Dream Theater
Greatest Hit


3.0
good

Review

by Matthijs van der Lee USER (219 Reviews)
August 26th, 2008 | 20 replies | 3,135 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: For the fan? Probably not. For the new listener? A decent album.

5 of 5 thought this review was well written

After bringing out 9 studio albums and an EP, it was time for Dream Theater to finally release a ‘Greatest Hits’ compilation. However, this album is named a ‘Greatest Hit...’. The title ironically refers to their one and only hit, ‘Pull Me Under’.

The band has chosen to divide the record into a ‘Dark Side’ and a ‘Light Side’, something you do not often see in a album. This has been done deliberately, and shows the 'two sides' of the band perfectly.

Furthermore, this album contains shortened versions of some songs, a few remixes, and one B-side: ‘To Live Forever’, which belongs to ‘Lie’. The shortened versions are there for 2 reasons. First of all, with all those longs tracks Dream Theater produces, they cannot expect to put many tracks on a disc. Secondly, the band would not like to scare off their potential new fans by their endless instrumental parts that they love to play.

The remixes are a welcome feature for both Dream Theater fans and newcomers, as all of them have definitely improved from their original versions. An added B-side will also certainly do the fan base some good, for they will like to hear new material as well.

The track arrangement is well taken care of, but they could have made a better effort. The album seems to lack material from their first and most recent album. The reasons for letting out material from number 1, ‘When Dream and Day Unite’ are obvious. Charlie Dominici, the original vocalist that appeared only on their first album, had rather poor singing qualities. The best track on the album was a instrumental, that says enough. Letting out material from their ninth and most recent album, ‘Systematic Chaos’, seems less logical. However, most of these tracks are not their best work, and ‘In The Presence of Enemies’ is simply too long, even for an edit.

What they have done is putting material from their concept album, ‘Metropolis, Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory’. This is something that they could also not have chosen for. The tracks are good, but the band could also have chosen to leave their concept album a concept album, though I must say the tracks make perfect sense on their own. Those tracks could then have been replaced by some Dream Theater classics that are now missing, such as ‘Under a Glass Moon’, ‘The Glass Prison’ or fan favourite ‘Metropolis Pt.1: The Miracle and the Sleeper’. If Dream Theater were to give newcomers a representative collection of songs, they should have included at least one of the three.

When these facts are put together, it shows that for the Dream Theater fans, this album will not very interesting. A few remixes will not do the job, maybe the fan would not like to hear shortened versions at all, and one B-side will not provide enough new content. Only for diehard Dream Theater fans, or diehard album collectors.

The newcomers, however, get a quite representative collection, spanning almost Dream Theater’s entire career. They will be less scared off by their long instrumental solos, and for those that have always had negative thoughts on metal, they also have a softer side to listen to.


Pros:
- All remixes are better.
- Material from spanning almost Dream Theater’s entire career has been included.
- The Dark Side/ Light Side division that could also fit the mood that you’re in.

Cons:
- Not everybody, especially the fans, will like the edits.
- Some real Dream Theater classics are missing, making the record feel less representative.



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user ratings (139)
Chart.
2.9
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
morrissey
Moderator
August 26th 2008



1688 Comments


To the inevitable comments: I approved this because he requested help, so do the man a solid. Unconstructive comments will be deleted.This Message Edited On 08.26.08

foreverendeared
August 26th 2008



14678 Comments


well, i'm not the best reviewer here, but maybe i can help a bit. for starters, the first two paragraphs are unnecessary. Also, there isn't much reviewing of the music, which might seem hard to do for a greatest hits album, but you should at least go into some detail into the arrangement of the tracks and how they work as a whole. you should also try to avoid phrases like "according to me" and should generally just try to avoid using first person altogether. also you don't talk about the second disc at all which appears to me to be B-sides and remixes. there seems to be a lot there you could inform the reader about. And it couldn't hurt to actually say something really positive about this since you did give it a 3 and their seems to be a LOT of negativity here This Message Edited On 08.26.08

Willie
Moderator
August 26th 2008



15876 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I agree with everything foreverendeared has said.

My main thing would be to possibly organize your thoughts a little more. Figure out what you want to say and then layout how you're going to do it (kind of like an essay where you need an introduction and a conclusion). After you've given yourself focus, then write the review (use Word or something that has spell check). After writing it, always re-read it one paragraph at a time (as opposed to all at once). After each paragraph seems coherent then read it all at once making sure that it flows as a whole, that you don't repeat yourself and that the end of one paragraph leads into the beginning of the next (for flow and consistency).

Try to keep the tone a little less "conversational" and ensure that you're using full sentences.

As far as the actual content of the review. You can spend some time on what should and shouldn't be on a greatest hits album, but you should also review/explain what actually is on the album too. For example, explain that one disc is the 'heavy' disc and one is the "softer side'. Possibly explain the positives/negatives of the two remixed songs, as well as the edited ones.

... And last, but certainly not least, read this version of the same review for what you (and everyone else) should really strive for when writing:

http://www.sputnikmusic.com/album.php?reviewid=15693This Message Edited On 08.26.08

Digging: Emperor - In The Nightside Eclipse - 20th Year Anniversary

foreverendeared
August 26th 2008



14678 Comments


^ wow that might be a little too much for him right now dude haha. that's like handing a basketball to a kid, then showing him a tape of Michael Jordan and saying to him, "now do this." no offense to the reviewer at allThis Message Edited On 08.26.08

Willie
Moderator
August 26th 2008



15876 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

ha ha, well I said "strive for" not "accomplish".

Edit: I don't mean any offense to the reviewer either, I can't think of one person here that accomplishes what Jom does with his reviews.This Message Edited On 08.26.08

foreverendeared
August 26th 2008



14678 Comments


one can only hope...

Slaytan
August 26th 2008



1186 Comments


As far as the actual content of the review. You can spend some time on what should and shouldn't be on a greatest hits album, but you should also review/explain what actually is on the album too. For example, explain that one disc is the 'heavy' disc and one is the "softer side'. Possibly explain the positives/negatives of the two remixed songs, as well as the edited ones.

Willie pretty much hit it on the head. Always try to be descriptive, without dragging it out in too much detail. It looks like you have a good skeleton on which you could have built more of the review, but just remember to not only state your POV but back it up next time.

Nagrarok
August 27th 2008



8169 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks for the comments. I'll try to remember them all, which is impossible, because there are so many. Maybe I'll write a summary of the points you've given, so I can use that next time. I just started writing too enthousiasticly I guess, I will organize better and look it over next time. I also see now I seem more negative than I actually am. This Message Edited On 10.27.08

Altmer
August 27th 2008



5652 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yes, it is editable, go to your profile and it'll say "edit your reviews" somewhere on the left.

Nagrarok
August 27th 2008



8169 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks.

Willie
Moderator
August 27th 2008



15876 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

For the LOT of negativity in the comments here: could you please also state what are the good things about the review, so I can keep that up? I actually thought I made a soldid point about the Metropolis, Pt. 2 songs.
None of those comments are suppposed to be negative. It's all the constructive criticism you asked for.
You didn't really make a solid point about Metropolis Pt2 songs, you simply stated your opinion and moved on. The trouble is that the songs from that album also work on their own, and people would have complained if that album was totally left out.
And as I mentioned before, important tracks are missing, ones that a fan would expect
Every fan is different so there's no way they're going to please everyone.
On the positive, you did have a conclusion that summed things up.

Nagrarok
August 27th 2008



8169 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I know it's all constructive. Don't get me wrong, I was just trying to make a joke about foreverendeared's comment.

Ok, good point. I'll change the remark about the Metropolis Pt.2 songs. Backing up my opinion is a point I must work on very hard still.

I know every fan is different, but I believe there are some universal 'Dream Theater classics', such as Metroplis, Pt.1, that should be on it.

Well, I have made a new version, this one should be much better. Please do comment.This Message Edited On 08.27.08

Willie
Moderator
August 28th 2008



15876 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You have improved this review considerably. That in itself is a good thing. I still think that it seems like maybe it was rushed a little bit because there are still some awkward sounding sentences. The opening paragraph is a good example of that. Say it outloud and see if that sounds correct.

The second paragraph could be stronger if you had tried to find an interview or two (or even read another review for the album), and discovered that the split between heavy and light was intentional (I don't remember their reasoning).

You have the original vocalist's name as Charlie Dominics, but it's really Charlie Dominici.

This is much better. Work on the awkward sentences (work on keeping the tenses consistent too), try to focus your paragraphs a little more, and you're golden... and I'll pos too.This Message Edited On 08.28.08

Nagrarok
August 29th 2008



8169 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks! I'll work on the last mistakes. After all, there must remain none!

handoman
September 7th 2008



2386 Comments


Whats the best album to start out with these guys?

Bfhurricane
September 7th 2008



6194 Comments


Either Metropolis Pt II: Scenes From A Memory, Octavarium, Systematic Chaos, or Images and Words. I only recommend Octavarium because it's the album that got me into DT.

handoman
September 7th 2008



2386 Comments


Im checking out Metropolis Pt II: Scenes From A Memory, it looks like it has the highest rating.

Bfhurricane
September 7th 2008



6194 Comments


I like it a lot, but I don't think it epitomizes DT's sound as much as I&W or Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence. SDOIT is my favorite of theirs, but it's so hard to get into, took me weeks.

ChaosTheory
September 24th 2008



102 Comments


^ SDOIT is my favourite DT album, too. The best DT album vocally in my opinion.

Dissapear is a really awesome song.

Nagrarok
September 28th 2008



8169 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I would start with Images and Words, NOT Metropolis Pt. II.



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