Your Controversial Opinions on DT

Started by Lucidity, December 17, 2012, 07:28:25 PM

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Scorpion

A word. Just like my fingers would like to have a word with my brain before typing. :lol

PetFish

Quote from: TheLordOfTheStrings on January 23, 2013, 12:36:41 PM
I've got one. I really don't know why everyone freaks out about JMX writing lyrics. I don't think they're that great. Other than BAI, which I really like.. but then again, JP helped with that one, so who knows what JMX actually wrote. But I really don't see what the deal is with songs like Lifting Shadows.

I think why people like JM lyrics is cuz he writes "cryptic" lyrics in that they give the listener breathing room to interpret them how they want.  Kevin Moore wrote the same way.  Most of the other guys write "literal" lyrics that are just so obvious what the song is about and it really stifles any opportunity for the listener to have a personal connection unless they can directly relate to them.

wasteland

Well, I wouldn't call the lyrics in OTBOA literal at all... I think we don't know yet what precisely they are about.

MoraWintersoul

Not to mention stuff like Scarred from the earlier days.

Ħ

Here's a controversial opinion: Awake is not a good album. *runs*

wasteland

Quote from: MoraWintersoul on January 23, 2013, 02:17:05 PM
Not to mention stuff like Scarred from the earlier days.

Or UAGM. I named OTBOA to prevent people from saying: "Yeah, JP used to write metaphorically rich lyrics in his youth, now he just writes of persians, shamans, pipes and zombie pharaos"

Quote from: Ħ on January 23, 2013, 02:18:02 PM
Here's a controversial opinion: Awake is not a good album. *runs*

You better be fast.

MoraWintersoul

Quote from: wasteland on January 23, 2013, 02:19:12 PM
Quote from: MoraWintersoul on January 23, 2013, 02:17:05 PM
Not to mention stuff like Scarred from the earlier days.

Or UAGM. I named OTBOA to prevent people from saying: "Yeah, JP used to write metaphorically rich lyrics in his youth, now he just writes of persians, shamans, pipes and zombie pharaos"

Quote from: Ħ on January 23, 2013, 02:18:02 PM
Here's a controversial opinion: Awake is not a good album. *runs*

You better be fast.

On my way.

Pols Voice

Quote from: Ħ on January 23, 2013, 02:18:02 PM
Here's a controversial opinion: Awake is not a good album. *runs*

You're right. It's not good...


























...it's phenomenal.

BlobVanDam

Quote from: Ħ on January 23, 2013, 02:18:02 PM
Here's a controversial opinion: Awake is not a good album. *runs*

I'm ok with this. :tup

Well actually, even I would still call it good (for the most part), I just wouldn't call it one of DT's better albums.

Ħ

Quote from: BlobVanDam on January 23, 2013, 07:14:15 PM
Quote from: Ħ on January 23, 2013, 02:18:02 PM
Here's a controversial opinion: Awake is not a good album. *runs*

I'm ok with this. :tup

Well actually, even I would still call it good (for the most part), I just wouldn't call it one of DT's better albums.
Er, yeah, I mean it's tolerable. But it's significantly worse than DT's best material.

SeRoX

Quote from: Pols Voice on January 23, 2013, 03:06:02 PM
Quote from: Ħ on January 23, 2013, 02:18:02 PM
Here's a controversial opinion: Awake is not a good album. *runs*

You're right. It's not good...


























...it's phenomenal.

And now, imagine that James said it to your ears: phenomenal!

?

Quote from: TheLordOfTheStrings on January 23, 2013, 12:36:41 PM
I've got one. I really don't know why everyone freaks out about JMX writing lyrics. I don't think they're that great. Other than BAI, which I really like.. but then again, JP helped with that one, so who knows what JMX actually wrote.
JM has always had someone to help him shape the lyrics into their final form, but it wasn't until now that JP got credited for that.

wolfking


Jaffa


Dreamer81


Lolzeez

Awake has more highlights than I&W.

TheLordOfTheStrings

Quote from: ? on January 24, 2013, 02:16:08 AM
Quote from: TheLordOfTheStrings on January 23, 2013, 12:36:41 PM
I've got one. I really don't know why everyone freaks out about JMX writing lyrics. I don't think they're that great. Other than BAI, which I really like.. but then again, JP helped with that one, so who knows what JMX actually wrote.
JM has always had someone to help him shape the lyrics into their final form, but it wasn't until now that JP got credited for that.
I was already aware of that, but they were saying that BAI was cowritten by JP. So I just figured JP cowriting the song with him, and JP shape the lyrics would have been a little different. But maybe that's what happened? I'm not sure. I guess we'll never know.


But I think DT is the greatest group of musicians ever assembled. I'm sure that statement might be a bit controversial to some people.

Kotowboy

Breaking All Illusions has never clicked for me.

It has some nice sections but overall It doesn't do anything for me.


robwebster

Quote from: PetFish on January 23, 2013, 02:06:24 PM
Quote from: TheLordOfTheStrings on January 23, 2013, 12:36:41 PM
I've got one. I really don't know why everyone freaks out about JMX writing lyrics. I don't think they're that great. Other than BAI, which I really like.. but then again, JP helped with that one, so who knows what JMX actually wrote. But I really don't see what the deal is with songs like Lifting Shadows.

I think why people like JM lyrics is cuz he writes "cryptic" lyrics in that they give the listener breathing room to interpret them how they want.  Kevin Moore wrote the same way.  Most of the other guys write "literal" lyrics that are just so obvious what the song is about and it really stifles any opportunity for the listener to have a personal connection unless they can directly relate to them.
I broadly agree with Lord of the Strings, but I do like it when JM contributes simply because it adds another voice to the band.

I do think John's lyrics are a little samey, though, and they threaten to become word salad in places. They've got pleasant imagery, and they're broadly uplifting, but I think he's a good lyricist with his own strengths and flaws just like any of the others. I also think that as he writes so sparingly, we don't see as much of the weakness or the repetition as we have and do with other lyricists. If Myung was writing seven songs per album and Petrucci was writing one every four years(ish) I don't think the band's lyrics would be any better. Again, just different strengths and weaknesses. Same goes for Kev! Perfectly good writer, interesting stuff to say and he expresses it well, but he's not exceptional.

Honestly, my least favourite DT lyricist? Early-90s Petrucci. It's pleasant, but it's... just nonsense, isn't it? Even he couldn't tell you what Under a Glass Moon is about. Much better nowadays. Misunderstood is, in my (possibly controversial, possibly not!) opinion, the band's finest lyrical moment. It's the balance. It's evocative, plenty of images, parallels, but it's also close enough to be relatable. Makes you feel something. "Never use a long word when a short one will do" - George Orwell! Wrapping your point in layer upon layer of abstract imagery and metaphor isn't a good way to connect to your listener. UaGM sounds pretty enough, but I couldn't be more disconnected if I tried.

This also goes for a lot of fan favourites - Voices, Scarred. I'm glad someone else is getting something from them. That's grand, I'm glad they're as popular as they are, and it's clearly me who's missing out. But I am missing out. I'm just getting a list of metaphors. Not cogent, there's no connection - Voices goes from a spider to an angel to an old man to a newsstand. It doesn't take me anywhere. I mean, yes, it takes me to a pool, and a window, and a newsagents, but that's not a journey, that's a slideshow. There's no comment, it's just "look at this spider." Erratic. Whatever it's alluding to, whatever statement it's making, it's not made within the song. I find it a bit - whisper it - dull!

Not that I'm saying diverse imagery can't work. Petrucci sticks with the disparate image thing for pretty much his whole career, but it's fair to say he improves as he goes along. Images feel connected in later songs. "Playing a lion being led to a cage, I turn from a thief to a beggar, from a god to God, save me," not only have you got a strong biblical imagery, but there's a very clear vein of strength-to-weakness. I'm sure there's something like that in Voices, too, but you have to dig pretty deep, and possibly double check in an encyclopedia. The song's not making the statement.

Right, now, someone say something more controversial so nobody reads this! Bring back Mike Portnoy! John Myung looks better in white! David Prater was the only man who ever understood what Dream Theater really means!

Kotowboy

Mike Mangini's drum solos are actually dull as fuck and no sodding drummer needs FOUR bass drums.

:facepalm: Two is plenty Mangini. Stop over-compensating.


I used to love Jordan when I forst got into DT about 5 years ago but I found his playing on SC and BC&SL far too showboaty and came to appreciate Derek's sounds and playing more.

Also - JR has that annoying habit of posting pictures or video clips online with a godawful stupid effect or filter on which kinda makes it look like he has no idea what he's doing.

Kotowboy

Now..

Rob..

That's that done..

Would you care to chat a while ? :)

robwebster

Oh! Actually! One more thing!
Quote from: TheLordOfTheStringsOther than BAI, which I really like.. but then again, JP helped with that one, so who knows what JMX actually wrote.
I belieeeeve JP (or MP or KM) helped write all of them. The stuff we all know - John Myung would give them the lyrics in a more freeform style, and his bandmates rewrote them into a shape that fit the song. That's quite a heavy duty operation, so they stopped after a while.

I've got a hunch that, rather than John Myung changing his working style, they rather agreed that his cohorts would receive a credit for their rewrites. Which is fair. Not only is a co-credit acknowledgment for a service that would've otherwise been invisible, but editing something and putting words they didn't say into an author's mouth can feel a bit like vandalism at times. What if you're making it worse, or detracting from the point they were trying to make?! Add your name to the credits, and you take joint responsibility.

Hunch! But I'd put a small amount of money on being right. I suppose that's true of any hunch, though.

MoraWintersoul

I actually just agree with all of this. I always say that JMX lyrics are precious because they map where he is as an artist at a certain point; if there were more of them, they would all be about the same thing. Except for the fact I don't think JP's much better now, because his strength is in the imagery, as opposed to telling a story - The Killing Hand and The Dark Eternal Night wouldn't be captivating in prose at all.

But when he depicts... I dunno, a measure of whether the lyric is good for me is whether I can proudly and unironically sing along to it without feeling silly, lots of bonus points if it's relatable. Even though UAGM and Voices are not about anything in particular, they are still so beautifully written I don't mind, and that's a rare occurrence for me. They are just overly sparkly, those words, and seemingly jumbled, just like their music, but so beautiful and beautifully put together, and beauty doesn't have to be about anything. They just fit into the early DT aesthetic as well - a group of thoughtful young men who all had such a visible spark and individuality to them, but they weren't dreadfully serious beyond their age or pompous, but just poetic and like flamboyant romantics I guess. Even the visuals - huge fluffy shirts, ridiculously long hair, brightly colored detailed covers, all in the era of plaid and Doc Martens! They were just boldly out there and those JP lyrics just fit the aesthetic. A little silly but just a little. Five percent silly and "outdated", ninety five percent brilliant is how you could call early DT in everything.

Misunderstood is just between those two - a beautiful but simple and non-cryptical depiction of a real point in a storyline but without elaborating too much about the before and after. Definitely the best JP approach and lyric, we agree. Holy fuck they went all guns blazing on that album, him with that, MP with TGP, JLB with Disappear and Blind Faith... wow. But even not "hey wait a minute man" isn't worse than many other lyrics I've heard, from people who have routinely been writing them for more than 20 years, and for 20 minute epics, no less. The only reason why I sometimes tease JP for his lyrics is because there's really nothing else to tease him for, the man's a total wonder and he's the cornerstone of this band I love so much :lol

Controversial opinions... uhm... the rotating setlists were a bad idea? They should have picked Lars Ulrich? JP should have kept the 2005 image? :lol

Kotowboy

^ JP does look better with short hair.

Mindflux

Quote from: Kotowboy on January 24, 2013, 06:27:15 PM
^ JP does look better with short hair.

No.

Also the straps and crap he wore as part of his 'outfit' in 2005... jesus christ leave the ridiculous shit to Slipknot or SOAD or some shit.

Jaffa

Quote from: robwebster on January 24, 2013, 05:37:09 PM
Honestly, my least favourite DT lyricist? Early-90s Petrucci. It's pleasant, but it's... just nonsense, isn't it? Even he couldn't tell you what Under a Glass Moon is about.
I'm just going to quote myself here.  From my Top 50 list:

Quote from: Jaffa on April 13, 2012, 06:34:37 AM
09. Under a Glass Moon
I'm a sucker for these types of lyrics.  I love the cryptic, the enigmatic, the shamelessly poetic.  Sometimes people throw the phrase 'word salad' around like it's a bad thing, but for me, a word salad can be damn tasty.  This song's lyrics are one hell of a word salad, drenched in bleu cheese dressing and served alongside a big juicy steak.  YUM. 

But that's just me. 


Quote from: robwebster on January 24, 2013, 05:37:09 PM
Misunderstood is, in my (possibly controversial, possibly not!) opinion, the band's finest lyrical moment.

Here I agree wholeheartedly.  I'm going to quote myself again, just because ironically, I talked about Misunderstood in the exact same post as the one I just quoted about UaGM:

Quote from: Jaffa on April 13, 2012, 06:34:37 AM
10. Misunderstood
Rounding out my top ten is Misunderstood, a song often cited for its experimental nature.  This song wouldn't be as high on my list except that lyrically, it's probably my very favorite Dream Theater song.

:metal

bongomaster7000

I&W is junk, along with Awake
Systematic Chaos is their best album, Forsaken the best song
Erotomania is their worst instrumental, SOC being the best
New Millenium and You Not Me are the best from FII
TDEN lyrics rocks
Repentance is the best song from the 12 step suite
SFAM doesnt catch my attention
Octavarium is better than ACOS

Cedar redaC

Welcome to the forums dude!

Some very controversial opinions indeed.

BlobVanDam

While I agree with two of those (Octavarium is better than ACOS, and TDEN's lyrics do rock), that's gotta be trolling. Just too many polar opposite opinions. And that says a lot coming from me of all people. :lol

Welcome to the forum though. No offense intended with my comments!

bongomaster7000

hahahaha maybe I was a little bit harsh

I&W is not really junk, but it doesnt click me, same thing with awake
Octaravarium WAS the song that got me into DT so I have that connection with it. ACOS is awesome BTW.
I would have chosen ACOS album as my favourite, but just for the song. The covers kill it IMO.
And TDEN lyrics... Idk, I find them somewhat nonsensical but awesome, lulz. But speaking about serious lyrics, BAI.

Kotowboy


GasparXR

Quote from: MoraWintersoul on January 24, 2013, 06:08:48 PM
I actually just agree with all of this. I always say that JMX lyrics are precious because they map where he is as an artist at a certain point; if there were more of them, they would all be about the same thing. Except for the fact I don't think JP's much better now, because his strength is in the imagery, as opposed to telling a story - The Killing Hand and The Dark Eternal Night wouldn't be captivating in prose at all.

But when he depicts... I dunno, a measure of whether the lyric is good for me is whether I can proudly and unironically sing along to it without feeling silly, lots of bonus points if it's relatable. Even though UAGM and Voices are not about anything in particular, they are still so beautifully written I don't mind, and that's a rare occurrence for me. They are just overly sparkly, those words, and seemingly jumbled, just like their music, but so beautiful and beautifully put together, and beauty doesn't have to be about anything. They just fit into the early DT aesthetic as well - a group of thoughtful young men who all had such a visible spark and individuality to them, but they weren't dreadfully serious beyond their age or pompous, but just poetic and like flamboyant romantics I guess. Even the visuals - huge fluffy shirts, ridiculously long hair, brightly colored detailed covers, all in the era of plaid and Doc Martens! They were just boldly out there and those JP lyrics just fit the aesthetic. A little silly but just a little. Five percent silly and "outdated", ninety five percent brilliant is how you could call early DT in everything.

Misunderstood is just between those two - a beautiful but simple and non-cryptical depiction of a real point in a storyline but without elaborating too much about the before and after. Definitely the best JP approach and lyric, we agree. Holy fuck they went all guns blazing on that album, him with that, MP with TGP, JLB with Disappear and Blind Faith... wow. But even not "hey wait a minute man" isn't worse than many other lyrics I've heard, from people who have routinely been writing them for more than 20 years, and for 20 minute epics, no less. The only reason why I sometimes tease JP for his lyrics is because there's really nothing else to tease him for, the man's a total wonder and he's the cornerstone of this band I love so much :lol

Controversial opinions... uhm... the rotating setlists were a bad idea? They should have picked Lars Ulrich? JP should have kept the 2005 image? :lol

This post.






I love this post.






I love you. :heart







:biggrin: Bonus points that I agree with these points, pun intended, but that post was so amazingly written. That's like rob level there. :tup

MoraWintersoul

Quote from: GasparXR on January 25, 2013, 05:28:12 PM
That's like rob level there. :tup
I don't think I've ever received a compliment on par with that :lol

Honestly no one can touch rob-level but we can try. Thank you :heart

wasteland

Quote from: MoraWintersoul on January 25, 2013, 05:29:55 PM
Quote from: GasparXR on January 25, 2013, 05:28:12 PM
That's like rob level there. :tup
I don't think I've ever received a compliment on par with that :lol

Honestly no one can touch rob-level but we can try. Thank you :heart

Shush, that's entirely roblevel! Just wait for him to came and award you the Webster Award For Outstanding Post Writings and Topic Awareness.

MoraWintersoul

Quote from: wasteland on January 25, 2013, 05:32:11 PM
Shush, that's entirely roblevel! Just wait for him to came and award you the Webster Award For Outstanding Post Writings and Topic Awareness.
You're so dead :rollin