As I said in my review of Schooltree’s fantastic concept album Heterotopia, at the beginning of Act II of this amazing prog opera, there is an LP’s side worth of immediately accessible, instant rock and roll classics.
The power and sophistication of these songs is jaw-dropping, so I thought I would devote this current post to them alone, as I resume the synopsis of the prog opera’s storyline.
I also include the last track of Act I, Specter Lyfe, on my playlist of the five classic tracks on the album that became my first-listen favorites. Here are the other four, which kick off the storyline of Act II:
Suzi encounters three shadows who taunt her for her ghostly “condition.” We’ve seen how this story ends, they prophesize, and you’re already dead, just like the rest of your kind. (Dead Girl)
Metanoia reaches out to Suzi after this altercation and teaches her the power of the strange – throughout your experience you will encounter strangeness, you yourself will become strange, but don’t be afraid – form is illusory, lines can be broken down and shaped by your will. Use the strange to adapt yourself and the world around you. (Turning into the Strange)
As Suzi moves through this world and tries to adapt, she begins to realize she’s spent her life overcome, in a cycle of unwitting self-destruction. She’s been a sort of ghost all along, but feels more uncertain and insubstantial than ever now (for obvious reasons). She feels unsure whether it’s her life as a human or her life as a ghost that’s the “reality.” Metanoia offers some perspective on this – all these things that make being a ghost hard are also what make it extraordinary. You are alone, but that makes you singular; you can’t touch anything but you can move through walls; the lines of reality are broken so nothing confines you. This is what will enable you on your quest: the power of the ghost. For a moment Suzi sees clearly the path before her. (Edge Annihilate, Power of the Ghost)