Images and Words
This was the second DT album I bought, which I got because the now defunct CDNow.com recommended it as the "Best of Artist." They may not have been able to stay in business, but they werent wrong on that recommendation. Pull Me Under is probably the only DT song that ever got any airplay, and its probably because it is the most memorable, what with its unforgettable hooks. This song also has the distinction of being the only song the guy from www.stormclad.com likes. Aside from the catchy chrous, the song also features some angry James singing, which is always the best kind of James singing. The Instrumental sections aren't over done, and you really cant tell that the song clocks in at over 8 minutes.
Another Day is the typical Dream Theater ballad about somone dying, and therefore, it's my least favorite song on the album. Maybe it's just me, and I really don't like songs that are just a showcase for the singer, but as good as James's vocals are, this song just doesnt do anything for me. Either that or the soprano sax work just makes me think of Kenny G.
Ah, back to rocking with Take the Time. Probably my favorite DT song at the time of this purchase. More Angry James rapping, so thats a plus, and Mike is all over the place on the skins, so thats another plus. The song also has that great lyric "Life is no more assuring than love" which fits in nicely with my other favorite song on the album Learning to Live. I probably liked this song so much at the time, because I was going through a period in my life where a girl I had dated for 5 years broke up with me, and the song has some pretty inspiring lyrics. Plus that guitar slide near the end is kickass.
Surrounded is a mediocre song, I dont love it, but I dont hate it either. Its got a good poppy sense to it, and the instrumental sections are awesome, but i just dont dig the lyrics all that much.
Of course it seems that these down songs are placed perfectly on the album, because Metropolis picks back up the steam of the other heavy hitters on the disc. I like everything about this song. The lyrics, the vocals (yes they are two different things), the solos... it's all good. All the instruments are showcased on this song, even Myung's bass, which is a rarity, so that wins some points too. Basically, this song is so awesome that DT decided to take a few themes and riffs and expand it into a masterpiece of a concept album. You cant do that with every song... there was never a Take Away My Pain concept album.
Under a Glass Moon is probably the most underrated DT song ever, well at least the most underrated on this album. It's got Petrucci's best solo, a nice gritty rhythm line, and soaring vocals. Had this song been on any other album, it would have been the single, but I&W is such a solid album that this little ditty often gets lost inbetween Metropolis and Learning to Live
Wait For Sleep is a nice little segue before Learning to Live, and the re-emergence of the theme in said song is great. Piano driven rock is always welcome on my stereo. Its a nice effect with the piano fade out to the straight on keyboard intro of Learning to Live. DT crafted their quintessential closer when they penned this song. The songs got some powerful lyrics, including what became my motto for a while "Once I reached for love, and now I reach for life" (which of course TTT reminds us is no more assuring). Pretty much everyone can relate on some level to this song. The last four minutes are just gold.. acoustic solos, the wait for sleep theme, and of course the majestic ending. I had the opportunity to see DT close a show with LTL, and I must say it was probably the best ending to a show ever.