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Some rock & roll purists consider the term "progressive rock" an oxymoron. After all, rock & roll is supposed to be about feeling, not thinking. Prog rock bands miss the point by taking the soul out of a musical form that's purposely crass and anti-intellectual. All the precise, long-winded arrangements, keyboard flourishes, wailing vocals, and overorchestration of groups like Yes, Emerson Lake & Palmer, and, to a degree, Rush suck the soul out of something that should be less head and more body. Dream Theater, though they possess many of the same characteristics as these bands, still manage to maintain a human element in their music.Awakeis at times self-indulgent and pompous, but songs like "Lie," a passionate crusher that finds guitarist John Petrucci launching riff after thunderous riff in a cacophonous volley of crunch, ring true with real passion and base emotion. It's the depth and tonality his guitar brings to the music that keeps Dream Theater from falling into the Styx-isms they often veer dangerously close to. A very solid record for those who don't mind thinking while rocking.--Adem Tepedelen
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Label:  Atlantic, Wea
ArtistDream Theater
Release Date:  October 4, 1994
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review by . December 11, 2000
posted in Music Matters
Dream Theater's follow-up their breakthrough album "Images and Words" characterizes a markedly different change in style for the band. Just by looking at the song names, with those enigmatic and dismal titles, you can tell that Awake is a more darker, more serious record than the relatively positive and hopeful feeling I&W. Some would say that this is the inferior album, but I think that the somber arrangements yield more emotional intensity, with more profound and honest performances by all the …
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