Under A Glass Moon
(All Album Reviews by Under A Glass Moon)
I have decided to submit a review on Dream Theater for two reasons. One is that I was requested to by another member here at PE, and two is that with my member ID how could I not! I know this band is not highly revered here, but for those who have not yet heard them this is a great place to start.
Images and Words was released in early 1992 and marked a big change for the band. Their second studio effort saw the departure of lead singer Charlie Dominici and the debut of the operatically trained tenor from Canada, James LaBrie. Although some have never warmed to his voice, it was a step up in quality and put the band on the progmetal road they have continued on to this day. This album is one that a majority of fans consider their best. I think it is great but not their best. I do however think it is the most accessible to fans that have not heard them before or not familiar with this type of music
The album begins with what is probably the bands most recognizable and biggest commercial hit, if it could even be called a hit. “Pull Me Under” is about as mainstream as the band gets but is also a great tune. It starts out with a classic metal riff and progresses nicely around the riff with keys and guitar throughout the 8+ minutes. The lyrics, by Kevin Moore are great, and are loosely based on Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The only thing I don’t like about the song is the way it ends, it sounds like they just ran out of tape. A fade out would have even been better.
“Another Day”, a Petrucci penned tune, follows and shows the diversity of the band. A slow, syncopated, almost ballad of a tune, it is highlighted by the soprano sax of Jay Beckenstein (Spyrogyra), whose studio, Bear Tracks, the album was recorded at. The next song is probably my least favorite on the album. “Take The Time” suffers to me from trying to be too much of a pop tune, especially the chorus and the only saving grace is the instrumental section where the band shows how diverse they really are.
“Surrounded” is the next track and is another Kevin Moore song with great lyrics. The changes are great on it and the only drawback to me is Labrie’s lyrics, in which he tries to scream too much, he’s not a screamer. “Metropolis Part I” is up next and is the foundation for the band’s masterpiece, Scenes From A Memory (Metropolis part II). The story here is a little vague, written by Petrucci, but is easily the most progressive song on the album, with a great instrumental section. The next tune is my namesake, “Under A Glass Moon”. It has a great guitar hook and some okay lyrics and is probably my favorite tune on the album. It just has a mystical feel to me throughout.
“Wait For Sleep” is up next and is a Kevin Moore ballad strictly played on piano with some background keys and LaBrie’s voice sounding the best on the album in my opinion. The last tune is the Myung penned epic, “Learning To Live”. Lyrically wonderful, musically okay. The band tries to stretch it out a little too long and it has a little too much filler.
All in all, Images And Words is very representative of what Dream Theater has to offer in a raw, younger way. The band has matured and some say not for the better, but LaBrie’s vocals have improved on every release and the other musicians have branched out into different sounds. They have always wanted to be different and I think they have achieved that, although many would disagree. I still wish they had Kevin Moore though, as I think their song writing has suffered a bit in his absence. However, I think they are one of the best bands making music now days and deserve more credit than they get.