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Took A Whiles...But....,
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This review is from: Dream Theater (Audio CD)
So, how long has it been since the last studio offering from DT? A little longer than I would have thought, in view of the fact that they have to prove (all over again!) that they are still worth the listen minus Mr Portnoy.
Again, I found myself hanging back before I lashed out the cash and purchased my own copy, but seemingly reviews were mixed and, upon receipt, the self titled album was introduced to my player. However, being interrupted by my younger son, I wasn't paying the album all that much attention on first listen and just thought "well, it's alright...!"
So it wasn't until I had a little round trip of around 100 miles in the car that I actually got around to playing (and listening!) to this properly and although it took until the third run through for it all to click into place, I now think that it is indeed an excellent album - but not necessarily their best!
Certainly, it is not as immediate as IMAGES AND WORDS or as heavy as AWAKE - probably more akin to FALLING INTO INFINITY with a nice balance between the two extremes that these boys can accomodate.
Mr Petrucci's blistering solos are scarce though, and while Mr LaBrie's vocal chords remain as strong as ever, and Mr Myung's bass thumps along nicely and Mr Mangini's drums remain unlike Mr Portnoy's, it's actually the fact that Mr Rudess is given far more rein than before, giving this album almost (I SAID ALMOST) the feel of an early Yes album - no bad thing, but not what you expect from the DT boys.
Is it down to Mr Petrucci taking on so much that he no longer has the time to also fly in with the solos anymore? Who knows but, notwithstanding, this is an album that needs (and deserves) a lot of hard listening, rewarding the listener with a very powerful soundscape indeed.
Favourites are "Along For The Ride" - just one of those little ear-worms that get into your head and you keep finding yourself humming, and the complex and startling "Illumination Theory" along with it's harmonies and counterpoints with orchestral soundbites for good measure.
Yep, as they say in footballing circles; "the boys done good" again!
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Initial post: 19 Nov 2013 19:50:51 GMT
Disagree totally. I own every DT album both live and studio, except this. Because it's DT I am still persevering through youtube but the magic's gone, James in particular sounds stale, Mike Portnoy's creativity and ideas aren't there even though Mangini is a great drummer. MP was always so much more than just a drummer, which is why his absence is so crucial. I really expected and wanted to love it. shame.
5 stars????? hmmmmm. Also you mention Images And Words as the contrast for immediate appeal and Awake for heaviness, as far as I am concerned their most immediate, and by far best album, is Scenes From A Memory - and their heaviest and 2nd best, Train Of Thought. This album gets nowhere near any of them, or A Dramatic Turn Of Events which I love and I feel overpromised for this one which to me is a boring flop. Is the 'Dream' over? I do hope not............
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