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The Music Exchange Program II
  • My initial impression to this after listening to the first few tracks was pretty positive! I thought the changes in volume and the instrumental interludes worked a lot to progress the idea that this album is telling a story. If I heard a solo, I knew it was the album trying to voice a particular emotion.

    As I listened more though, I felt like the album changed things up less and less. So I'm not sure what my final impression is. Idk if this just isn't something that interests me or if I need a few more listens to make up my mind. I didn't understand much of the story, but again, I think that's something that becomes more apparent with further listens.

    I'm not sure if I'd listen to this again. I didn't dislike it, but it's not a genre I typically go for. I'm sure I'd better appreciate how technical it was if I played guitar or something. Overall, it was fine!
  • Galedeep wrote:

    Technical playing for the sake of itself doesn't do anything for me - there needs to be more depth to what it is doing.
    I don't want to argue about what is ultimately opinions, but I don't think there's technical playing just for the sake of it in the majority of this album. I think saying that is disrespecting the effort the artists put in this work. Sometimes I wonder if people that say technical = bad are just guitarists that can't play at more than 120bpm. No offense but it just annoys me a little bit.
    "Can't post that on a Christian forum."
  • I'm sure there was a deliberate process and conceptual ideas put into the arrangements. I'm just not picking up what they're putting down. It doesn't resonate with me.

    Never said technical = bad. Just that in this case, for my tastes, technical = boring. Though I guess that's not entirely fair because even the elements that didn't have to do with technical musicianship didn't appeal to be, so it's not just that style of playing that turned me off the album.
  • Galedeep wrote:

    I'm sure there was a deliberate process and conceptual ideas put into the arrangements. I'm just not picking up what they're putting down. It doesn't resonate with me.

    Never said technical = bad. Just that in this case, for my tastes, technical = boring. Though I guess that's not entirely fair because even the elements that didn't have to do with technical musicianship didn't appeal to be, so it's not just that style of playing that turned me off the album.
    Okay man, I'm just saying it was that particular wording that I thought was slightly disrespectful to the band and/or people that enjoy listening to them. I know you didn't mean it that way.
    "Can't post that on a Christian forum."
  • k so here's the thing: i have been dreading writing this post

    more or less because i already know that i don't like the album, and that i don't like the artist, but also i want to be really clear that this isn't anything personal. sharing music can be a vulnerable experience and i dont want to offend anyone or be deliberately provocative.

    i can't *stand* dreamtheatre, and i never have been able to, even when i was a teen and growing up playing in metal bands. the truth is that basically all of what Galedeep said sums up my thoughts on the group and that genre of progmetal.

    but to add to the reasons why i don't like it, I am very driven by rhythm at the moment, and i like to find variations in rhythms, time signatures and whatnot, than the overall intrumentalisation/technical aspect of it. it isn't just the case that they're playing over 120bpm, it is that they're usually playing in 4/4, at 160bmp, but there is no rhythmical variation, just a flurry of notes, all played as 16th notes, like... at some point it is no different to just beeps.

    it find it pretty uninteresting, and nothing that dreamtheatre has ever done has ever really impressed me from a philosophical stand point, even though i can appreciate that they're wicked instrumentalists.


    i think the problem is truly something quite specific to my tastes. i am not so much into heavy metal just for its techicality (though i do love it), i like it more for the boundaries of music theory that it can push, that being time signatures, dissonance in chord progressions, etc. it's just not anything that i personally appreciate.

    my partner is an art historian, and she's been helping me to think about art through the philosophies that inform them. for instance how religious dogma affected medieval art, but then the rennaissance affected their portraiture etc, and i think there is space for us to think about music genres in a very similar fashion.

    to me, dreamtheatre is like the art of Blizzard. it is this hyper polished, extremely intricate and stylised creation, that is like, absurdly well done. but it's not necessarily as interesting as something like abstract expressionism of Miles Davis, you get me?

    like, to me, what dreamtheatre value philosphically as artists, just isn't my cup of tea, i'm looking for something else when i listen to music. sorry :<

    The post was edited 1 time, last by Lucretia ().

  • Lucretia wrote:

    it isn't just the case that they're playing over 120bpm, it is that they're usually playing in 4/4, at 160bmp, but there is no rhythmical variation, just a flurry of notes, all played as 16th notes, like... at some point it is no different to just beeps.
    Wut? I'm not sure if that is a typo, but this album has plenty of time signature changes. That's probably the last thing I would expect criticism about, lmao.

    Dance of Eternity being the biggest culprit of course.





    I get that you are not into them, though. They are most definitely not for everyone.
    "Can't post that on a Christian forum."

    The post was edited 1 time, last by Please Understand ().

  • Album Name: Metropolis Pt 2: Scenes from a Memory
    Artist: Dream Theater

    Alright so, I was VERY hesitant listening to this. I normally am open for anything but when I read it was metal, I sort of was concerned. I am not a fan of metal normally. But then I remembered that The Hives were a metal-ish band and I f*cking love them so I mustered up the courage and gave this album a chance after coming home from work going into the weekend.

    I made some coffee and started listening. I must say, this wasn't a bad experience at all. I actually enjoyed listening to them at times. They were alright. I listened to the album a total of 2 times, back to back. I also listened to Fatal Tragedy and Strange Deja Vu like 3 times total because it rocked my freaking socks off. This is amazing since I was listening to Danny Brown's album "Atrocity Exhibition" right before and I was getting really into that and didn't think I would enjoy something like this, especially since I am mainly a rap, trap, hip hop fan but don't get me wrong. Flashback to Moechacho's youth in high school and you will see a chubby kid with curly long hair, that did not look good, head banging to Zepplin and The Hives and other rock bands in his car driving to and from school lol.


    - Did you find the music difficult to get into at times, perhaps too experimental?

    I did find it hard to get into occasionally. I did not enjoy the song Beyond This Life coming before Through Her Eyes.The transition sort of effed it up. I really wasn't enjoying myself then and skipped along through the song during the first listen. There were certain parts in the album from the beginning where I sort of enjoyed the experimental aspects of it. It caught my interest and the changes that partook along the song sort of made me appreciate both the story being told and the album as a whole. There were also songs like Home where I enjoyed certain parts of the song, like sort of the last minute of Home was good, the rest I did not like of Home. But in the end , I am like Lucretia in that I am also driven by rhythm, so the sudden changes like a quarter through The Dance of Eternity was not fun to particularly listen to although parts of the song were amazing. But thats the thing, PARTS of the song I enjoyed, and that was many of the case going down through half the album.

    - Did you think the album was at times too technical, or did you appreciate that aspect?

    It was too technical at certain parts, but its because of that extreme that I appreciated it. And what you'll soon find out reading below that basically I simply appreciate the technical aspects of the album and the story that goes along with it leading me to simply and only appreciate the album.

    - Which tracks were most intriguing to you regarding the above two?

    Like other users mentioned, Fatal Tragedy and Strange Deja Vu were the most intriguing and I can't really choose between them. Perhaps I am misreading the question but yeah.

    My final word for this is that as I said before I simply and only appreciate the different elements used in the album within the songs. I appreciate the album it self as well. However it was NOT an overall enjoyable experience and I most certainly will not continue to listen to these fellows. However I do NOT regret getting the chance and courage to listen to them because I can not fully say that the whole thing was bad and there were many parts I enjoyed. I suppose if I was in a different mindset, I would enjoy it more but I don't want to WORK for my enjoyment if that makes any sense?

    Thank you very much Pleaseunderstand, I would like to mention that I am trash when it comes to music so my opinion SHOULDN'T be held high. The above text just states how I felt about it. I am sure that it is musically amazing and I can appreciate it but I am not going to lie to myself and say that this was very easy to listen to opposed to other songs. Its still a fun experience listening to music that I have not heard before so I thank you for that Pleaseunderstand.

    *NOTE* I did not just rush this after Sol's message, I had the draft open since Wednesday and have been adding on to it everyday in till today and made some final touches. :P
    [Error 404 - No Signature Here You Big Dummy]

    The post was edited 3 times, last by Aquamentus: Syntax ().

  • Beyond this Life only started sounding good to me after the 100th time I listened to the album, lol. So it's not just you. I like some parts of it a lot, but overall it's the weakest track (not counting short ones that are not full tracks).

    Overall, I don't know if this is my favourite Dream Theater album. I would say it might be the most consistent one. Dream Theater is not my favourite band, but they are definitely high on my list, if nothing else because I have improved significantly as a musician since I got into them. Unfortunately I heavily dislike their newer stuff, especially since 2010 or so, they have become too technical but without much "soul" anymore, and I do think this album, on the other hand, has a soul, despite being technical, it is very emotional at times.

    Anyway, from this album, I think my favourite tracks are the arc of Overture 1928, Strange Déjà Vu, then Fatal Tragedy, and finally the arc of Dance of Eternity, One Last Time and Spirit Carries on. I tend to listen to and play the songs that fit together back to back.

    When I listened to Dream Theater for the first time, I was very much into metal, but the first track listened to was Through her Eyes and honestly I found it a little boring. I only came back to them years later and gave them another try, they are now in my pantheon for sure. Now if only they did a live that is not just their new songs...
    "Can't post that on a Christian forum."

    The post was edited 2 times, last by Please Understand ().

  • Have you listened to this artist/album before?

    I have not, as far as I’m aware.

    Are you familiar with this genre or do you normally listen to other things?

    I legitimately have no clue what this genre even is lol. It flip flops between styles so much… Maybe?

    What tracks did you like? Which ones did you not care for?

    The first 2 minutes and 8 seconds or so were pure heaven to me. Made me kind of sad when it changed over, but eh…

    The space in between that and somewhere around the 5:50 mark was okay, I suppose. Wasn't fond of it at first, but it eventually grew on me.

    The sound of the rest from that point onward until 8:28 or so wasn't really my thing, but the lyrics kept me interested during that interval, even if I found the singer hard to understand at times/drowned out by the music. Very mysterious.

    After that point until 9:34 or so, I suppose I enjoyed it more than the previous part, it had a good rhythm, though a lot of the lyrics were more drowned out/harder to understand. I still got the gist of it, though.

    The music from then up until the 10:45 mark or so was enjoyable. I liked it well enough. But after that was pure heaven again until 12:36. I mean seriously, pure heaven. It was so beautiful and peaceful, I just wanted it to last forever and ever.

    The part following that, I found intriguing, to say the least. The music was good, but the lyrics were the main draw in this part. It had a very haunting sound. I loved it.

    The super long music interludes during certain points after that were a little disappointing, but only because I was just waiting to here more of the story lol.

    The sound it had throughout 21:15 up until 22:00 was very pleasing to me for some reason. And obviously when it went back to that sound again, that was wonderful up until the 24:50 mark or so.

    The music interlude that happened later on until the 28:54 mark or so I wasn't crazy about but everything after that up until the 37:00 mark or so was very, very very nice.

    The sounds in the background of part of it after that sounded very...suggestive...but uhh, okay, I'm just glad it didn't last long. Whatever. It was weirding me out.

    Everything after the 58:40 or so mark was very nice until the 1:05:04 mark or so. I enjoyed it and the topic of the later half immensely. I liked the music after that too, a lot. Very very nice.

    The ending was abrupt, lol. But I liked it.

    Would you listen to this again?

    Overall, yes, I think so. ^-^ It was very interesting! Perhaps not often due to the length of it, but yes.

    Did you enjoy it as a whole? What stuck out to you?

    I did enjoy it overall, yes.

    What stuck out most to me about this album is that it was more about the story than keeping to a specific style. It seemed to tell a very interesting story that was quite deep and mysterious in theme, and that honestly was what made me stick through the album all the way until the end, rather than the music, which, although good at times, seemed more like a secondary thing that was simply there to provide a certain rhythm and/or mood to the story.

    It's easily one of the most unique albums I've ever listened to, and honestly, I like that about it. It was like listening to a very nicely written and poetic radio show/musical.

    Also, although I highly doubt this is the case, if they did do all of this in one shot, they have my pity lol. They would have been positively worn out. -_-’

    Did you find the music difficult to get into at times, perhaps too experimental?


    I would never say it was too experimental, because honestly that was what I loved about it so much. There was so much variety, even though the lyrics all pertained to one main story.

    Did you think the album was at times too technical, or did you appreciate that aspect?


    *Clueless*
    I'm not exactly sure what that means but I suppose I enjoyed it because I enjoyed the album for what it was.

    Which tracks were most intriguing to you regarding the above two?


    See my answer on what tracks I liked. lol I'm not retyping that.

    Celebrating 3 whole years of ZU membership -- 8/22/2015 - 8/22/2018
  • @Linkle They have actually done the whole thing from start to finish; they even had a choir, orchestra and narrator for the parts that require him, if I remember correctly. By the way, this entire album is called Metropolis Part 2, and the Part 1 is a very long track from the album Images and Words, called Metropolis: The Miracle and the Sleeper. It's pretty much the prequel to this in every way so you might want to check it out. They also played that track live before this entire album when they did the full experience which I thought was cool.

    I am happy that you appreciated the story, as I am not one for lyrics, but I can tell there is a lot going on here. I mean, I know the lyrics due to how many times I've listened to it, but I haven't ever sat down and listened with the story in mind. Maybe I should do that sometime.
    "Can't post that on a Christian forum."
  • Hey guys, sorry this post is coming -right- at the deadline, but I got crazy busy with photography work.

    Anyway, here goes.

    Artist: Dreamtheater
    Album: Metropolis part II: Scenes from a Memory


    Disclaimer: I don't know what the usual questions asked are, but I can infer from above posts.

    So! When I saw the Dreamtheater album was this week I was excited. I have heard a few of there songs before, and enjoyed them, but I had never gotten around to listening to a full album of theirs. I listened to the album all the way through as suggested, using the youtube video provided. I did this because PU stated this as a concept album, and I figured it would be a very story-centered album with transitions and little to no breaks between tracks. I wanted to listen without knowing where one track ended and another began, to really appreciate the album as intended.

    I looked up the synopsis about halfway through the album. I had to. I was catching some of the storyline, but I wanted to really understand it going through the rest of the tracks. I loved the storyline, I thought it was quite creative and interesting. This album, especially in long instrumental parts, reminded me of progressive video game music, and there were certain parts that I would have loved to jam out to in Guitar Hero, haha. (Real guitar would be even better but, you know, I can't do that.) This album reminded me a touch of what Chiodos does with their work, and reminded me -at times- of a broadway musical, if you can get on board with that. Not because of the instruments alone per se, but because of the storyline and the flow, and some vocals, and even the keys some of the music was written in.

    In Stranger than Deja Vu, there were some phenomenal vocal harmonies that really pleased me. I like the way the vocals and instruments play off of each other. I think its interesting and creative, though I do get tired sometimes of long instrumental parts when I'm invested in a storyline.

    I think one of the personal disappointments for me was that I was looking for a little more hardness - and by this I mean more minor, a little -less- showy. I look for personal and intense emotional connections in my music, and I think this is what I was missing the most here. I was listening to the story, and I enjoyed it, but it didn't resonate much with me. Then again, I usually need to listen to a new song/album multiple times so start feeling attached, so maybe that would help. Not sure. I will say - their guitarist is damn talented. There was this one riff that knocked my socks off (well no, more than one but this one I remembered more.) Yes! it was the track Overture 1928, towards the end. Ugh, so well done. I liked this track actually a lot.

    I think the second half of the album was more successful as a whole than the first half. There was an 8 minute middle part that I kind-of tuned out from because it started to feel repetitive. I do -love- instrumental solos, but again, they get very overwhelming for me sometimes, because I do want more lyrics if I'm listening to this style of music. Unless its specifically all instrumental with no words whatsoever.

    Ok so my least favorite track was Act I Scene V. I think this was just a bit repetitive and I wasn't really feeling the vibe/ rhythms of it. I think this is probably where I tuned out. The next track, however, Home; I loved the intro (sitar yaaas) I thought it had the right amount of variety, heaviness, vocals, flow, rhythm. It had a good vibe - dark and forbodding. Pulled me back into the album. The next track as well - Dance of Eternity, was pretty great too.
    The piano instrumental parts were awesome, and I wish they continued on longer. This track I was actually ok with less vocals and just instrumentals. Something about it really worked for me.

    Onto the other questions:

    Did you find the music difficult to get into at times, perhaps too experimental?

    I wouldn't say this was too experimental, per se. I think it becomes easy to disengage from lack of lyrics, but again, that depends on the type of music listener you are. I also feel that these types of albums -can- be tough to listen to individual tracks to sometimes because the storyline is so integrated, and the album is strong as a whole piece. Then again, I personally would struggle listening to the whole thing all the way through, unless I was on a long road trip, which then I think it would be perfect. There were times I would get super into a certain part in a track, only to have it switch away quickly, which was tough at certain points, but I understand that's the vibe of the album, and part of the experimental nature.

    Did you think the album was at times too technical, or did you appreciate that aspect?

    Too technical? No. I appreciated the way they went about their approach. It helped to have phenomenal musicians. Idk I don't have much to say about it technically, I thought it accomplished its job as being an experimental prog rock storytelling album /shrug. Just not everybody can get super into that.

    Which tracks were most intriguing to you regarding the above two?

    I think I answered this above: basically, my three favorite tracks are because of the way they blended their experimental style with their technical application. They just did it in different ways, and with these tracks, I thought the blend worked better.

    Final notes: I could see myself listening to the 3-4 tracks I really liked in the future. (Stranger than Deja Vu, Home, Dance of Eternity, Overture 1928) I would possibly try to re-listen to the album some other time, when I'm ready. I'm not good at trying new music (or new anything) because for me its an emotional investment. I also usually enjoy albums that are a little less seamless, with more lyrics, and in a slightly different style. However, I do want to revisit DreamTheater and try out some of their other albums again, since I know they aren't all just like this one. Overall, I'm impressed by their talent, and their abilities to conceptualize this album idea, and I respect their creativity. It wasn't my favorite thing to listen to, but I wasn't displeased either. Thanks for the recommendation Please Understand!


    "Defense against the dark farts, am I right?" -Pennington
    | This spot reserved for Dark Link Reigns |


    The post was edited 2 times, last by Lady Sunshine: Forgot track name, more to write. ().

  • Alright, you guys have until next Sunday to get through Holden's album and leave thoughts! I'm excited to listen to this one, personally - it's something I've looked at several times but never picked up for God knows why. Haha. Oh well, here we go!


    Holden wrote:

    ok this was hard lol


    my submission:





    Album Name: Mia Pharaoh
    Artist: Miniature Tigers
    Genre: Indie/Synth-pop
    Where to Listen: Spotify, Apple Music, Youtube, Soundcloud, Bandcamp
    Questions:
    1. What is your first impression of the album after listening?
    2. Have you listened to this artist/album before? Do you listen to anything similar to this?
    3. What were the standout moments or songs on this album?
    4. Would you listen to this again?
    5. Any other thoughts?

  • Album Name: Mia Pharaoh/Artist: Miniature Tigers

    Alright so I have been listening to The Miniature Tigers for five years actually. I have been always a huge fan of them for a while now. I remember listening to them during my senior year. Me and GF from high school had this playing so many times, I even recall us dancing to "Sex on The Regular" and we would sing "Boomerang" a lot together. This album brought back a lot of memories so I enjoyed myself again and had an excuse to listen to this album again for its been awhile. I can even see a dusty old CD stuffed in the corner of my desk that I used to put in my car and Mia Pharoah is the first album that plays on it actually and I remember downloading it illegally haha.

    I am not going to ramble on too much about this album because I just absolutely loved it, and I still do love it so I am just going to be straight forward in my answers to the questions.




    Questions:
    1. What is your first impression of the album after listening?

      Oh wow, my boi Holden has great fricking taste in music. I remember the first time I had heard this song, I was really surprised that I liked such a slow album because normally I was used to fast songs. But it had a rhythm that just filled me with joy. To be honest, the reason I listened to it in the first place was because of the album picture. I thought it looked cool, and I just fell in love afterwards.
    2. Have you listened to this artist/album before? Do you listen to anything similar to this?

      Yes I have. I listen to a lot of indie pop so I have most certainly heard songs similar to this. The first thing that comes to mind is maybe the album The Rhumb Line by Ra Ra Riot?
    3. What were the standout moments or songs on this album?

      The rhythmic changes between the tracks. So the transition from "Sex on The Regular" to "Female Doctor" got me hooked immediately because it had a a good beat but it was different. I don't know, maybe I am not being clear about it lmao, I am not very good explaining music. Also about 2 min in "Husband and Wives" where they pick it up and make it more dramatic after the long slow chorus that leads to it with the very faint piano beat background. I feel the uniqueness of every track and almost half way going through any track can be a standout moment.
    4. Would you listen to this again?

      Yes, hehe, very much so.
    5. Any other thoughts?

      Nope, not really, Other than to say thanks Holden for bringing back some good ol memories haha.

      Now if you'll excuse me I am going to listen to Cruel Running, "Oblivious" is the shit yo. :P


    [Error 404 - No Signature Here You Big Dummy]

    The post was edited 1 time, last by Aquamentus ().

  • Questions:
    1. What is your first impression of the album after listening?

      I don't hate it, nor do I love it. It's alright, I might prefer it to regular pop, but it's a bit too low key and basic for my tastes (for the most part). So I could see it working better as background music. When I listen to something actively and on the foreground, I generally prefer something more engaging, something I can really dig into and analyze. This is more of a carefree, minimalistic type of music. I can listen to it pleasantly, but it's not something I would ultimately care about, or go out of my way to find who the artist is and look at their discography etc.
    2. Have you listened to this artist/album before? Do you listen to anything similar to this?

      Not off the top of my head, I guess the most similar band that I actually listen to would be Daft Punk, so not really. There are some similarities, due to the electronic elements and somewhat repetitive nature of the tracks, but as a whole they are not really all that similar.
    3. What were the standout moments or songs on this album?

      I liked the two opening tracks the most, and I would say that for me the album definitely got weaker around the middle, and picked up a little bit towards the end, but it never really grabbed me to be completely honest. Female Doctor is my favourite track on it, it's very catchy, and I could see it being a Daft Punk track with some modifications, haha.
    4. Would you listen to this again?

      I might use Female Doctor tactically in the future :)
    5. Any other thoughts?

      I'm done!
    "Can't post that on a Christian forum."
  • I haven't knowingly listened to Miniature Tigers before. I've listened to plenty of indie pop though.

    I have a weird thing with falsetto vocals, they tend to be very hit or miss with me. These ones are unfortunately more of a miss for the most part. There were a few tracks where, combined with the vocal melody, they were quite sweet; "Flower Door" being the best example of this. I also liked "Afternoons with David Hockney" because of the Paul Simon vibe I got from it.

    Aside from those, there weren't any tracks that stood out as being particularly bad or good. There were parts of tracks I liked, and some I didn't like, but overall found this album didn't leave too much of an impression with just the one listen. And since the vocals mostly a turn-off and there were some parts I found pretty corny ("What's your fantasy? Can I make you come...true?" in "Female Doctor;" and the "In the Air Tonight"-esque descending electronic drum lines in "Easy As All That" and "Boomerang") it isn't something I see myself revisiting.
  • so i listened to this album a lot during work hours this week and it didn't really grab me too much, but i think it is because this type of indie synth pop is getting kind of dated. it instanty felt like fenec soler or whatever their name is, and i think if i had heard it in its time in 2012, i would have been all the rage about it. but for the moment, it is a pretty forgettable listen for me personally.