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Your Controversial Opinions on DT

Started by Lucidity, December 17, 2012, 08:28:25 PM

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Prog Snob

Quote from: Zydar on February 11, 2014, 03:00:56 AM
Quote from: JayOctavarium on February 10, 2014, 09:00:25 PM
I enjoy TGD but all I can think of when I think of it is "TUUUURN TOOOO THE RIIIIIIGHT!" from the theoretical Dream Theater GPS unit I hope to one day own.

haha :lol

Someone need to make this. Blob!

And while the route is being calculated, MP could be yelling ANALYSIS!

TheGreatPretender

Quote from: ? on February 11, 2014, 12:51:18 AM
Quote from: JayOctavarium on February 10, 2014, 09:00:25 PM
I enjoy TGD but all I can think of when I think of it is "TUUUURN TOOOO THE RIIIIIIGHT!" from the theoretical Dream Theater GPS unit I hope to one day own.
Someone sig this :lol

Definitely.

NotePad

I wonder if MP would still rejoin the band now if he could. I heard his comments on the new stuff, and he didn't sound very excited about it. And I get this, because I don't find the last 2 exciting either. I think he just wanted to do new things, and with DT it's all pretty much the same. One time I used to called DT the band that can do everything. But at some point I realized this wasn't true at all. One reason for this may be that when they do try something quite different, like on ToT, fans just shit on it. So despite their odd times signatures and all the other staples of DTs music, they never ACTUALLY takes things further or in another direction.

Octavarium is IMO the last really good DT album. These Walls, Panic Attack, Walk Beside You..... these are really great songs. And they're SONG-songs, you know? Nothing wrong with that. But what came after this album just sounded boring and uninspired to me. This is probably how MP feels when he hears the new albums.

Prog Snob

Of course he doesn't like the new albums. He had no control over them.

Perpetual Change

Quote from: NotePad on February 11, 2014, 12:58:00 PM
Octavarium is IMO the last really good DT album. These Walls, Panic Attack, Walk Beside You..... these are really great songs. And they're SONG-songs, you know? Nothing wrong with that. But what came after this album just sounded boring and uninspired to me. This is probably how MP feels when he hears the new albums.
Agreed with this. When Octavarium came out, I thought it was one of the worst Dream Theater albums, but it is easily better than 3 of the next 4 records.

In a way, the "Score" concert has come to represent the pinaccle of DT to me. After that, thing just seemed to go downhill. Systematic Chaos felt like an awkward step in a new direction followed by a new touring format (Progressive Nation), and while they could have eventually knocked it out of the part, the next album/tour cycle felt the same as SC/PN, just more watered-down (BC&SL being far worse than SC despite retaining the same style; Prog Nation 2 being a lot less interesting than the first iteration). And then you have Mike leaving the band, obviously burnt out on Dream Theater and tired of going through the motions of the DT album/tour machine.

I really don't think A Dramatic Turn of Events and DT12 are more inspired than the last two albums with Mike Portnoy. I really like ADTOE for what it is; but there aren't many new ideas present, and I can enjoy it while acknowledging that it's DT going back and redoing a lot of things they've done before. As for DT12, I just don't like it at all. One safe album after a "dramatic" shake-up is understandable, but two is really too much for me. And on DT12, I hear the same "safe" DT formulas as well as the same old nods to Rush. I'm just not very interested in that.

I don't think MP listens to the new albums much, if at all. And after seeing him live, I have to agree that him leaving DT was best for him in the long run. The prog cruise, Flying Colors, more Transatlantic, playing with Bigelf, etc., are all things I find a lot more interesting than what DT are currently doing.

Quote from: Prog Snob on February 11, 2014, 01:05:35 PM
Of course he doesn't like the new albums. He had no control over them.
DT's loss, IMO. This is just my opinion, but DT12 is especially so stale sounding with only one primary songwriter (JP). The album oozes homogeneousness.

Outcrier


Prog Snob

But when the homogeneousness was oozing with MP's controlling stamp all over it, that was alright?   The song quality over the last two releases has improved drastically as compared to Systematic Chaos and BC & SL.

Shadow Ninja 2.0


mikeyd23

Quote from: Prog Snob on February 11, 2014, 01:50:56 PM
But when the homogeneousness was oozing with MP's controlling stamp all over it, that was alright?   The song quality over the last two releases has improved drastically as compared to Systematic Chaos and BC & SL.

Haha, I totally agree, I was thinking the exact same thing.

Perpetual Change

Quote from: Prog Snob on February 11, 2014, 01:50:56 PM
But when the homogeneousness was oozing with MP's controlling stamp all over it, that was alright?
I don't think it was. There was at least a dichotomy between "Mike" and "John" influences before, where you could basically tell who wrote a song before even looking at the linear notes. There were also your occasionally influences from the other guys. Mike stepping away doesn't seem to have led to the other guys writing more, it's just led to double the JP filling the void. Hence me feeling like the sound has become more homogenous.


Quote from: Prog Snob on February 11, 2014, 01:50:56 PMThe song quality over the last two releases has improved drastically as compared to Systematic Chaos and BC & SL.
Can't agree. The lows on the new albums might not be as low as those on the last two MP albums, but overall I wouldn't say the songwriting has improved much at all.

mikeyd23

Quote from: Perpetual Change on February 11, 2014, 01:57:11 PM
I don't think it was. There was at least a dichotomy between "Mike" and "John" influences before, where you could basically tell who wrote a song before even looking at the linear notes. There were also your occasionally influences from the other guys. Mike stepping away doesn't seem to have led to the other guys writing more, it's just led to double the JP filling the void. Hence me feeling like the sound has become more homogenous.

Are you talking about lyrics or music? If you are just addressing lyrics then I guess I can see your point.  John and Mike had been the two main lyricists on recent albums before MP's departure so that dynamic has been different over the last two albums, but if your addressing the music with your comment then I'm a little confused.  Its been widely discussed here that for the most part, MP's contributions to the music included composing drum parts (obviously) and simply helping to work with arrangement ideas. 

So on SC and BC&SL, JP and JR were still the real driving creative force of the band, muscially creating the riffs, chord progressions, melodies, etc... for the most part.  That hasn't really changed with MP's departure, JP and JR still fill that role in the band.

TheGreatPretender

Quote from: Perpetual Change on February 11, 2014, 01:57:11 PM
Can't agree. The lows on the new albums might not be as low as those on the last two MP albums, but overall I wouldn't say the songwriting has improved much at all.

Well, maybe your expectations were a little unreasonable. I mean, when MP left, was the band just supposed to completely change and turn into something completely different?

rumborak

Why not actually? I mean, I understand that with ADTOE they wanted to establish that they could still do the same as before. But for DT12 I had hoped for something new, something that would mark a "new DT". I think they lost a perfect opportunity to reinvent themselves.

TheGreatPretender

Quote from: rumborak on February 11, 2014, 02:11:27 PM
Why not actually? I mean, I understand that with ADTOE they wanted to establish that they could still do the same as before. But for DT12 I had hoped for something new, something that would mark a "new DT". I think they lost a perfect opportunity to reinvent themselves.

It would be a different story if JP and JR and everyone really wanted to do something different and MP was oppressing them like some tyrant... Which is what some people often make it out to seem like. But if a band still likes the kind of music they're making, and that's what inspires them, then completely reinventing themselves, just for the hell of it makes no sense.

Perpetual Change

LaBrie, Sherinian, and Rudess all had major impacts on the sound of the band when they first came in. So yeah, I don't see why it's wrong to be disappointed that Mangini hasn't.

theseoafs

I don't get the criticism that DT didn't change the game enough with DT12.  They're a band that has had basically the same sound for 30 years -- there was never a chance of them taking a huge risk with the 12th album.

In any case, DT12 was perfectly inventive for what it was.  I think DT did a great thing by keeping the songs short and punchy.  Not since SFAM have I felt that every song on a DT record was exactly as long as it needed to be.

mikeyd23

Quote from: Perpetual Change on February 11, 2014, 02:30:00 PM
LaBrie, Sherinian, and Rudess all had major impacts on the sound of the band when they first came in. So yeah, I don't see why it's wrong to be disappointed that Mangini hasn't.

True, but I think their roles in the band play a factor in that.  I would expect a vocalist to change the sound of a band more than a drummer would. Also, keyboard players in DT would change the sound more than a drummer too, seeing how JP and whatever keyboardist happened to be in the band at that point were always the main musical writers for the band.

Tis BOOLsheet

Quote from: rumborak on February 11, 2014, 02:11:27 PM
Why not actually? I mean, I understand that with ADTOE they wanted to establish that they could still do the same as before. But for DT12 I had hoped for something new, something that would mark a "new DT". I think they lost a perfect opportunity to reinvent themselves.

It would have been strange to make an album reassuring the fans that the band would retain their signature sound, only to depart from it a year later.

It stands to reason that JP wants DT to always sound like DT. There will be no "reinventing" in all likelihood. I think they'll try new things, but they'll be modest attempts to include other influences in their signature sound. If their aim was to reinvent the band, they certainly made a strange selection in the auditions. 

As I Am

I don't no if this is "controversial" but....static setlists SUCK! :tdwn :tdwn :tdwn

Shadow Ninja 2.0


pgf

My highly controversial opinion. I think that Surrender to Reason, Illumination Theory and Bridges in the Sky are better than any song in Awake.

TheGreatPretender

Quote from: pgf on February 11, 2014, 05:31:33 PM
My highly controversial opinion. I think that Surrender to Reason, Illumination Theory and Bridges in the Sky are better than any song in Awake.

I think ITPOE, Forsaken and Constant Motion are better than any song on Awake.

Anguyen92

Quote from: As I Am on February 11, 2014, 05:26:07 PM
I don't no if this is "controversial" but....static setlists SUCK! :tdwn :tdwn :tdwn

Agreed.  Are we ever going to hear news that the Bigger Picture, Surrender to Reason, and/or Behind the Veil is going to be played live during this whole tour?

Sacul

Quote from: Anguyen92 on February 11, 2014, 05:40:34 PM
Quote from: As I Am on February 11, 2014, 05:26:07 PM
I don't no if this is "controversial" but....static setlists SUCK! :tdwn :tdwn :tdwn

Agreed.  Are we ever going to hear news that the Bigger Picture, Surrender to Reason, and/or Behind the Veil is going to be played live during this whole tour?
They might change it a bit for US tour.

Prog Snob

Quote from: Perpetual Change on February 11, 2014, 01:57:11 PM
I don't think it was. There was at least a dichotomy between "Mike" and "John" influences before, where you could basically tell who wrote a song before even looking at the linear notes. There were also your occasionally influences from the other guys. Mike stepping away doesn't seem to have led to the other guys writing more, it's just led to double the JP filling the void. Hence me feeling like the sound has become more homogenous.

i wouldn't have expected the other guys to cover the amount of writing that Mike did. It was obvious that the band was mostly Mike's ideas and then JP was second.  It was a breathe of fresh air hearing ADTOE.  They weren't forcing themselves to sound like anyone else. 

[quote author=Perpetual Change link=topic=35056.msg1765094#msg1765094 date=13921522Can't agree. The lows on the new albums might not be as low as those on the last two MP albums, but overall I wouldn't say the songwriting has improved much at all.
[/quote]

I don't think there are any lows on the last two CDs as compared to some of the lows on MP's last two.  If you go back even one further, Never Enough was such a low point in their career if for nothing else then just for the inspiration behind the lyrics.  Get the fuck over it Mike, really.

Mike wanted to take every different kind of band he listened to and work them into a Dream Theater CD and it just put them all over the place. With the new CD at least the goal was already stated by JP to write more "songs" as opposed to writing long songs for the sake of it. 

Shadow Ninja 2.0


bl5150

For me it's all about enough melodies to keep me interested in the lengthy songs , so I can appreciate the prog side of it.  If the prog side dominates for too long without being broken up by some hooks I lose interest quick.   So Illumination Theory achieves that fine , LTL does etc...... but many don't.  Which is why I struggle so much with a lot of the stuff on BCSL, ToT, SDOIT (disc one)....even BITS wears out its welcome with me.   BAI though I have no trouble with at all - one of my faves,.

Prog Snob

Illumination Theory is ONE song on the last two CDs that is exceptionally long. However, it's the powerful epic and I don't think it's drawn out as opposed to say A Nightmare To Remember.

As I Am

Quote from: Prog Snob on February 11, 2014, 06:14:58 PM

Mike wanted to take every different kind of band he listened to and work them into a Dream Theater CD and it just put them all over the place.

I agree with this. Over a 25 year career with the band, IMO, this was MP's only...yes, ONLY shortcoming!

425

Quote from: mikeyd23 on February 11, 2014, 02:06:37 PM
Quote from: Perpetual Change on February 11, 2014, 01:57:11 PM
I don't think it was. There was at least a dichotomy between "Mike" and "John" influences before, where you could basically tell who wrote a song before even looking at the linear notes. There were also your occasionally influences from the other guys. Mike stepping away doesn't seem to have led to the other guys writing more, it's just led to double the JP filling the void. Hence me feeling like the sound has become more homogenous.

Are you talking about lyrics or music? If you are just addressing lyrics then I guess I can see your point.  John and Mike had been the two main lyricists on recent albums before MP's departure so that dynamic has been different over the last two albums, but if your addressing the music with your comment then I'm a little confused.  Its been widely discussed here that for the most part, MP's contributions to the music included composing drum parts (obviously) and simply helping to work with arrangement ideas. 

So on SC and BC&SL, JP and JR were still the real driving creative force of the band, muscially creating the riffs, chord progressions, melodies, etc... for the most part.  That hasn't really changed with MP's departure, JP and JR still fill that role in the band.

I'm... not in the least sure that you can say that is true outright. Certainly JP and JR are responsible for writing a vast majority of the music, but I'm not at all sure that you can limit Mike's contributions to writing drum parts and "helping to work with arrangement ideas." I think Mike was responsible, far more than anyone aside from maybe Jordan, with coming up with the outside-the-box, outside of the normal direction of the band ideas that we used to see all the time from them. Like them or not, songs like Never Enough and ideas like the fan vocals of Prophets of War, the growled section of A Nightmare to Remember and the three-part harmonies that drench Black Clouds & Silver Linings were all outside the box and are probably mostly attributable to Mike Portnoy. And those are the kind of things that I love from Dream Theater. I hesitate to be exacting in my remarks because I think the music on the last two albums is very good, safe as it is, but I do think I'd probably rather hear DT11 in 3 years with Mike Portnoy as co-producer than have ADTOE and DT12. This is even while my #1 is Breaking All Illusions. I am nearly that confident that they would have topped BAI with MP in the band (to say nothing of: Jordan/John would probably have written most of what I liked in BAI anyway, and JMX had already planned to return to lyric-writing regardless of whether or not Mike left the band).

I say none of this to slight MM or JP, or to criticize the band for refusing to take a hiatus. I understand why they had to do what they did, and I think they made the right choice. And I think Mike Mangini is an incredible drummer and great fit for Dream Theater. I just miss very much what Mike Portnoy brought to the band.

Quote from: Prog Snob on February 11, 2014, 01:50:56 PM
But when the homogeneousness was oozing with MP's controlling stamp all over it, that was alright?   The song quality over the last two releases has improved drastically as compared to Systematic Chaos and BC & SL.

A couple of things: First, I think we should call into question the notion that Mike is as controlling as people claim he is. I mean, it's documented that he had personal issues with John Myung and James, and Mike himself has admitted to having controlling aspects to his personality, but I don't think we can extrapolate from that to anything close to "Mike Portnoy took control of every aspect of Dream Theater's music." Look at the Chaos In Progress documentary. Mike and John are shown disagreeing about something musically, and at no point does Mike try to impose his will on John.

Second, I absolutely disagree that the albums released when MP was considered the band leader are homogeneous. ToT is a little bit, but that was an intentional direction that seemed to have been agreed upon by the entire band. Beyond that... 8VM has eight songs that do not sound much like each other. SC is a little less diverse, but still has 7 songs that don't really sound like each other. BCSL has a general atmosphere, but the songs are still fairly heterogenous within that atmosphere, though not as much as 8VM and SC. DT12, on the other hand, is, to my hear, exceedingly homogenous. All the songs really blend together to me, in a way that songs from SDOIT-BCSL really don't.





I didn't always think this way. I was never one of those "MP plz brng bak stay wiht Drm Thaetar INdnesa durm god MP forver" people. When I first heard ADTOE, I did think it was safe, but I also thought it had some really, really good stuff. And I figured that maybe the next album would be a return to more experimental form. It really wasn't, in my view. I did like DT12, but it did feel safe yet again to me. Only after spending a few weeks with the album did I realize that there was something missing for me with MP gone.

Everyone who followed my top 50 thread saw that ADTOE and DT12 rank similar for me among DT albums, both in the middle-of-the-road range. ADTOE is my 7th favorite and DT12 is my 8th. These are ahead of four albums: SC, WDADU, FII and SDOIT. I regard FII and WDADU as special cases: FII was made with significant interference from the label and WDADU was their debut. SC and SDOIT, on the other hand, are, in my book, the less successful experiments with unconventional styles of the MP era. But I would rather have another album that is unexpected but falls flat for me like SC than another album like DT12 that is perhaps good but expectedly so. My least favorite DT album, SDOIT (by the way, here's a controversial opinion for y'all buried deep in this post), is a very memorable one in a lot of good ways and some less good ways. But DT12 is far less memorable, and if they make another album in a similar style it'll be even less so.

I've come to expect it at this point. I don't think DT13 will surprise me. I do think it'll probably be a good album, but a very predictable one. And I've come to terms with that, and I'm still excited to see if they make songs that I do end up loving (because I do love some ADTOE and DT12 songs, really, I do; BAI is #1, FFH is #7, TBP is #10, IT is #15). But if this is in fact the case and I'm not surprised when the fall of 2015 rolls around, it'll be true, in my mind, that the golden years of Dream Theater had ended in 2010 with Mike Portnoy's departure.

Prog Snob

I understand what you are saying.  The songs don't sound identical, but neither do the songs on the last two releases.  However, I can't help but feel that MP stamp on his last two releases.  While I do enjoy the albums overall, they are far from my favorites.  Something about them just wasn't what I would normally expect from the band.  The last two CDs the band put out felt like a breath of fresh air. I heard more melody in the music and even seeing them live the atmosphere seemed more relaxed.  I feed off things like that and maybe I'm just a bit messed up in the head but it was a good feeling seeing how the band gelled, so to speak. 

BlobVanDam

Quote from: Perpetual Change on February 11, 2014, 01:57:11 PM
Quote from: Prog Snob on February 11, 2014, 01:50:56 PM
But when the homogeneousness was oozing with MP's controlling stamp all over it, that was alright?
I don't think it was. There was at least a dichotomy between "Mike" and "John" influences before, where you could basically tell who wrote a song before even looking at the linear notes. There were also your occasionally influences from the other guys. Mike stepping away doesn't seem to have led to the other guys writing more, it's just led to double the JP filling the void. Hence me feeling like the sound has become more homogenous.


Quote from: Prog Snob on February 11, 2014, 01:50:56 PMThe song quality over the last two releases has improved drastically as compared to Systematic Chaos and BC & SL.
Can't agree. The lows on the new albums might not be as low as those on the last two MP albums, but overall I wouldn't say the songwriting has improved much at all.

I..... agree with all of this.
There is more balance of the other members contributing, but it's still dominated by the producer. I rank the last 3 or 4 albums about equally, all things considered. But the last two have felt a lot safer and not as interesting to me.

Volante99

My controversial opinions:

First:

James Labrie's over-singing prevents Awake from being the band's finest hour. His vocal delivery pretty much clashes with the rest of the band, doesnt fit with the lyrical content, and nearly sinks the whole affair. I love Labrie's voice and think he's so integral to the bands overall sound. I just wish he would have shown some restraint over the years; just because you can hit a note, doesn't mean you should. To be fair though, the other members play a part and have written many of those vocal melodies, so all the blame can't be placed on LaBrie.

Second:

Mike Mangini is a great drummer, but I've seen zero evidence that he can touch Mike Portnoy's musicality behind the kit. True, the mixing on the drums on the last two albums have been laughably bad, but to be honest, I don't find his drumming very memorable either. Yes, his parts may flow with the songs better, but I feel like Dream Theater is about showmanship, and I miss Portnoy's flashy over the top playing.

Jaffa

Ha, JLB's vocals are probably my favorite part of Awake.

Shadow Ninja 2.0

Quote from: Volante99 on February 11, 2014, 09:00:59 PM
My controversial opinions:

First:

James Labrie's over-singing prevents Awake from being the band's finest hour. His vocal delivery pretty much clashes with the rest of the band, doesnt fit with the lyrical content, and nearly sinks the whole affair. I love Labrie's voice and think he's so integral to the bands overall sound. I just wish he would have shown some restraint over the years; just because you can hit a note, doesn't mean you should. To be fair though, the other members play a part and have written many of those vocal melodies, so all the blame can't be placed on

I swear, it's like you said, "What's Shadow Ninja's opinion?", and then wrote the exact opposite. :lol

I think Awake is James best performance to date, and is definitely one of the highlights of the album.