Styles: Hard Rock, Prog-Rock/Art Rock, Heavy Metal, Progressive Metal, Neo-Prog
Number Of Tracks: 8
Dream Theater's first album with new vocalist James LaBrie is an excellent mix of progressive metal stylings with heartfelt vocals and thought-provoking lyrics.
Images And Words
TheLlamaMan, on december 08, 2009 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: Images and Words is the second studio album by the great progressive metal band Dream Theater. Despite it only being the band's second album, it is still amazing, and in my opinion one of Dream Theater's best ever. It is full of great, powerful songs that appeal not only to your typical metalhead but is also more accessible to the public, with many great elements of rock and other progressive music incorporated flawlessly.
If you're familiar with Dream Theater's first album, When Day and Dream Unite, you'll soon notice the band has kept the same general style. This time around however, you'll be looking at something much more polished and professional. Just from putting these albums side by side it becomes apparent just how much these guys have developed as musicians.
The album consists of a total of eight tracks (around an hour of music), and not many (if any) of these tracks are a disappointment. Full of great melodies, instrumentation, and an awesome blend of styles, even if you hate metal or hard rock there will still be something for you. Although this blend of different types of music will make it easier for others to adapt to the band, there are times it seems where putting emphasis on one style more than another will turn listeners off of certain tracks. In general though, most of these songs are nearly flawless and almost all of them you'll find wanting to listen to again.
As a band, Dream Theater has definitely grown. Even just listening to the way each band member reacts to one another and how their parts fit together shows this. When they play, although you can pick out each individual instrument, instead of seeming like just a group of different musicians, they seem like one band. They're very tight, and it's apparent that they've spent a lot of time playing together. Overall the band as a whole has done a fantastic job with very little to criticize.
Now, for the musicians as individuals. First of all, John Petrucci is an amazing, very technical guitarist. All of his guitar parts are great, and fit in perfectly with everything else thats going on. Although his solos are very fast and often amazing, often they're too much about the technical skill and less about the actual feeling and melodic lines. Mike Portnoy has shown himself as one of the greatest drummers in the world, and this album does little to prove that wrong. The drums are very complicated, very intense, and yet they don't overwhelm anything or take away from the attention of the listener. Virtually flawless. Next there's John Myung, the bass player for the band. For the most part, his bass is great at supporting the band and is still audible and moving. In particular, his bass solo in "Metropolis, Pt. I: The Miracle and the Sleeper" is great. Next, keyboard player Kevin Moore is wicked. The keyboard is very instrumental to this band in many ways, and on top of providing a large portion of the songs Kevin Moore throws down some amazing solos. Finally, Jay Beckenstein's soprano sax on "Another Day" also deserves some honourable mention. Overall, these musicians are some of the most technically skilled players, not just for this genre of music but for all music. They can all playing amazingly, and still know when to keep it simple and when to keep it intense.
This album is not good. It's not even great. It's AMAZING. There are very small flaws here and there, true, but for a second album? Very few bands are capable of such an album in their entire career, let alone their second one. It's full of great instrumentation and lots of technical skill is involved in these songs. If solos were less shreddy and more emotional in some parts of the songs I feel it would be even better, but other than that I can't think of much else to complain about. Maybe make the transitions between styles easier to change with. But great job in almost every respect. // 9
Lyrics and Singing: The lyrics on this album are great. They definitely suit the style of the music and add to the whole experience, but I feel like some of them could be slightly improved. There are a few cliched and cheesy lines here and there that could have been replaced, but I feel that for the most part they did a great job. "Metropolis, Pt. I: The Miracle and the Sleeper" in my opinion definitely has the best lyrics on the album, telling a story that's actually interesting while still being enjoyable to listen to.
James LaBrie is the vocalist on this album and remains to be so to this day. This is the first album he was featured on, replacing the original vocalist Charlie Dominici. For the most part, LaBrie has great range and a fairly good voice. He's not perfect though, and sometimes when put next to the other musical virtuosos seems a little lacking. In general though, he is on no account a bad singer, and adds to this album in many ways. // 8
Impression: If you've heard any other Dream Theater before and enjoyed it, this album is a good choice no matter what. If you have NEVER heard Dream Theater before, this is as good a place as any to start. Some of my favourites from the album include "Metropolis, Pt. I: The Miracle and the Sleeper", "Another Day", and "Take the Time". This album is great the first few times through, and does get old eventually, but you'll get a ton of usage out of it for sure. This is certainly in my top three favourite Dream Theater albums, and with very few flaws you can't go wrong with this purchase. If this album was stolen from me I would let the guy keep it just so he could be exposed to this awesome music, then buy another copy and a better home security system. Overall, amazing album. Check it out. // 9
Images And Words
ThePacSack, on february 21, 2011 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Images and Words is the second studio album of the progressive metal band Dream Theater, and it first came out in 1992 after the recordings late in 1991. Anyway this was the first album I bought from this band, and it's definitely the record who opened my eyes to this amazing band.
At first I love their style and skills. Many of the members have been studying music, and they are showing their skills in a remarkable way. The results are technically demanding music with a lot of progressions and different harmonies, though there are more calm ballad-like songs on this album as well. It goes from the heavy riffs in Pull Me Under and the Nintendo-inspired bridges in Metropolis Pt. 1: The Miracle And The Sleeper, to the saxophone-solo in Another Day and the amazing guitar solo in Under A Glass Moon. It says itself that Dream Theater makes varied and innovative music for the metal-genre, and this makes that the music is very entertaining to listen to. Another very special thing about the unique genre this band is making, is that either you're a jazz-entusiast, a metalhead or a fan of Mozart you'll probably like this album more or less. Though Dream Theater is a "metal-band" there is still elements from other genres like techno, jazz and classical music which makes this album open for very many different people.
Anyway the genre itself hasn't changed that much since their first album, but the sound is very improved. There is a very good quality on the sound itself, and I think that you'll note the difference between the present album and this pretty fast. At least I did. The album has got eight songs, and about an hour of playtime. Some songs are better than others, but the whole soundtrack will entertain you many times. The balance and the variation in all the songs makes that you most likely will listen to them many times, at least I can confirm that. // 10
Lyrics and Singing: But the change that I think are the most noticeable isn't the sound, but the new vocalist. After two years and 20 auditions across the states the members of Dream Theater met James LaBrie, the vocalist who then took over after Charlie Dominici who got kicked after disagreements in the band. I think the new vocalist has a more personal and unique style than Dominici, and I haven't heard many vocalists who has a similar style. The first thing you will notice is that LaBrie has much focus on high notes. He is hitting the notes perfect, and especially on early live performances, he is singing many the songs on this record exactly like they are on the record, which is pretty impressive. But there is one thing which can be a little negative regarding the singing. The thing I'm thinking of now, is that LaBrie's singing sometimes can get a bit overwhelming. I hope you don't misunderstand me know, his singing is great. But sometimes it's just getting a bit too high for a little too long time, and in the end you just want him to go to a lower note. It's not a really big negative aspect, but when you don't hear the lyrics because of the high notes for a little too long, it can be a little tiring for some people.
The lyrics on this album are great. The lines are often about more abstract and mystical things like eternity, love, feelings, dilemmas and grief, and it fits very well with music as well. Much of the lyrics also have the ability to convey good stories in a excellent way, and my personal favorites are the lyrics in Wait for Sleep and Metropolis Pt. 1: The Miracle And The Sleeper. The lyrics on this album are really well-written, and makes the music a bit more engaging. // 9
Impression: There is not much negative to say about Images And Words, and it's definitely my favorite album from Dream Theater. The band-members are exactly knowing what they're doing, the music is containing a lot of amazing dynamics and progressions, and the lyrics are well-written. But is it perfect? No, not entirely. It's not the most breathtaking album I've ever heard, and small things like vocals who feels a little to high sometimes does that the album don't get top score. It is also some tracks which clearly are a bit weaker than others, and here I'm talking about the two tracks Surrounded and Learning To Live. These tracks aren't bad, but personally I think they're not as much impressive as tracks like Pull Me Under and Metropolis Pt. 1: The Miracle And The Sleeper. Anyway I will highly recommend buying this album now, because I can almost guarantee you that you will like it pretty well. It's definitely worth all the money. // 9
Images And Words
nic_2090, on september 07, 2005 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Dream Theater's sound is always great, but this ahas a particular feel to it, that I love. The playing is more subtle then in Dream Theater's other albums, but it's still amazing. Songs like "Another Day" are great all acrossed the board. Every aspect of the song is nothing short of incredible. When I first got the ablum, I listened to the first track "Pull Me Under" 4 times in a row, before moving onto track 2. "Pull Me Under" was such an amazing song, that I thought the album couldn't have anything better. But when I listened to the second track "Anthoer Day" I was blown away. It was so different from the first song. But, even more suprising, it was better then "Pull Me Under." As I continued listening, I found that every song on this album was great. Among my favorites are "Another Day," "Wait For Sleep," "Pull Me Under," and "Learning To Live." This album has something for everyone, from the subtle sounds of "Wait For Sleep" and "Another Day," to up in your face progressive metal sound of "Pull Me Under" to the sweeping, epic sound of "Learning To Live" and "Metropolis Pt. 1." This is the quintessential Dream Theater album. Everything about how all the instruments fit together is perfect. And James LaBries vocals are truly great. // 10
Lyrics and Singing: The lyrics are truly amazing. The standouts are "Learning To Live," "Another Day," and "Wait For Sleep," but every song on the album is very well written. There's deffinately no disapointments in the lyrics department. // 10
Impression: Overall, this is probably my favorite album of all time. Every track on this album is amazing. Dream Theater have such a perfected technique. Everything from the solos, to the lyrics, to the tone of the instruments is spot on. Anyone, whether they're are a Dream Theater fan or not, can find something on this album that they like. It's truly a great CD from any perspective. If you've never heard it before, then I strongly suggest that you go to the local music store and pick up this album. // 10
Images And Words
BrofUJu, on april 18, 2005 2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sound: Dream Theater is an amazing band. The fact that all members are virtuosos doesn't hurt either. Unfortunately, some people don't enjoy some of their progressive stylings, and might get bored with their strange instrumental meandering. Have no fear! Images And Words is here! This album isn't for everyone, but the instrumentals, and strange instrumental meandering is kept to a general low on this album, without sacrificing progressivness. This is mainly apparent on the first 4 tracks, which are stunning. There deffinitely is still some instrumental-ness in these tracks, mainly on "Take The Time," track 3. But it never gets boring, and there is enough strange tempos, solos, and melodic playing to keep the listener interested. The last 4 tracks are more progressive then the first 4 tracks, but no less brilliant. Metropolis, track 5, is considered one of Dream Theater's best tracks by many, and is nothing short of brilliance. The epic "Learning To Live" is the last track, with forward thinking lyrics. This track is a great way to end the album, and at the least is interesting, with a memorable chorus. The music is top knotch, and James LaBrie's vocals are a total standout as always. // 10
Lyrics and Singing: Some of the most human and introspective lyrics, belong to Dream Theater. Every song has above average lyrics, which are deffinitely worth pulling out the lyric book to read. Standouts include "Take The Time" and the already mentioned "Learning To Live," which deffinitely give a nice human touch to the album. The forward thinking lyrics work perfect with the forward thinking music for sure. One of the best Dream Theater albums lyrically speaking. // 10
Impression: Nothing short of brilliance. Many reviews here on UG will give an album a 5, just beacause they threw it in and it was catchy. I can honestly say this is one of the best albums I own, up there with Opeth's Blackwater Park and Queensryche's Operation: Mindcrime. Dream Theater aren't nearly as heavy as later realeases as Train Of Thought, but don't let that turn you off. After a few listens of this album, you will be in total awe. Any prog rock fan most own this, and even if you aren't into prog, check it out anyway. Probably Dream Theater's best album, this masterpiece shouldn't be missed. // 10
Images And Words
mqsand2112, on july 05, 2010 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Wow! What an amazing album this is, a sparkiling jewel in progressive rock history! Arguably one of Dream Theater's best albums, this album is definitley up there. The sound/technical aspect of the album was superb. DT technically speaking always astounds me, they are great musicians and they compose highly complex songs, but that's not too special, DT isn't the ony band that makes complex music, what makes DT so special is the creativity behind the music, and the fact that even though DT might not be the only band putting intricate numbers out there, they are one of the few bands who's complex songs actually sound good and flow well. The sound quality was fantastic, very clean and pure. The only song I felt that fell short of the rest on the album was Learning To Live, still a good song nontheless, I just don't feel it compares well to the other tracks on the album. Images and Words through a mixed bag of songs ranging from more up beat, softer hits to heavy riffage and intense instrumental breakdowns. I couldn't come up with a number one song for sound on the album so I'll pick two, Under A Glass Moon and Surrounded. // 9
Lyrics and Singing: Dream Theater always has awesome lyrics, the group can write very intellegent lyrics that flow perfectly with the music. James LaBrie had and STILL HAS a phenominal voice, this album is no exception. The albums lyrics are great, they speak to the soul, and are pretty clever too. Dream Theater is good at telling stories through song, even though thats not what this album does, Images and Words does set the stage for the later concept album Metropolis PT. 2: Scenes From a Memory, which is basically a continuation/build in detail of the track Metropolis pt.1: The Miracle and the Sleeper, which is on images and words. Lyrically this album kicks ass, all of the songs are amazing in terms of the lyrics and I would leave it at that, but since Metropolis pt.1: The Miracle and The Sleeper kinda kicked off Metropolis pt.2: Scenes from a Memory I'm going to say that that is number one on the album in terms of lyrics. // 9
Impression: Golden! A great listen, love it every time, and for anyone new to Dream Theater, they are an amazing bad, but in order to really get into them you have to sit down, take some time, an listen to the music in its entirety and sort of digest the music. This album is by far a favorite of mine by Dream Theater, though not necessarily their best. Dream Theater has made a name for themselves and also has made a mark in progessive rock history, which could possibly have been helped by this album, Images And Words. Best track overall on the album is Take The Time. // 9
Images And Words
aenimafist, on january 15, 2008 1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: John Petrucci has the guitar tone of the Millenium the 1000s that is. There are better tones now-a-days but he has a good tone that is still hard to beat. Mike Portnoy is my hero, he is a phenominal drummer who always gets it done no matter what. His skill behind the skins is what gies Dream Theater their edge. The way he and the rest of the band adjust to strange time signatures is just amazing. Kevin Moore does nicely on the keys. I like his performance on Surrounded with the quiet intro and then his piano entrance later on. James LaBrie has the voice of the '80s hair metal band but he still fits in with a top-notch prog outfit. These guys are nothing short of a 10-star sound. // 10
Lyrics and Singing: James LaBrie is one of my favorite singers of any band on my top ten list. He kind of sounds like ZP Theart from Dragonforce because he can reach those staggering high notes which only can be reached by the best like Scott Ian. Te lyrics are kind of mysticl giving the music a floaty sound and make you feel like a weightless cloud flying in the sky of dreams eating ice cream and frosted cake. But that shows how mild lyrics can be utilized effectivly in metal and James from Dream Theater verifies that theory. // 10
Impression: This is hands down either the number one or two prog metal albums ever. People always say oh, hey Fall Out Boy is awesome or whoa Listen to this Green Day. No. Who will be listening to those bands in a thousand years? No one. Sorry fans. But the bands people will be listening to are Led Zepp, Sabbath, The Beatles, The Stones and Dream Theater. This album is the ultimate prog metal salute to the world with hands held high at a price anyone will pay. The best songs are Another Day, Take the Time (my absolute favorite), Surrounded, and Under a Glass Moon. // 10
Images And Words
petrucci_owns86, on november 21, 2007 1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: This is probably the album that got Dream Theater started. When Dream and Day Unite was relatively unsuccessful, but this album really won people over. It features new vocalist James LaBrie, and also contains DT's very first hit, "Pull Me Under". "Another Day" and "Take The Time" also followed suit, but "Pull Me Under" was their biggest hit. The sound of this album is not as "full" sounding as albums such as Scenes From a Memory or Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, but it is excellent nonetheless. It's not my favorite DT album, but it pretty much got them famous, so I have to give it credit. // 8
Lyrics and Singing: The lyrics are pretty cool. John Petrucci, Kevin Moore, and John Myung all wrote at least one song. The entire band wrote the music for all the songs except for "Wait For Sleep", which was written entirely by Moore. Here's the tracklisting with a short explanation for each song:
01. pull Me Under - Dream Theater's first big hit. Great instrumentation on this song. Three guitar solos by John Petrucci. There are several keyboard solos from Kevin Moore, also.
02. Another Day - great song, very heartfelt sounding. Amazing guitar solo. There are also a few saxophone solos, surprisingly.
03. Take The Time - hard-rockin' song, almost eight and a half minutes long. Some great solos from Moore and Petrucci here.
04. Surrounded - not my favorite track, doesn't really stand out. But it's still pretty good. The solo by Petrucci is only so-so here.
05. Metropolis - Part I. The Miracle And The Sleeper - this song blows my mind. Some crazy solos from Moore and Petrucci on this cut. Tells a story, which DT later turned into a whole album. The story is here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metropolis_Pt._2:_Scenes_From_A_Memory
06. Under A Glass Moon - all I can say is that this song is amazing. The guitar solo from Petrucci is incredible.
07. Wait For Sleep - a nice mellow song, music and lyrics written by Kevin Moore. Some of the same themes from this song recur in the final track, "Learning to Live".
08. Learning To Live - changes musical styles several times over the course of the eleven and a half minutes. Again, some amazing solos by the Mr. Moore and Mr. Petrucci. // 9
Impression: Overall, it's not one of my favorite DT albums, but it's still great. It's just not quite up to par with Six Degrees or Scenes. The songs that really, really stand out are "Pull Me Under", "Take the Time", "Metropolis", and "Learning To Live". If it were lost or stolen, I would buy it again. It's only like 13 or 14 bucks. The things that kind of bug me are that LaBrie's voice goes a little weird at certain times on the album, and also the album sounds a little raw. It doesn't really have that full sound that Scenes has. But if you get the chance, buy it, definitely! // 9
Images And Words
British Josh, on september 24, 2007 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Honestly, this is without a doubt Dream Theater's Magnum Opus. This was an album with old keyboardist Kevin Moore, but I still think this album is very good. Petrucci, Myung, Portnoy and Moore are the ultimate instrumentalists in progressive rock or any other genre for that matter. I would have to say that this album ranks with Rage Against The Machine's "Rage Against The Machine" as far as sound quality go. I was very impressed. // 10
Lyrics and Singing: The thing with Dream Theater is that they are a highly instrumental band. This was the first album with singer James LaBrie and I think that had some kind of effect. But putting that aside, I believe his voice syncs very well with the rest of the band. As far as lyrics go, they're no Roger Waters, but they're ok. // 8
Impression: This is my first Dream Theater album and it is my favorite. I thoroughly enjoy it on a daily basis. The most impressive song instrumentally is Metropolis Pt. 1. My favorite song is Pull Me Under. If you're looking for a fantastic guitar solo, go for Under A Glass Moon. Really great solo by Mr. John Petrucci there. I love most things about this album. The only thing that is a little annoying is the lyrics. The singing is good but the lyrics are a little sub-par. I would definitely buy this album over and over again. I recommend this to anyone who is a fan of the progressive metal genre. If your into Rush, buy this album. // 10