Author Topic: my most controversial take: awake is the worst DT album  (Read 5558 times)

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Offline wolfking

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Re: my most controversial take: awake is the worst DT album
« Reply #70 on: September 28, 2023, 04:04:13 AM »
sorry for the click bait headline but i think i finally feel comfortable unveiling what i think might be my most controversial take: "awake" is dream theater's weakest album

first of all, when we talk about "awake" being the worst, it's all relative. it's like saying the worst ferrari is still a pretty darn good car. that being said, there are a few reasons why some fans might not rank "awake" as high as other dream theater albums. the production quality on "awake" is not up to par with some of their other albums. it's got this kind of muddy sound to it, and the mix just isn't as clear and crisp as, say, "metropolis pt. 2: scenes from a memory" or "images and words." when you're dealing with a band as technically proficient as dream theater, you want every note to shine, and "awake" falls short in that department.

then there's the songwriting. don't get me wrong, there are some great tracks on "awake," like "6:00" and "the mirror." but there are also some forgettable moments, like "innocence faded" and "a mind beside itself: iii. the silent man." it's not that these songs are bad per se, but they just don't reach the same level of complexity and emotional depth that we've come to expect from dream theater. another issue that some fans have with "awake" is the lyrics. they can be a bit on the cheesy side at times, and it feels like the band was trying a bit too hard to be profound. again, this is all relative, because dream theater has never been known for their lyrical prowess, but on "awake," it's particularly noticeable.

perhaps most interestingly enough, "awake" came at a time when the progressive metal scene was really starting to take off, with bands like tool and opeth pushing the boundaries of the genre. in comparison, "awake" feels a bit safe and formulaic. it's almost like dream theater was trying to fit into a mold rather than breaking new ground. while "awake" is by no means a bad album, i would consider it the worst in the dream theater discography because of its production quality, songwriting, lyrics, and the changing landscape of progressive metal at the time of its release.

i know that's probably a big take to let sink in - and to be clear i don't hate the album, but it always shakes out at the bottom of my ranking. what are your thoughts? music is subjective, and there are definitely fans out there who love "awake" just as much as any other dream theater album.

edit: perhaps most interesting about this all is i think my favorite DT song is space-dyed vest  :rollin

I agree with literally nothing in this post I think.

I also think Awake is easily one of their best sounding albums.  Maybe their best.

I do find it hard to fathom Awake being the worst when The Astonishing exists also.
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Offline erciccio

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Re: my most controversial take: awake is the worst DT album
« Reply #71 on: September 28, 2023, 07:17:46 AM »
sorry for the click bait headline but i think i finally feel comfortable unveiling what i think might be my most controversial take: "awake" is dream theater's weakest album

first of all, when we talk about "awake" being the worst, it's all relative. it's like saying the worst ferrari is still a pretty darn good car. that being said, there are a few reasons why some fans might not rank "awake" as high as other dream theater albums. the production quality on "awake" is not up to par with some of their other albums. it's got this kind of muddy sound to it, and the mix just isn't as clear and crisp as, say, "metropolis pt. 2: scenes from a memory" or "images and words." when you're dealing with a band as technically proficient as dream theater, you want every note to shine, and "awake" falls short in that department.

then there's the songwriting. don't get me wrong, there are some great tracks on "awake," like "6:00" and "the mirror." but there are also some forgettable moments, like "innocence faded" and "a mind beside itself: iii. the silent man." it's not that these songs are bad per se, but they just don't reach the same level of complexity and emotional depth that we've come to expect from dream theater. another issue that some fans have with "awake" is the lyrics. they can be a bit on the cheesy side at times, and it feels like the band was trying a bit too hard to be profound. again, this is all relative, because dream theater has never been known for their lyrical prowess, but on "awake," it's particularly noticeable.

perhaps most interestingly enough, "awake" came at a time when the progressive metal scene was really starting to take off, with bands like tool and opeth pushing the boundaries of the genre. in comparison, "awake" feels a bit safe and formulaic. it's almost like dream theater was trying to fit into a mold rather than breaking new ground. while "awake" is by no means a bad album, i would consider it the worst in the dream theater discography because of its production quality, songwriting, lyrics, and the changing landscape of progressive metal at the time of its release.

i know that's probably a big take to let sink in - and to be clear i don't hate the album, but it always shakes out at the bottom of my ranking. what are your thoughts? music is subjective, and there are definitely fans out there who love "awake" just as much as any other dream theater album.

edit: perhaps most interesting about this all is i think my favorite DT song is space-dyed vest  :rollin

I agree just with two statements: the Mirror being a great song, and SDV being a top song.
I strongly disagree with all the rest, even as concerns the "sounding"...Awake sounds great, and the "dark" production is perfectly alinged with the "mood" of the album.

I am one of the fews here that thinks that the latest couple of albums are the worst "sounding", mainly due to La Brie's voice processing and the overall "loudness" of all rythmic sections (e.g when all instruments kick in in "The Alien" it just sounds incredibly messy to my hears... I struggle to understand what the riffing intention is at all)




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Offline TheHoveringSojourn808

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Re: my most controversial take: awake is the worst DT album
« Reply #72 on: September 28, 2023, 07:55:06 AM »
people with deep connections to 80s hair bands and leather will definitely have a possible connection to awake i will never have :lol
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Offline Stadler

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Re: my most controversial take: awake is the worst DT album
« Reply #73 on: September 28, 2023, 08:01:19 AM »
people with deep connections to 80s hair bands and leather will definitely have a possible connection to awake i will never have :lol

Isn't it sort of always the case that your path into a band really sets the tone for what you will tolerate or not tolerate with them?  I got into DT with I&W back in '92, so Awake was fresh for me, and it's one of my favorites (I think Kevin Moore had a real impact on the band's sound and I do miss him).  I don't know if it's "hair metal and leather", though I did dig that.   I just loved that TO ME DT was Iron Maiden and Rush jamming with Steve Perry singing. Awake was more of that (I never really bothered with the "gravelly singing" thing).   

Offline TheHoveringSojourn808

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Re: my most controversial take: awake is the worst DT album
« Reply #74 on: September 28, 2023, 08:17:06 AM »
i think i agree. my entrypoint was train of thought (though octavarium came out quickly after i discovered DT) so 8vm's sound and vibe (and the very brilliant prog of the title track) mixed with some of the more heavier stuff from ToT is kind of the "standard" i hold DT to as well. definitely see what you're saying. for me that made SC and Black Clouds fun because those records did kind of push and explore the edges they reached in ToT/8vm more
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Offline HOF

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Re: my most controversial take: awake is the worst DT album
« Reply #75 on: September 28, 2023, 08:27:54 AM »
The irony there is ToT was kind of DT trying to get back to the heavier, darker side they showed on Awake. The fact that it hits at that same vibe in some places (Parts of Honor Your Father, Vacant, Stream of Consciousness especially) is ToTís main redeeming quality for me.

But yeah, when you get into a band always plays a big role in how you view different parts of their catalog. 

Offline TheHoveringSojourn808

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Re: my most controversial take: awake is the worst DT album
« Reply #76 on: September 28, 2023, 08:29:34 AM »
The irony there is ToT was kind of DT trying to get back to the heavier, darker side they showed on Awake. The fact that it hits at that same vibe in some places (Parts of Honor Your Father, Vacant, Stream of Consciousness especially) is ToTís main redeeming quality for me.

But yeah, when you get into a band always plays a big role in how you view different parts of their catalog. 

ah the parts of ToT i was talking about are more of the Stream of Consciousness stuff, the carnival prog (lol, i like it!), the MP vocals on honor thy father, etc.
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Re: my most controversial take: awake is the worst DT album
« Reply #77 on: September 28, 2023, 09:16:58 AM »
Iím not aware of any hair metal influence on Awake. Innocence Faded is quite Journey-ish but thatís not hair metal either.
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
TAC got a higher score than me in the electronic round? Honestly, can I just drop out now? :lol

Offline HOF

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Re: my most controversial take: awake is the worst DT album
« Reply #78 on: September 28, 2023, 01:06:18 PM »
Iím not aware of any hair metal influence on Awake. Innocence Faded is quite Journey-ish but thatís not hair metal either.

Maybe because guys who did No More Tears produced it? But the music is definitely not hair metal-ish. The closest thing might be The Silent Man I guess if you want to say itís their ďMore Than Words.Ē

Offline TheHoveringSojourn808

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Re: my most controversial take: awake is the worst DT album
« Reply #79 on: September 28, 2023, 01:09:15 PM »
haha, i wasn't trying to say the album sounded like a hair metal album. but let me put it this way:

if you encountered a random stranger on the sidewalk, and they had never heard of DT before in their life, but they were the biggest Warrant, Ratt, etc fan on the planet: which DT record are you recommending them?
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Re: my most controversial take: awake is the worst DT album
« Reply #80 on: September 28, 2023, 01:17:46 PM »
haha, i wasn't trying to say the album sounded like a hair metal album. but let me put it this way:

if you encountered a random stranger on the sidewalk, and they had never heard of DT before in their life, but they were the biggest Warrant, Ratt, etc fan on the planet: which DT record are you recommending them?

Please shoot me if I ever encounter the biggest Ratt fan.

To answer the question..I'm not sure. Probably I&W. It wouldn't be Awake though. Maybe even FII.
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
TAC got a higher score than me in the electronic round? Honestly, can I just drop out now? :lol

Offline TheHoveringSojourn808

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Re: my most controversial take: awake is the worst DT album
« Reply #81 on: September 28, 2023, 01:20:34 PM »
haha to my brain i would offer them awake tho I&W would definitely be second. i feel like the prevalence of the prog passages on I&W would turn off a hair metal fan that was looking for something more straightforward, which is why awake comes to mind for me
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Re: my most controversial take: awake is the worst DT album
« Reply #82 on: September 28, 2023, 01:22:39 PM »
haha to my brain i would offer them awake tho I&W would definitely be second. i feel like the prevalence of the prog passages on I&W would turn off a hair metal fan that was looking for something more straightforward, which is why awake comes to mind for me

Yeah, I follow that, but I&W has those Firehouse style vocals...and Another Day.
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
TAC got a higher score than me in the electronic round? Honestly, can I just drop out now? :lol

Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: my most controversial take: awake is the worst DT album
« Reply #83 on: September 28, 2023, 01:26:31 PM »
haha, i wasn't trying to say the album sounded like a hair metal album. but let me put it this way:

if you encountered a random stranger on the sidewalk, and they had never heard of DT before in their life, but they were the biggest Warrant, Ratt, etc fan on the planet: which DT record are you recommending them?
I don't know, which album would you offer to a reggae fan?

I wouldn't recommend any DT album to a Warrant or Ratt fan.
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Offline TheHoveringSojourn808

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Re: my most controversial take: awake is the worst DT album
« Reply #84 on: September 28, 2023, 01:31:56 PM »
I don't know, which album would you offer to a reggae fan?

falling into infinity
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Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: my most controversial take: awake is the worst DT album
« Reply #85 on: September 28, 2023, 01:45:45 PM »
I don't know, which album would you offer to a reggae fan?

falling into infinity
I get it
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Offline TheHoveringSojourn808

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Re: my most controversial take: awake is the worst DT album
« Reply #86 on: September 28, 2023, 01:56:54 PM »
i knew you would :hefdaddy
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Offline pg1067

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Re: my most controversial take: awake is the worst DT album
« Reply #87 on: September 28, 2023, 02:47:12 PM »
if you encountered a random stranger on the sidewalk, and they had never heard of DT before in their life, but they were the biggest Warrant, Ratt, etc fan on the planet: which DT record are you recommending them?

The biggest Ratt fan probably isn't going to want a DT recommendation, but I'm thinking it'd probably The Astonishing.  Maybe FII or I&W.  Definitely not Awake.


I&W has those Firehouse style vocals

Huh??
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Offline TheHoveringSojourn808

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Re: my most controversial take: awake is the worst DT album
« Reply #88 on: September 28, 2023, 03:00:12 PM »
The biggest Ratt fan probably isn't going to want a DT recommendation, but I'm thinking it'd probably The Astonishing.  Maybe FII or I&W.  Definitely not Awake.

how come the astonishing? the other two i see a bit but curious on that one
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Offline ProgMasterMind92

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Re: my most controversial take: awake is the worst DT album
« Reply #89 on: September 28, 2023, 03:18:22 PM »
because both ratt and the astonishing suck :lol
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Offline DoctorAction

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Re: my most controversial take: awake is the worst DT album
« Reply #90 on: September 28, 2023, 04:04:18 PM »
 :lol

Awake rules.

"Melody walks through the door
And memory flies out the window"

"And how come you don't understand me?
And how come I don't understand you?"

Huge amount of strong, affecting moments on it. Top tier.
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Offline HOF

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Re: my most controversial take: awake is the worst DT album
« Reply #91 on: September 28, 2023, 05:00:37 PM »
I&W is definitely the closest to ďhair metalĒ that DT got (maybe some things on WDADU too). I donít think FII would particularly appeal to a hair metal fan. I think their newer albums with MM are closer to a hair metal sound too.

Offline YtseJam

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Re: my most controversial take: awake is the worst DT album
« Reply #92 on: September 28, 2023, 05:25:18 PM »
Space Dye Vest is the only bad song on the album. I could live without ever hearing Lie again too, otherwise it's a pretty solid album.

Offline Jamesman42

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Re: my most controversial take: awake is the worst DT album
« Reply #93 on: September 28, 2023, 06:07:54 PM »
The thing I appreciate about Lie is that it gives the album a nice break from the more complex songs that precede it. Just a nice, rocking song that fits within the album's mood, but relatively straightforward.

Offline TheBarstoolWarrior

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Re: my most controversial take: awake is the worst DT album
« Reply #94 on: September 28, 2023, 06:31:02 PM »
Lie is a terrible DT song...I am cool with every other track on the album. Even the more bloated ones.

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Re: my most controversial take: awake is the worst DT album
« Reply #95 on: September 29, 2023, 01:14:42 AM »
Lie is a terrible DT song...

I can't imagine one really finds Lie that bad. I'll admit it's not the virual top of Awake, but the riffs are good, I like the lyrics, the chorus and that Petrucci-solo is as prog as a solo can be.

Although I would have loved it the most, if both The Mirror and Lie were inner-twined as a single song, The Lying Mirror...
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Offline ProgMasterMind92

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Re: my most controversial take: awake is the worst DT album
« Reply #96 on: September 29, 2023, 01:25:19 AM »
sounds like we have some doubting thomases in here........... embarrassing
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Offline wolfking

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Re: my most controversial take: awake is the worst DT album
« Reply #97 on: September 29, 2023, 03:51:24 AM »
people with deep connections to 80s hair bands and leather will definitely have a possible connection to awake i will never have :lol

Huh?
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Offline wolfking

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Re: my most controversial take: awake is the worst DT album
« Reply #98 on: September 29, 2023, 03:52:11 AM »
haha, i wasn't trying to say the album sounded like a hair metal album. but let me put it this way:

if you encountered a random stranger on the sidewalk, and they had never heard of DT before in their life, but they were the biggest Warrant, Ratt, etc fan on the planet: which DT record are you recommending them?

None.  Ratt fans don't deserve to hear Dream Theater.
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Offline Skeever

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Re: my most controversial take: awake is the worst DT album
« Reply #99 on: September 29, 2023, 05:21:53 AM »
I can see it being pretty low in somebody's ranking, but the worst? That is pretty extreme to me. There are only two albums which I would expect to see at the very bottom of anyone's ranking, WDADU and the Astonishing.

Offline Jamesman42

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Re: my most controversial take: awake is the worst DT album
« Reply #100 on: September 29, 2023, 05:34:15 AM »
I can see it being pretty low in somebody's ranking, but the worst? That is pretty extreme to me. There are only two albums which I would expect to see at the very bottom of anyone's ranking, WDADU and the Astonishing.

This, though I say that without having heard DoT.

Offline PMSummer

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Re: my most controversial take: awake is the worst DT album
« Reply #101 on: September 29, 2023, 05:48:39 AM »
I can see it being pretty low in somebody's ranking, but the worst? That is pretty extreme to me. There are only two albums which I would expect to see at the very bottom of anyone's ranking, WDADU and the Astonishing.

This, though I say that without having heard DoT.
How come you skipped that one but did listen to view?

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Re: my most controversial take: awake is the worst DT album
« Reply #102 on: September 29, 2023, 05:49:12 AM »
This, though I say that without having heard DoT.

You've spend so much time in here, but hasn't listen to Distance Over Time. Do you really mean that?
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Offline Jamesman42

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Re: my most controversial take: awake is the worst DT album
« Reply #103 on: September 29, 2023, 06:10:03 AM »
I went for a long while not posting here, which spanned their last few albums. I only recently listened to View and Astonishing, because View is their latest (and pretty bland) and Astonishing gets a lot of hate (which I now know it deserves). DoT is next for me to catch up on.

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Re: my most controversial take: awake is the worst DT album
« Reply #104 on: September 29, 2023, 06:17:49 AM »
I see... I truly believe The Astonishing doesn't deserve the hate it gets, however. I red the book multiple times, saw the whole walkthrough from Peter Orullian and spend many hours on the concept. The more I listen to the vinyl, the more beautiful it turns out to be.
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