening to it 3 or 4 times as well as my good music discriminating friend Jeff Carlson, I for one think your title Faithscience fits this amazing amalgamation of influences we can both agree on. Like King Crimsion, ELP, Yes, some classic rock for shorter moments like the Doobie Brothers, and even Jeff who doesn't listen to this type of music much liked it a lot. He liked your voice too. I noticed you had to listen to the words and production like a Yes album to really let it grow on you.

-- John T.Chris H.

"(Faithscience) is quite impressive!!! Many good synth and guitar solos, I like new age-like piano piece and the jazz part with vibes which reminds me of Zappa. The first two songs stand out. Excellent work."

-- John T.

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