June 26, 2005

Dream Theater: 2005 Falling Into Infinity

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!

8. Falling Into Infinity

This is the album most reviled by fans and for which DT is accused of “selling out”. Of course, prog fans are pretentious and ridiculous, so it’s not always advisable to listen to them, especially when one of the chief charges that a couple members of the band cut their hair short. So anyway, this was my first exposure to Dream Theater. Evidently their label switched producers for the band on this album and the new guy was intent on trying to make DT more marketable and mainstream, which resulted in perhaps the least “proggy” album they’ve ever made. One of the songs actually got a little bit of radio play, which is where I heard it, so I suppose I should be thankful to that erstwhile producer for introducing me to my favorite band of all time.

Now onto the music. There are still some fantastic tunes on this disc, more than fans would care to admit, but it’s just a little more uneven than other albums and there are a couple songs on there that I’m not crazy about. Actually, I think it’s the fact that this album is merely “good” that is so disappointing. There’s no epic length song that blows you away, the music sounds nice but doesn’t wow you. I think Mike Portnoy, DT’s drummer and sort of leader, summed it up best when he said that though he likes some of the songs it’s not the album he would have chosen to make.

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