My bemused friends. This is the 516th review of this album and of the previous 515 reviews none are truly helpful. Therfore, after reading numerous of these reviews, I am going to analyze their findings and make recommendations accordingly.
The reason for the wildly varying opinions of Train of Thought, is because with this CD, Dream Theater is entering a new phase on their musical evolution. They have prudently and rightly ascertained that to keep recording, what is basically the same material, is effectively a death sentence.
So, What do we have here? Well it looks like about 20 % of the reviewers (one and two stars) who professed to be die hard fans were shocked by the new Dream Theater and subsequently hated TOT. Obviously if you as a potential buyer are dogmatic and are looking for the same old (but still very good) sound, you shouldn’t buy TOT.
The next group we have (Three stars) is the ones who don’t know what to make of TOT. They don’t seem to rushing to judgement (though they’ve written reviews) and are somewhat ambivalent. About 15% of our reviewers felt this way and I was one of these people at first but after multiple listens became a fan. That’s right, I think TOT takes multiple listens to appreciate but let’s face it isn’t DT worth multiple listens. What else are we going to listen to, Beyonce? So if you are this kind of person, you should go ahead and buy TOT. Worse case, it won’t grow on you and you end up with a mediocre album but the upside is worth it.
Next (four stars) at about 25% is the group that appreciates TOT and DT’s latest endeavor and their need to experiment and grow and voice opinions that although TOT is not DT’s best or second best or even third best album it is a very good album in it’s own right. Again if I may be redundant, what are your options, Janet Jackson? OOPS!
Lastly of course we have the true die hard DT fans (five stars), about 40%, who think TOT is great, one of their best and can’t for the life of them, understand how anyone could not love this album and say so in their reviews. I kinda side with them but I can understand where the other groups are coming from. I guess I’m in between groups three and four at about 4 1/2 stars.
If you like the old Dream Theater just fine, thank you, and do not wish to experiment on a newer and slightly heavier DT – PASS
If you are not as rigid but think you may like the old DT better – IT’S YOR CALL, it’s still Dream Theater!
If you are flexible and open to new stuff, especially from DT – ABSOLUTELY!
If you are an extreme, die hard Dream Theater fan. You probably have it already.
MY BOTTOM LINE:
Dream Theater is the most visable, most revered and best known of all PROG ROCK/METAL bands. By being the number one progressive band in the world they have been anointed to carry the torch through the dark passages of mundane popular music. Though they are not my personal favorite Progressive band, I do love them and feel for them as they carry a heavy burden. Long Live Dream Theater. You may not like the alternative.