When Frontier Records asked prog rocker Neal Morse for another album like his 2019 rock opera Jesus Christ the Exorcist, Morse opted to put the Old Testament story of Joseph to music. As he started working on it, he soon realized that to do justice to the story it would take two CDs, with the second part coming in 2024. Therefore, The Dreamer – Joseph: Part One only tells the first half of the story. By the end of the hour-plus album, Joseph has shared his dreams with his brothers, been sold into slavery in Egypt, hired, tempted, and thrown in jail by Potiphar’s wife.
Like many rock operas, different voices sing the parts of the characters, with Morse taking the role of Joseph. The album is full of highlights. One of the most poignant, though, is when Joseph is in prison near the end of the album. In “Wait on You,” Joseph sings, “Now darkness is all they allow. Time and silence are all I have now,” before turning his voice to God when he says, “I don’t know why you chose me for this.” He ends the song with, “yeah, what else is there to do just to bide my time and wait on you.” This is followed by a beautiful acapella chorale, “I Will Wait On the Lord.”
The Dreamer is an outstanding example of Morse at his best and worth checking out for both the excellent musicianship and the elegant telling of this familiar biblical story. (Radiant Records)