Sound — 10
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.
Lyrics — 10
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.
Overall Impression — 10
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.