Sound — 6
I was a bit dissappointed with the sound of this album. The songs seem to fall into two different categories: where the music is good but the lyrics are lacky and where the lyrics are average but the sound sucks. There isn't one song on the album that manages to combine these two elements. I really like the sound on "Dance Of Eternity" modern, powerful but maybe a bit complicated. Some songs sound familiar due to the use of the same ideas as in metropolis (then again the cover actually reads "Scenes From A Memory: Metropolis Part 2"). The concept reminds me of Pink Floyd's "Dark Side Of The Moon": some of the songs are attached to each other, you can sometimes hear talking in the background and the "Screaming Lady" is idealisticly excactly the same. Dream theater concentrates more on individuals than teamplay: Songs change "Shape And Color" too often. Of course there are the amazing solos but we've heard them before haven't we?
Lyrics — 6
The lyrics are mostly rubbish, chewing the same subjects over and over again with no real thought behind them. All the songs are held together with a story of a something! Since the lyrics focus on parts like: "Our deeds have travelled far - What we have been is what we are." There is no telling what the hell is going on. James Labrie is a wonderful singer. He can sing very high clearly and beautifully but he lacks the power of e.g. Metallica's James Hetfield.
Overall Impression — 8
I've been a little harsh on the album, after all it is an ambitious try and very nice to listen to. The song structures and lyrics are the only thing that don't fit in. I just think that you should let Andrew Lloyd Webber make the musicals.