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Liquid Tension Experiment 2

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★★★★½
(102 Reviews)

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  • I gotta admit, I was a bit leary of this album. 74 minutes of instrumental music is quite a gamble, even if it is the members of Dream Theater. But, being such a huge DT fan, I just had to buy it. And, I must say, this is a really great album. Ex-King Crimson bassist Tony Levin steps up for bass duties, and the fun begins. I guess I’ll just go through it song by song.1. Acid Rain- Very fast, intense opener. It stays pretty heavy throughout, but there are moments of beauty as well. One of the finest instrumentals ever.2. Biaxident- Much softer, with some very nice piano work from Jordan. The name comes from the drug Biaxin, which John was taking at the time because of migraine headaches.3. 914- An improv piece. Very laid-back, with a funky bass groove. Tony’s skills really stand out on this one.4. Another Dimension- Aptly titled. Very trippy song, with a crushingly heavy finish. At the end, one of the guys (it’s gotta be Mike) screams “Yeah, baby, yeah!”.5. When the Water Breaks- Very long song. During this, John had to leave, because his wife was giving birth, so he had to ga back and add his part to the rest. Very impressive he could do that. Not a lot of direction to this song, but it’s a thrilling ride.6. Chewbacca- Another improv. jam. Considered by many to be the weakest track, and I would have to agree. Starts off with a good riff, but it gets a bit boring in the middle. But, it picks up again by the end. All in all, pretty decent song.7. Liquid Dreams- Beautiful track. Very tranquil, with excellent piano work from Jordan. If you don’t think any living pianist can come close to Chopin and Mozart, this will change your mind. Mike was doped up on Nyquil during this song, so his playing is suprisingly restrained.8. Hourglass- Short little improv piece. Just piano and acoustic guitar. Very nice. It was kind of recorded as an afterthought at the very end of the session. Good move.As you can see, this is a great album. 74 minutes of musical bliss, and every instrument stands out. There’s also commentary in the liner notes from each member about each song. Cool idea. If you like Dream Theater, or just great musicianship in general, this is a good buy. They really need to make some videos for these songs, with some cool CG stuff. Something like Jan Hammer’s “Beyond the Mind’s Eye”. That would be too cool.Anyway, just buy this. You’ll love it.

    Posted on December 30, 2009