This album has gotten a lot of negative response because, apparently, it’s their “sellout” album. Well, don’t take that too seriously, because aside from a few weaker songs (which are good, but not up to Dream Theater’s standards), this album is friggin’ amazing. There are definitely some weaker songs though. However, this album is still more than worth buying if you’re a Dream Theater fan, because it’s awesome!Well, we obviously know that John Petrucci, John Myung, and Mike Portnoy are incredible musicians. John Petrucci’s guitar work here is, IMO, his most tasteful, and easily his least flashy, but possibly his best. John Myung is a talented and humble bass player. On “New Millenium” he uses a Chapman Stick, which shows how diverse and talented he is. Mike’s drumming definitely did not stand out here as much as previous albums, or as much as later albums, but it’s still obviouse that he’s an incredible drummer. James LaBrie has an amazing voice, not much else can be said on that. So, what about the new keyboardist, Derek Sherinian? Well, he’s pretty good. Not quite the songwriter Kevin was, and not quite the technical player Jordan is, but hey, if he was hired by Dream Theater, don’t you think he must be good? Well, he is.I suppose I’ll start off with the better songs. “New Millennium” is one of their best songs, IMO. John Myung uses a Chapman Stick on this song, and if you don’t know what that is, look into it, cuz they’re pretty cool. Anyway, this is a great song. It reminds me of “Pull Me Under” or “6:00″, being a perfect opener, and a Dream Theater classic. “Peruvian Skies” is a great darker song, that builds up into some spectacular metal riffing and a great solo by John. “Hollow Years” is an amazing ballad. Just a beautiful song. “Hell’s Kitchen” is an instrumental, but not the same kind as “Ytse Jam” or “The Dance of Eternity”. It’s not flashy and technical, it’s more soft and beautiful, and John’s guitar work is incredibly tasteful. “Lines in the Sand” is an epic song, and a strong one. Not another “Scarred”, but it’s very pleasing nonetheless. “Take Away My Pain” is another ballad, and another beautiful song. It’s dedicated to John’s father, who passed away. “Anna Lee” is another ballad, which a lot of people don’t like. I think it’s an excellent song. Now here’s the best part. “Trial of Tears” is probably my favorite song on the album, and also the longest. It starts off slow, and it builds up. It has two incredible solos, one by John Petrucci and one by Derek Sherinian, and then it has a powerful finish. One of their best songs ever.Now the weaker songs. Well, “You Not Me”, while it isn’t a terrible song, is definitely not up to DT’s standards. It has a pretty cool wah wah riff, but prog. fans will definitely be turned off by this one, especially if they don’t like “mainstream” stuff. “Burning My Soul” is almost awful. The music is decent, but the lyrics are pretty bad. Same with “Just Let Me Breath”, although that’s not nearly as bad. The music in “Just Let Me Breath” is killer, but the lyrics have already been said before 100 times, and said better. So, the weaker songs are ok, except for “Burning My Soul”, but nothing spectacular.Anyways, aside from those few bad points, this album is awesome. Even though I don’t like it as much as say, “Images & Words” or “Awake, this album is excellent. Highly recommended to fans of Dream Theater.