Top critical review
13 people found this helpful
Why are there no negative stars?
on 28 October 2004
Well, well, well. I must admit I've never been a fan of this particular brand of hideous dork-rock, but even I was unprepared for the horrors of this masturbatory ego-trip. What makes sweaty lead singer James LaBrie think that I, or anyone else with functioning ears, would want to hear him wheeze out his painfully immature lyrics, to the backing of a band of monumentally stupid, egocentric losers with a degree in soulless soloing? Cries of 'Concept Album' are no excuse - no excuse at all - for the lasting damage this 'masterpiece' has done to humanity.
The poor decisions and inexplicable ideas put into this album are too numerous to mention them all, but here's a taster:
- There is no harmonisation, and no contrapuntal melodies at any point in the whole album. For a band claiming to be expert musicians, this is a slight oversight, no? Instead, what you get is Every Single Instrument playing the _exact_ _same_ melody! This is testament to the band's lack of cooperation and the intense egotism of the musicians. The effect this has is that the music becomes entirely flat and, frankly, sounds retarded.
- Mike Portnoy's drumming consists mainly of thwacking the bass pedal very fast, matching up note-for-note with the solos that every other band member is playing. Thus, the music is rhythmically flat as well as musically uninteresting.
- Roughly half of what you think are guitar solos, are in fact the keyboard player using the pitch-bend wheel to simulate string bending. This I find personally offensive.
- A topic several others have touched on - the lyrics. I honestly couldn't believe, on first hearing, that this was not a comedy album. How anyone, let alone grown men, could write lines such as "Safe in the light that surrounds me, free from the pain and the fear" is beyond belief, and scorns the legacy of such songwriters as Van Morrison, Jeff Buckley and Joni Mitchell.
- Absurd, generic 'influences' pasted in from cultures that this band neither understands nor deserves to associate itself with.
- The utterly incredible (in the literal sense of the word) acting. "<Door Slams> Crunch, crunch, crunch. 'Aaaaagh!'... <BANG>" is the close of the album, and should leave you in no doubt as to what you must do. Get petrol; douse CD and packaging; burn. DO NOT inhale the fumes, for these too are dangerous.
I find it worrying - to say the least - that so many people have given this five stars. I tell myself, 'It's all right. These people are young, they can still learn. There is time for them to change, to grow.' But I know in my heart that for some of them, there is no time. They will leave this earth knowing no better music than DreamTheater. And I weep.