When Dream and Day Unite
A lot of Dream Theater fans can't stand WDADU because of it's poor production values and lack of James LaBrie. Well, not really the lack of James LaBrie, but the presence of Charlie Domenici. Instead of Jame's warm (or angry) voice, we have an 80s metal siren. I not only like WDADU, but think it's in the top quarter of DT's discography.
Sure the sound is a litte raw and the band hadn't found their groove with the sampling, but WDADU is chock full of energetic, uplifiting, prog rock, much in the vein of Kansas. Lyrically, this may be DT's best work, and will definately exhibit the downhill turn that DT's lyrics have taken. Just compare The Killing Hand and Only a Matter of Time with anything off of Octavarium or Train of Thought. Go ahead, I dare you.
As it is a Dream Theater album, there is one clunker. In this case, it's The Ones Who Help to Set the Sun, while It did provide a sample that would later be featured in better songs, the song comes off as a poor man's attempt at sounding like Pink Floyd, something that DT would dare not do again until Octavarium. The song is about 5 minutes too long, and just terrible. Thankfully it's horribleness is a great lead in to the best song Dream Theater ever wrote.
Only A Matter of Time is a perfect song. Kevin Moore makes Shakespearean Blank Verse cool again, and then throws in nautical references to make the song truely epic. The song is inrcedibly hard to sing, and that is a turn off for some, but to me that just makes the song better. Anyone can sing "I am trying to justify you, in the end I will just defy you," it takes practice to be able to sing anything after the 3 minute mark. And of course you can't go wrong with the epic ending.
Without Only a Matter of Time the album is easily in the bottom third of DTdom, but the song is powerful enough to carry the entire thing. KevMo somehow manages to bottle amazing every once in a while.