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Awake – Dream Theater

Dream Theater Awake


(1994), 6.5/10
I own three Dream Theater albums, and to me that’s perfect for this band – I feel like owning any more would reveal a lack of substance behind the facade and destroy the mild affection that I have for them. Awake tends to be their third most acclaimed album after 1992’s breakthrough Images and Words and 1999’s concept behemoth Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes From a Memory, although 21st century records like Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence and 2005’s Octavarium are also well regarded. At 75 minutes, Awake is nearly twice as long as Images and Words, and it doesn’t have enough strong material to justify the doubling in running time. More importantly, it doesn’t have as convincing pop hooks as Images and Words – while ‘Innocence Faded’ has a memorable chorus, often a song’s refrain is simply shouting the title at a higher pitch than the rest of the song. ‘6:00’ has some impressively fast riffing, ‘Space-Dye Vest’, contributed by outgoing keyboardist Kevin Moore, is a nice closer, and ‘The Silent Man’ is a memorable acoustic piece. But at 75 minutes, there’s not enough substance on Awake to hold my interest, and I usually just cherry pick the highlights.

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