21 October 2016

Music Day - Morningstar

One of my favourite Terry Scott Taylor lyrics EVER is Daniel Amos' song When Worlds Collide. It's a beautiful lyric, from the perspective of God to those He loves. This is a notoriously difficult angle to write from -- so rife with potential pitfalls that most songwriters rarely attempt it and those who do usually make it so contrived it's unlistenable. Terry Taylor, however, is 1. not out to write a Number One hit, and 2. a thinking man -- which in this case translates into 'fantastic songwriter' -- and as a result his take on it is probably the closest one out there to how it actually is.

Not long after that song appeared on DA's Vox Humana album in 1984, Terry Taylor produced an album for a little band called D.O.X. that made two albums and disappeared. Even though he only wrote two of the songs on it (the band took care of the rest), his influence is ALL OVER that album. I keep thinking it's a lost DA record (compare with DA's Fearful Symmetry album from the same year). You can even hear Terry Taylor, Rob Watson (DA keyboardist), and Tim Chandler (DA bassist) in the background vocals in some of the songs. This influence extends to the songwriting of Mark de la Bretonne (D.O.X. frontman), and nowhere is this more evident than in the album closer, Morningstar.

Title: Morningstar
Artist: D.O.X.
Album: D.O.X. (Defenders Of The Cross)
Year: 1986
iTunes here; YouTube here.

The song opens with a brief but crisp description of loneliness and twisted love in the big city, enough to paint a picture of a heart's desolation. And then it segues into what is clearly the voice of God, pining over an unrequited love (hint: that's all humans), much in the style of the aforementioned When Worlds Collide (though admittedly, Morningstar is not as tender -- I mean, it has rock guitars).

The real payoff here is in the final minute of the song, when some genius (who, I suspect, bears the initials T.S.T. but I could be wrong) decided to layer bits of the first verse with the chorus and the result is heart-wrenching. It stopped me in my tracks when I first heard it.

Sit down. Close your eyes. Breathe. Listen.

I walk the streets alone
I call your name...

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