Metropolis Pt2: Scenes From a Memory
After the fallout from the Falling Into Infinity selling out debacle had shaken down. DT emerged with a new keyboardist (yet again) and a punchline for the Metropolis Pt1: The Miracle and the Sleeper joke. (It was just supposed to be a pretentious title, and no part two was initially envisioned). This is by far Dream Theater's best album. While others may have better songs, none are strung together so well. I would have to say this is one of the top 5 concept albums/rock operas ever.
Scenes From a Memory is based upon some short story no one has ever heard of, let alone read, and its story concerns a man who haunted by a past life as a woman who was involved in a love triangle that would lead to jealous murder. The songs on the album do a good job of establishing storyline without resorting to Kilroy Was Here stupidity.
There is a slight bit of musical masturbation in the form of The Dance of Eternity, which has 80 bajillion time signature changes not to mention an old tyme western saloon piano break.. sadly, this little bit of Jordan would return cheesier and cheesier on later alubms. Thankfully the greatness of tracks like Home make up for it. Home is the best song on the album, but not Dream Theaters best song by far. This is mostly due to the factors that make it great can only be appreciated within not only the constraints of this album, but also because of the callbacks to Metropolis Pt 1.