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Streets: A Rock Opera

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  • I have only recently discovered Savatage because I found out that members of that group were the nucleus of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. I bought “Handful of Rain” first because I saw it used; it was a good album, but nothing groundbreaking. Then I ordered “Streets” off of the internet because I could not find it anywhere else, and for under ten dollars, I was safe that if I did not like it, it would not have wasted that much money. Once that I got it, it took one listen to realize that this was something special. After the second listen I knew that this was THE GREATEST concept album EVER! (Not to mention one of the best albums, period). It is even better than Dream Theater’s “Scenes From A Memory” because this has absolutely no weak songs, and still has outstanding performances from the entire band. Usually it takes me about a month of listens to be able to tell what I think about it, but I am writing this one day after I listened to it for the first time!
    The story is about a guy nicknamed DT Jesus, who sold drugs. He then became a huge rock star, but got addicted to a different type of rock, which destroyed his career. Eventually he got cleaned up, and, with the help of longtime manager and friend named Tex, had a comeback concert, which was a huge success. After the show, DT is in his dressing room, when a man named Sammy came to visit. Sammy sold drugs to DT in DT’s addict years and owed Sammy a substantial amount of money. They started fighting when Tex came in and pinned Sammy against a wall. Sammy looked beat but pulled out a knife and stabbed Tex, killing him. DT goes through many different emotions in the coming days facing the loss of his good friend. He encounters many people which change the way he looks at life.
    For an album that deals so much with drugs, this is surprisingly anti-drug and has a great uplifting message. Every single song is great and together are even more phenominal (especially “Jesus Saves,” “Can You Hear Me Now?” “New York City Don’t Mean Nothin’” and “Believe”). Criss Oliva is great on guitars, both rhythm and lead, and has outstanding solos that never drift into self-indulgence stages that plague some progressive guitarists, but the solos are all still dripping with passion. Jon Oliva sounds really good on keyboards and vocals as well, even though this would be his last album for ten years in which he performed all of the vocals on the album. It’s a dirty shame that so few people will ever get to enjoy the happiness and sense of fullfilment that comes after listening to this album from start to finish.

    Posted on March 11, 2010