Maybe it's just me, but I don't find TSOAD that interesting musically. There were just a few "wow" moments for me on the album, TA has much more of the "wow" factor to me. I still like the album for what it is, a double concept album with great writing and playing, and still have it full on my phone to see if I like it more on the next listen, but it hasn't happened yet
I haven't kept up with his recent projects and what he says about them but i dont think he normally says "this is the best."
...The whole mood of the album seems very weird and not befitting of the story.
He doesn't say that all the time as in "Look, I've made the album of my career here" (which he did say for this album), but he's always overhyping his new albums/bands. He did that for AMOB, TWD, MA... and the results aren't always that good, just look at AMOB
With this one, though, he just went nuts with the "This is better than anything I've ever done" thing and, to me, he was just trying to take advantage of the big split TA made on the DT fanbase, as in "If you didn't like their album, don't worry, we've come up with a much better one that you'll definitely like because I was the soul of DT, not them." (of course he didn't say that, but that's the way it looks to me).
About the album itself, the songs have a smooth flow, but, to me, it doesn't have too much interesting parts to justify a making a double album. Even the songs I like more have parts that just don't work there. For example: I really like "So Far Gone" untill the "you can turn, you're not too far part" and I just loose it.
I agree with this almost 100% - I just disagree about the vocals. I am so glad that they did not use multiple singers on TA. We're on the same page with everything else. I did buy into MP's hype tiny bit, but not enough to be disappointed. I think it is a good album, but far from the best of MP's career, and the guitar player sounds way too much like JP.
I'm not on the "they should've had multiple singers for each character" boat, I think James nailed it perfectly and TA is one of his best albums vocally. What I'm saying is that having a couple more voices on your band can be a great advantage. Look at SFAM, for example. James sang 99% of the vocals, but still JP and MP had great backing vocal moments, like in Fatal Tragedy or Beyond This Life. That's one of the very few things I miss of the MP era, the extra vocals by them, even though Mike went WAY TOO FAR with his vocals on DT (ROOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRGGHHHHHHHHHHHH)
I wish JP recorded backing vocals on the studio albums again, and that his vocals weren't as buried on the live mixes as they are now.
I am not sure I agree that it's best album he and Neal have done together (hard to top a couple of those Transatlantic albums), it is still pretty freaking awesome, IMO.
Very hard to top The Whirlwind and Sola Scriptura
About Eric sounding too much like JP, I have to agree with Vakaren, the guy is just another JP clone. He does have his own style, and is a very skilled player, but his approach to the instrument is way too similar to JP's and uses the same guitars
. Even Portnoy said something similar:
"BRACE YOURSELVES FOR A NEW GUITAR HERO IN ERIC GILLETTE! HE IS THE NEW KING OF SHRED AND FEEL! HE REMINDS ME A LOT OF MY OLD PARTNER IN CRIME (IF YOU KNOW WHO I MEAN!)"
- MIKE PORTNOY
Phew! That was a long post, guys. Sorry for taking the thread a bit off topic with my thoughts on TSOAD vs TA