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Not since Jesus Christ Superstar has there been such an incredible rock opera, but unlike Superstar, ONE is Biblically sound. A Generation of Time is magnificent!! It is so well done that even if you did not know beforehand what its theme was, the music itself would tell you. Turn it up, lie back, close your eyes and be taken on a journey through time from Creation to the final end.
ONE opens with A Creation of Time. From nothingness, different parts are added to start us on this musical sojourn. Time Begins unfolds with the frenetic energy that must surely have been present at the shaping of our universe. The vocal is almost a shock after having listened to the two previous instrumental sections. The words capture the bittersweetness the Lord must have felt creating Man, knowing that he would fall. Simply by giving man a choice, one man was bound to make the wrong one.
Whether the passage of Two Thousand Years is the correct interpretation of time or not, Malachi’s music represents it well. Enter The Man, with all his complexities and his dependence. Here is the warning, and then comes Temptation. It begins innocently enough, almost gently. When Temptation has a foothold, it adds a little force and strength. The Lie hangs back a little at first, mixed with truth, and as the man buys into more and more of the lie, less and less truth can be seen. This is so perfectly captured in his music, as is the Blackness and disgust Adam must have felt afterwards. It’s represented here by an arranged cacophony of gut-wrenching music.
Adam’s Cry has wonderful lyrics. “Why did you bring me this woman? Why did I depart from you? Why must I carry this load?” No longer innocent, man searches to place blame. This is one of the few cuts from the opera that could stand alone as a single.
The first death in the Bible. Malachi gives an interesting perspective, that Abel wasn’t certain what was happening to him as he breathed his last and his soul departed. Deep. That’s a word that could be applied to many parts of this whole. This entire album is full of so much insight! The analogy of God’s tears and the flood is fresh and effective. Cry with the Lord at the betrayal we are all guilty of. Lord, let us all be Noahs. The music itself here is fluid, perfect to represent the water and the tears.
In The End closes out the CD in a fitting fashion. Or does it? Just when you think it’s over, track 40(!), the Return of the Lord’s Light and Glory, is a delightful surprise. This extra-long cut (over ten minutes) sums it all up. “Do you see? Do you feel the fire? Do you know what your heart desires?” Is This The End? A good tug at the heart, and a gentle call to action for Christians.
This album is “rated PG”, not necessarily because of the notable artwork, but because it may be too emotionally intense for younger listeners. The music, engineering and production of ONE is superb throughout. This is a CD to be savored, to be reserved for those occasions that you can lie down with headphones on and do nothing except listen. It’s rare that an album leaves me breathless. ONE has managed to do so.
Paul Gentry, CMCA Staff