Images and Words review by Dream Theater

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  • Released: Jun 24, 2009
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.9 (155 votes)
Dream Theater: Images and Words

Sound — 10
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.

Lyrics — 9
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.

Overall Impression — 9
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.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Nice songs, especially Pull me under and Under a Glass Moon. I wish they would do a remastered version with Mike's real snare since that electronic one they used in the mix stinks. 'Awake' had a better drum mix, and guitar mix too, by far.