Author Topic: Your Controversial Opinions on DT  (Read 687410 times)

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Online Ben_Jamin

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #10710 on: June 13, 2021, 08:03:18 AM »
I agree The Great Debate lacks a certain something. I donít mind it, it has a cool guitar solo, the drumming is pretty cool. Lyrics are a little iffy, as is the chorus. Itís probably the third best song on disc one for me (after Blind Faith and Misunderstood).

The one whose popularity I donít quite understand is Disappear. Felt like a failed attempt to re-write Space Dye Vest in the vein of Radiohead.

Disappear is a great song. It captures that mood of despair, and hopelessness. That mood of there's nothing you can do, and you have to accept it.

In this context, the music is slow and heartfelt, and somber. As the person in the lyrics has to deal with accepting the death of a loved one.

And the circus part of the keys fits really well with the lyrics "my whole world has been changed" as that, to me, signifies how life is crazy and seems like a circus when your entire world is changing.
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Offline DoctorAction

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #10711 on: June 13, 2021, 08:18:13 AM »
So I'm moving on
I'll never forget
As you lay there and watched me
Accepting the end
You were strong, I was trying

It's about James' mother's death, I believe. I lost my mother a few years ago and this song moves me greatly. Perfect words. Perfect song.

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Online Ben_Jamin

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #10712 on: June 13, 2021, 08:23:33 AM »
So I'm moving on
I'll never forget
As you lay there and watched me
Accepting the end
You were strong, I was trying

It's about James' mother's death, I believe. I lost my mother a few years ago and this song moves me greatly. Perfect words. Perfect song.

You forgot the best part of that lyric stanza. "I knew you were scared"

That part of the song I actually listen to JLBs soft, spoken, background vocals as I feel that style best represents that sad, somber mood. And the higher, more powerful, lead vocals is the more desperate and accepting mood and tone.


I really love Disappear because it really showcases that mood and feeling of somberness at seeing a loved one slowly dying and then having to accept their death. This is what the song is describing and it's what I believe it's trying to convey.

The lyrics are just JLBs way of putting that feeling in words.
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Online HOF

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #10713 on: June 13, 2021, 02:10:07 PM »
So I'm moving on
I'll never forget
As you lay there and watched me
Accepting the end
You were strong, I was trying

It's about James' mother's death, I believe. I lost my mother a few years ago and this song moves me greatly. Perfect words. Perfect song.

You forgot the best part of that lyric stanza. "I knew you were scared"

That part of the song I actually listen to JLBs soft, spoken, background vocals as I feel that style best represents that sad, somber mood. And the higher, more powerful, lead vocals is the more desperate and accepting mood and tone.


I really love Disappear because it really showcases that mood and feeling of somberness at seeing a loved one slowly dying and then having to accept their death. This is what the song is describing and it's what I believe it's trying to convey.

The lyrics are just JLBs way of putting that feeling in words.

Ok, I definitely see how it works from that perspective. Certainly didnít mean to be dismissive of the subject matter. Musically itís not one I really enjoy listening too, but I can appreciate that perspective.

Online Ben_Jamin

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #10714 on: June 13, 2021, 02:37:29 PM »
So I'm moving on
I'll never forget
As you lay there and watched me
Accepting the end
You were strong, I was trying

It's about James' mother's death, I believe. I lost my mother a few years ago and this song moves me greatly. Perfect words. Perfect song.

You forgot the best part of that lyric stanza. "I knew you were scared"

That part of the song I actually listen to JLBs soft, spoken, background vocals as I feel that style best represents that sad, somber mood. And the higher, more powerful, lead vocals is the more desperate and accepting mood and tone.


I really love Disappear because it really showcases that mood and feeling of somberness at seeing a loved one slowly dying and then having to accept their death. This is what the song is describing and it's what I believe it's trying to convey.

The lyrics are just JLBs way of putting that feeling in words.

Ok, I definitely see how it works from that perspective. Certainly didnít mean to be dismissive of the subject matter. Musically itís not one I really enjoy listening too, but I can appreciate that perspective.

Yeah, I understand.

I find it fascinating how people listen to music. As people listen a different way, like listening for musicality vs. listening because it makes you feel a certain mood and way.

I myself can enjoy songs more when I analyze them. When I understand the context in why the song has that certain tone, why a song has that certain chord progression there. Why the musician decided to go this way instead of that way, even if it sounds jarring. A true composer has purpose for why the songs are the way they are. A true Lyricist can take those tones, atmosphere, and chord progressions and put it into words, usually the best way is through stories. Understanding the context of a song helps me appreciate when a composer/musician/artist goes a certain direction, like Steven Wilson did with The Future Bites and Dream Theater with The Astonishing, or a drastic change of direction like Opeths current sound.

I guess I listen to music differently than most people do. Maybe that's why I enjoy the songs I do and the bands I do, which at times tend to be the ones that are considered the worst from the album.  :lol

It's also why I can enjoy songs from mostly any genre, because each genre has a purpose for why it sounds the way it does. And certain genres actually complement each other, where a song could be made in either genre, like reggae and country.

« Last Edit: June 13, 2021, 02:43:01 PM by Ben_Jamin »
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Offline Stadler

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #10715 on: June 14, 2021, 06:54:10 AM »
Even if this was true however, I think it'd still be a bit silly to insinuate that a shift to a heavier sound would be "for commercial reasons" and that's my main gripe with this. That sentence reeks of entitlement to me, with the implication that because the band aren't going in a direction you want them to, that they're somehow lacking in integrity. One thing I feel as though I should mention as well when this sort of thing comes up... is that metal doesn't necessitate a lack of variety. Afterlife, S2N, The Mirror, The Enemy Inside, Constant Motion, The Root of All Evil, A Rite of Passage and At Wit's End are all metal songs, but they're not exactly homogenous. Perhaps D/T might sound like a blur of metal to some people, but the differences between songs like Pale Blue Dot and Fall Into the Light are clear as day to me.

Well, I'm the poster boy for that argument, so I am with you. HOWEVER, it cannot be denied that the perception was that metal was a marketable avenue.  I remember several articles/interviews around the time of Amob's first album where Mike and Marlene (in particular; I'm pretty sure I remember a rare but substantive post by her over at mp.com defending the direction of that band along these lines) noted the wide popularity of metal, and even cited bands like Disturbed ,whose first three records were all MULTI-platinum.

Offline lovethedrake

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #10716 on: June 14, 2021, 08:31:13 AM »
Even if this was true however, I think it'd still be a bit silly to insinuate that a shift to a heavier sound would be "for commercial reasons" and that's my main gripe with this. That sentence reeks of entitlement to me, with the implication that because the band aren't going in a direction you want them to, that they're somehow lacking in integrity. One thing I feel as though I should mention as well when this sort of thing comes up... is that metal doesn't necessitate a lack of variety. Afterlife, S2N, The Mirror, The Enemy Inside, Constant Motion, The Root of All Evil, A Rite of Passage and At Wit's End are all metal songs, but they're not exactly homogenous. Perhaps D/T might sound like a blur of metal to some people, but the differences between songs like Pale Blue Dot and Fall Into the Light are clear as day to me.

Well, I'm the poster boy for that argument, so I am with you. HOWEVER, it cannot be denied that the perception was that metal was a marketable avenue.  I remember several articles/interviews around the time of Amob's first album where Mike and Marlene (in particular; I'm pretty sure I remember a rare but substantive post by her over at mp.com defending the direction of that band along these lines) noted the wide popularity of metal, and even cited bands like Disturbed ,whose first three records were all MULTI-platinum.

There are VERY few bands that have not adopted their sound to the modern landscape.  Look at all the amazing bands from the 70's like Yes, Genesis, etc....  those bands all started churning out 80's sounding albums when the 80's hit.

I personally prefer DT to stay proggy and not resort to modern metal... but they never gave us a less than inspired effort whether you like the direction they went in or not.  You can always count on a huge exciting release from DT and going more modern doesn't mean they don't have integrity, it just means they are smart business men.  The only time I can possible blame them for hamming it in a bit is "octavarium" and that album is some of the fans favorite so I'm sure those fans don't see it that way. 

I love that DT always gives an inspired effort even if the musical direction they took post SDOIT is not my favorite.  I think they are back on track for my personal tastes though starting with the self titled album.  Excited for the new one!

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #10717 on: June 14, 2021, 10:22:22 AM »
No song has aged worse in the Dream Theater catalog than The Glass Prison.


what
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Offline Enigmachine

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #10718 on: June 14, 2021, 12:15:10 PM »
Well, I'm the poster boy for that argument, so I am with you. HOWEVER, it cannot be denied that the perception was that metal was a marketable avenue.  I remember several articles/interviews around the time of Amob's first album where Mike and Marlene (in particular; I'm pretty sure I remember a rare but substantive post by her over at mp.com defending the direction of that band along these lines) noted the wide popularity of metal, and even cited bands like Disturbed ,whose first three records were all MULTI-platinum.

While that's true, I do also think there's a difference between adapting in a way that's simply trend-hopping for monetary gain and organically integrating modern elements into their sound due to genuine interest. However, assuming that a change in sound would be driven by either feels like the terms filler or pretentious in that it sort of assumes the thoughts of the artist when that's often not really possible, unless through direct quotes that confirm those suspicions. The thing is... if we go by that, the most creatively compromised strech in the band's discography is everything from I&W to FII. Sure, we can make the argument that many of those compromises and label nudges may have resulted in a product that was more appealing, but those changes were still primarily commercially driven from the label's position. From what I can tell, they don't appear to have admitted to any later larger-scale adjustments for commercial gain. The closest things are stuff like the growls being removed from ANTR because John didn't think the fans would like it and the label suggesting the band to move TEI from a mid album track to the one following FAS. Maybe I'm wrong and have missed a few notable instances, but I guess my point is that given that many of the band's most celebrated output is technically highly commercially driven (or I guess, tampered with for the purposes of commerical appeal), I don't think relevant to assume it as a pejorative and assuming it without evidence (which could be something like "we wanted to appeal to a new audience") tends to feel like an unnecessarily cheap shot to me.

Offline MoraWintersoul

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #10719 on: June 14, 2021, 12:49:11 PM »
Enigmachine has a point here. Dream Theater have always been clinically unable to separate themselves from the sounds that they like and the music that is in their head, to the point where some of their songs sounded like homages. Even when they decide to do something consciously, it's a spur of the moment thing that they just build on until it's a whole concept, and so far they have been honest every time they said "we wanted to go heavy because we were in a heavy mood" or "we wanted to go proggy because we were in a proggy mood". I know it's kind of unusual to see people going heavier as they get older, but that's clearly what's in JP's head and there's no evidence that anyone tampered with that of the kind that is all over the band's history in the early days.

The "good businessman" sense that the band always had was to recognize DT has always been part prog and part metal, and they play the prog they like and the metal they like, except that the prog people in the audience have less tolerance for the kind of metal they like nowadays. But you can't make bucketloads of money selling DT's version of that kind of metal to the people who buy the real thing either, and I don't think that's what the band is going for. They're going for expanding to people who are already primed to like their music but just haven't heard of them yet, and they're going for selling more things to people who already bought into the main thing - you saw DT once, but have you seen them play this album in full? Or half of that album and half of another one? And how about a book to go with your concept album? And how about a new kind of live release? Et cetera.

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Offline Stadler

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #10720 on: June 14, 2021, 01:06:42 PM »
Agreed to all of that.  I guess we're sort of saying the same thing from different directions.  Or if not, I guess I'm saying that I'm more flexible and accommodating on artists' wishes.  I'm not as hung up on an artist taking advice from a label, for example, or even writing a song for a purposes (i.e., an anthem, or a single).   It's still the artist's choices that go into it, and there are too many examples - Paranoid, for one - where songs that SEEM "compromised", whether because they were "hits" or they seem dashed off or they seem contrived, and yet they stand the test of time.

I know I bring him up all the time, but Springsteen is an example here: "Blinded By The Light" was an exercise for him, and yet it's one of his most enduring songs (and his only Billboard No.1, though not by him). 

Offline TAC

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #10721 on: June 14, 2021, 01:33:29 PM »
No song has aged worse in the Dream Theater catalog than The Glass Prison.


what





No song has aged worse in the Dream Theater catalog than The Glass Prison.
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
Winger Theater Forums................or WTF.  ;D
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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #10722 on: June 14, 2021, 01:48:09 PM »
I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down'.Ē - Bob Newhart
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Online ReaPsTA

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #10723 on: June 14, 2021, 01:58:25 PM »
This is the controversial opinions thread. It's contained. God help us if it gets out
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Online Dedalus

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #10724 on: June 14, 2021, 02:12:31 PM »
No song has aged worse in the Dream Theater catalog than The Glass Prison.


what





No song has aged worse in the Dream Theater catalog than The Glass Prison.

 :lol


Online hefdaddy42

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #10725 on: June 15, 2021, 09:33:44 AM »
No song has aged worse in the Dream Theater catalog than The Glass Prison.


what





No song has aged worse in the Dream Theater catalog than The Glass Prison.





































































































what
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Online MirrorMask

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #10726 on: June 15, 2021, 09:38:19 AM »
So I'm moving on
I'll never forget
As you lay there and watched me
Accepting the end
You were strong, I was trying

It's about James' mother's death, I believe. I lost my mother a few years ago and this song moves me greatly. Perfect words. Perfect song.

Actually it's an imaginary story. He saw a happy couple in an airport and imagined what would happen if a sudden tragedy would come out of nowhere.

I was surprised too to find out, with lyrics so deep and poignant, no way they weren't personal.... but yeah, they weren't. He came up with the story, it's not about his dealings with a personal loss in the family.
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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #10727 on: June 15, 2021, 10:35:52 AM »
So I'm moving on
I'll never forget
As you lay there and watched me
Accepting the end
You were strong, I was trying

It's about James' mother's death, I believe. I lost my mother a few years ago and this song moves me greatly. Perfect words. Perfect song.

Actually it's an imaginary story. He saw a happy couple in an airport and imagined what would happen if a sudden tragedy would come out of nowhere.

I was surprised too to find out, with lyrics so deep and poignant, no way they weren't personal.... but yeah, they weren't. He came up with the story, it's not about his dealings with a personal loss in the family.

James writing is so very introspective.  It's relatable and understandable. The more poetic stuff - like from JM is harder for me to get. I even asked JM when I met him about the meaning of the lyrics to S2N. I still don't completely understand..(of course it was hard to hear every word he said... :smiley:)

Offline Stadler

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #10728 on: June 15, 2021, 02:29:40 PM »
So I'm moving on
I'll never forget
As you lay there and watched me
Accepting the end
You were strong, I was trying

It's about James' mother's death, I believe. I lost my mother a few years ago and this song moves me greatly. Perfect words. Perfect song.

Actually it's an imaginary story. He saw a happy couple in an airport and imagined what would happen if a sudden tragedy would come out of nowhere.

I was surprised too to find out, with lyrics so deep and poignant, no way they weren't personal.... but yeah, they weren't. He came up with the story, it's not about his dealings with a personal loss in the family.

James writing is so very introspective.  It's relatable and understandable. The more poetic stuff - like from JM is harder for me to get. I even asked JM when I met him about the meaning of the lyrics to S2N. I still don't completely understand..(of course it was hard to hear every word he said... :smiley:)

I don't say it much, because I'm not big on bagging on people and their taste, but since it's the thread for it, I scratch my head at the deference paid to JM's lyrics.  They're not bad, mind you, but I don't get the hype.

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #10729 on: June 15, 2021, 02:51:10 PM »
In my opinion, there is no hype at all. There's no one enjoying his lyrics like Dylan or Cohen fans do.

There's just a more common opinion that his lyrics are better in the DT context.
I agree.
But in a universe of lyrics mostly written by JP and MP (which I don't consider good lyricists even on my rare most generous days) I don't think it's so complicated to notice superior qualities in the pen of KM, JLB and JM.

At least I see it that way.

Offline TheCountOfNYC

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #10730 on: June 15, 2021, 04:49:27 PM »
IMO, James is the best lyricist in the band.
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Offline MoraWintersoul

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #10731 on: June 15, 2021, 05:03:11 PM »
I don't say it much, because I'm not big on bagging on people and their taste, but since it's the thread for it, I scratch my head at the deference paid to JM's lyrics.
You were outdone by someone previously on the thread (I'm sorry I can't remember who it was!) saying he sounds like a Facebook quote most of the time :sadpanda:

IMO, James is the best lyricist in the band.
That's not that much of a controversial opinion recently. The real question is, if he had to produce as many lyrics as JP, would he have had as many misses? I think probably yes.

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #10732 on: June 15, 2021, 05:50:44 PM »
JP had some really great lyrics up through FII. The whole band kind of forgot how to write thereafter.

Offline darkshade

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #10733 on: June 15, 2021, 06:46:03 PM »
IMO, James is the best lyricist in the band.

I don't think that's a controversial opinion.

Something about The Glass Prison not aging well, however, makes me wonder about 'wrong' opinions and trolling.

Offline darkshade

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #10734 on: June 15, 2021, 06:47:59 PM »
JP had some really great lyrics up through FII. The whole band kind of forgot how to write thereafter.

They changed their format, write the music first, add lyrics later, which I don't think they always did prior.
Moore left, JM stopped writing for a while, JLB only add an occasional lyric, and JP and MP were never great writers to begin with.
So I'm not sure "forgot" is the right word.

Offline KevShmev

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #10735 on: June 15, 2021, 06:55:00 PM »

No song has aged worse in the Dream Theater catalog than The Glass Prison.

I can't agree, but on the other hand, I don't rate the song as nearly as high as I did for a long time. I considered it a top 20 DT song for a long time, but not sure where I'd put it now. I haven't had done a DT top 50, but it would not be a no-brainer to make it.  I still like it a lot, but for me, it is fairer to say that a lot of songs have simply aged better.

Offline Dream Team

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #10736 on: June 15, 2021, 07:42:16 PM »
JP is a great lyricist. How can you possibly lump him in with MP?

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #10737 on: June 15, 2021, 07:49:05 PM »

No song has aged worse in the Dream Theater catalog than The Glass Prison.

I can't agree, but on the other hand, I don't rate the song as nearly as high as I did for a long time. I considered it a top 20 DT song for a long time, but not sure where I'd put it now. I haven't had done a DT top 50, but it would not be a no-brainer to make it.  I still like it a lot, but for me, it is fairer to say that a lot of songs have simply aged better.

So yeah, that's in line with what I'm saying. If I take how I felt about it then, and how I feel about it now, it's taken the deepest dive. There's plenty of worse songs.
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #10738 on: June 15, 2021, 10:27:13 PM »
What took a dive for me was the Awake album. When I delved into the discography, I discovered Awake after about 8 mos. I was loving how all their different albums just sounded, well different. Awake was cool, heavy, interesting. I played it a lot. But, there are 2 songs I skip,  Erotomania and Lifting Shadows. (A Rarity!) SDV is cool, but really not that fun to listen to often. The Mirror/Lie I enjoy more live..Scarred is just Ok. I really don't understand how Super popular it is. (Except of course, that everyone is different  :))
I did play Awake though when I hosted a pre-show show fan meet-up and, it was perfect for that.

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #10739 on: June 15, 2021, 10:27:38 PM »
JP had some really great lyrics up through FII. The whole band kind of forgot how to write thereafter.

They changed their format, write the music first, add lyrics later, which I don't think they always did prior.
Moore left, JM stopped writing for a while, JLB only add an occasional lyric, and JP and MP were never great writers to begin with.
So I'm not sure "forgot" is the right word.

At least to some extent they used to demo songs in the early days. Then once Jordan joined the band they banged out the music LTE style and then figured out some words to put over it (I think they did this before Jordan too, but after he joined they seemed to put an emphasis on writing everything in the studio with the music first and the words coming last). A lot bands do this (Rush, Marillion), I just don't think it worked so well for DT.

JP always had some nonsensical lyrics like Metropolis pt. 1 and Innocence Faded, but then he had some really great songs like Voices, Scarred, Lines in the Sand, and Take Away My Pain. I also think Hollow Years has a strong lyric.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2021, 10:35:20 PM by HOF »

Online gzarruk

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #10740 on: June 15, 2021, 11:12:52 PM »
I listened to TBOT again the other day and I think the only interesting parts in the song are the intro and THAT solo :hefdaddy
Other than that, the rest feels like it's too long and just not too enjoyable. The lyrics don't help either.
It sounds like, "ruk, ruk, ruk, ruk, ruk." Instead of the more pleasing kick drum sound of, "gzarruk, gzarruk, gzarruk, gzarruk."

Online Ben_Jamin

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #10741 on: June 15, 2021, 11:37:19 PM »
I listened to TBOT again the other day and I think the only interesting parts in the song are the intro and THAT solo :hefdaddy
Other than that, the rest feels like it's too long and just not too enjoyable. The lyrics don't help either.

Musically, it's a great song. I think the lyrics suffer at the end, starting from "The fleeting wings of time..." because of the repetitive use of the "ay" rhyme. It's used 11 times just in that part alone. I don't mind the lyrics before that section because they're really interpersonal for MP, and describe those cherished memories he has of the times he spent with his father.
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Offline DoctorAction

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #10742 on: June 16, 2021, 12:11:49 AM »
So I'm moving on
I'll never forget
As you lay there and watched me
Accepting the end
You were strong, I was trying

It's about James' mother's death, I believe. I lost my mother a few years ago and this song moves me greatly. Perfect words. Perfect song.

Actually it's an imaginary story. He saw a happy couple in an airport and imagined what would happen if a sudden tragedy would come out of nowhere.

I was surprised too to find out, with lyrics so deep and poignant, no way they weren't personal.... but yeah, they weren't. He came up with the story, it's not about his dealings with a personal loss in the family.

Wow. I must have just assumed rather than read. Thanks for the info.

He is the best lyricist in the band, imo.
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Offline Setlist Scotty

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #10743 on: June 16, 2021, 12:13:01 AM »
JP had some really great lyrics up through FII. The whole band kind of forgot how to write thereafter.
They changed their format, write the music first, add lyrics later, which I don't think they always did prior.
Moore left, JM stopped writing for a while, JLB only add an occasional lyric, and JP and MP were never great writers to begin with.
So I'm not sure "forgot" is the right word.
At least to some extent they used to demo songs in the early days. Then once Jordan joined the band they banged out the music LTE style and then figured out some words to put over it (I think they did this before Jordan too, but after he joined they seemed to put an emphasis on writing everything in the studio with the music first and the words coming last). A lot bands do this (Rush, Marillion), I just don't think it worked so well for DT.
I don't think things changed that much. The music was *always* written first and the lyrics *always* came later. Some songs were written musically early on, but lyrics were written much later, so the songs weren't considered "complete" until that point. That's why you have instrumental demos included on the Ytsejam Records releases of the WDaDU, IaW and ToT demos. If I'm not mistaken, Lines in the Sand is an example of this. And in fact, the original Metropolis part II as well, since the lyrics were never completed.

Even after they shifted gears when JR joined, I don't think things really changed. I specifically recall that the band used the summers of 2001 and 2003 to write the lyrics for SDoIT and ToT, respectively. And in both cases, the band were on the road (well, in 2001, JP and MP were on the road for the first G3 tour that JP was a part of).
 
 
JP always had some nonsensical lyrics like Metropolis pt. 1 and Innocence Faded, but then he had some really great songs like Voices, Scarred, Lines in the Sand, and Take Away My Pain. I also think Hollow Years has a strong lyric.
Metropolis part I might be nonsensical, but I don't get why you say that about IF. It's fairly well documented that IF is JP's commentary on the breakdown of friendship, largely driven by the breakdown of his friendship with KM who was a childhood friend.
As a basic rule, if you hate it, you must solely blame Portnoy. If it's good, then you must downplay MP's contribution to the band as not being important anyway, or claim he's just lying. It's the DTF way.

Online Kyo

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #10744 on: June 16, 2021, 12:34:41 AM »
But, there are 2 songs I skip,  Erotomania and Lifting Shadows.

Is it the high quality that turns you off?  :P


I don't think things changed that much. The music was *always* written first and the lyrics *always* came later. Some songs were written musically early on, but lyrics were written much later, so the songs weren't considered "complete" until that point. That's why you have instrumental demos included on the Ytsejam Records releases of the WDaDU, IaW and ToT demos. If I'm not mistaken, Lines in the Sand is an example of this. And in fact, the original Metropolis part II as well, since the lyrics were never completed.

Even after they shifted gears when JR joined, I don't think things really changed. I specifically recall that the band used the summers of 2001 and 2003 to write the lyrics for SDoIT and ToT, respectively. And in both cases, the band were on the road (well, in 2001, JP and MP were on the road for the first G3 tour that JP was a part of).

One underappreciated aspect of this is how the context of writing lyrics after the fact changed. A while back, I put together a list of average DT song lengths per album:

When Dream and Day Unite: 6:26
Images & Words: 7:08
Awake: 6:49
Falling into Infinity: 7:07
Scenes from a Memory: 6:25
Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence: 16:02 (Disc 1 only: 10:51)
Train of Thought: 9:54
Octavarium: 9:28
Systematic Chaos: 9:50
Black Clouds & Silver Linings: 12:34
A Dramatic Turn of Events: 8:33
Dream Theater: 7:33
The Astonishing: 3:51 (4:20 without the NOMAC tracks)

So after SfaM, the songs became a LOT longer until MP quit. Which I think is important - a lyric added to a song that follows a standard verse/chorus structure, even if it's expanded with a lengthy intro and an instrumental section, will be much easier to get to "work" in terms of lyrical content matching the ebb and flow and the mood(s) of the music. The longer songs tend to have a lot more deviation from that format and usually one would expect the music to follow a development within the lyrics. But with later DT, there have been many cases where that link became murkier. So them not laying out a basic structure for the story they want to tell before writing the music was becoming a bigger and bigger problem, with Black Clouds ending up an extreme case that also caught the most criticism for the resulting disconnect between music and lyrics.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2021, 12:44:59 AM by Kyo »
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