June 27, 2005

Dream Theater: 2005 Awake

Every time Dream Theater releases a new album it usually takes between three and five listens before I'm really able to wrap my mind around the music and decide if I like it or not. Of course, I always end up loving it and can't imagine them making any new albums that don't sound like this. Then after a couple years they release another album that sounds very different from the last and the whole process starts over again.

Now that I've finally fallen in love with the newest release, Octavarium, and have been listening to it non-stop for well over a week I thought I'd post my personal ranking of Dream Theater's studio albums. I’ll post my thoughts on one album per day, starting with the lowest ranked and moving upward. Here we go!

7. Awake

Don’t let the low rankings of these last few albums fool you, these are utterly fantastic albums, they’re just a little more uneven than those higher on the list. As I listen to Awake today, I’m just amazed at how well the band incorporated some musical themes throughout the album, so that even though it’s not a concept album and each song is individual in its own right, the album is tied fast together. You find yourself in the latter half of the album wondering where you heard that theme from, then on the next listen through you hear echoes of the later songs appearing in the earlier tunes. A couple of the songs haven’t held up as well as other, but there are still some real winners that still get play on tours and sound as good as ever

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