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Rant: James Labrie is the worst singer I've heard in a musically respectable band


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Whenever I'm going to see a band live, or just if everyone raves about them, I always try to check out their entire catalog if I can. Even if I'm never going to listen to it again, I can usually get something out of it and at least I know the band, right? Well I've been listening to Dream Theater all day today and yesterday, and I can't take it anymore. I have to vent.

 

It's like James is immitating a skilled singer when he sings. His voice, tonally, is beyond bland. I get the feeling he chooses his melody lines based entirely on what other singers have done before and not from internal inspiration, like any real songwriter should. I just don't hear originality and creativity when he opens his mouth. But it's his lyrics that really kill me. The simplest, stupidest sounding rhymes over and over again, like a 15 year old with no real life experience wrote it. Every song is cheesier than the last (and I'm aware that Portnoy has a lot to do with this too). From songs about human rights to 'coping with insanity', it's all a bunch of FILLER. At least they had a concept for SFAM (which I've had and 'mostly' enjoyed for years fwiw). But I just finished listening to Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence and...

 

He helplessly stands by

It's meaningless to try

As he rubs his red-rimmed eyes

He says I've never seen her get this bad

 

Even though she seems so high

He knows that she can't fly

and when she falls out of the sky

He'll be standing by

 

Good lord, what is that exactly?

 

He's a Monday morning lunatic

Disturbed from time to time

Lost within himself

In his solitary shell

 

A temporary catatonic

Madman on occasion

When will he break out

Of his solitary shell

 

Clearly whoever wrote these lyrics has no idea what actual insanity is. They sure don't have a clue how to express it in lyrics. It's like they're writing songs based on what they see on TV commercials about teenage depression. There is absolutely no depth and meaning here.

 

Instrumentally, while DT can be pretty self-indulgent, they've got it down. They can write interesting parts and occasionally communicate a fairly passionate performance. Technically speaking, they don't sound skilled, they are skilled. But put James' singing into that and it's like an advanced physics course being taught by Barney the Dinosaur. The two are just on completely different levels and don't work together whatsoever.

 

Now, this is all just an opinion, obviously I'm not the all-knowing infallible judge of lyrics and singing and I recognize that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I also recognize that there are many different ways to be good as a singer, and not all singers possess all of these qualities. But I'm of the opinion that if they ever want to write something GOOD, they need to sit down and realize that a singer is at least as important as each individual instrument, so they need to take it that seriously otherwise the whole package is spoiled. They need to come up with SOME reason to justify having Labrie around. To me, at this point, he's nothing more than a distraction.

 

At least there's Liquid Tension Experiment...

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I agree, but he doesn't write the lyrics. He was best on I&W, which weren't his melodies, they were Charlie's (the previous singers).

 

He is a good singer, but his melodies just blow. His tone gets a little to a lot nasally as well.

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i dont think james writes the lyrics, but i agree both the lyrics and the singing suck. Symphony X singer would be awesome in dream theater.

 

Totally, that guy's an awesome singer. He nails the sound the band is going for. Of course, if that guy sang for Dream Theater, you would just have a slightly less epic and more poppy version of Symphony X.

 

I'm going to listen to The Odyssey now...:)

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Lebrie fucking sucks, plain and simple

 

his harmonies are boring...octaves? sounds like shit

 

when he's really trying to belt out the notes? you can't understand a fucking word he's saying..listen to the end of Change of Seasons to see EXACTLY what I'm talking about..'blah blah blah! Blah blah blah! blah blah blah, blah blahhhh BLAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!'

 

and I hate when he goes 'mellow'..sounds overly affeminate....hell, look at when DT covered Cemetary Gates..listen to the opening passages..the 'reverend...reverend' part...ugh, sounds so girly it's not even funny....

 

yeah, so needless to say, I can't stand labrie...I thought he was good on images, but slowly started to lose favor with me on each album therafter

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I don't think he's that bad, but he is their weakest link. I think Portnoy and Petrucci write most of the lyrics, I'm not sure how much LaBrie, Myung, and Rudess get to contribute.

 

Try Fates Warning instead, check out Parallels or A Pleasant Shade of Gray. :cool:

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do people really care about lyrics in metal/prog/etc
:confused:
i don't like the whole band, but lyrics aren't my main complaint.

 

 

 

 

theres not many bands i actually cant get into strictly because of the singer, but dream theater is definately one of them.

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For the record, I'd say Rudess is my favorite songwriter in the band. He always has a different style to contribute. His melodic choice, especially when he's playing piano parts, is DT's best asset imo. He thinks of really interesting parts that only benefit the music. And of course, like the rest of the guys (with instruments), his playing is flawless.

 

Myung is underrated. His playing is tasteful. He doesn't jump out as a crazy musician, but that's because SOMEBODY'S gotta hold down the band when they're going off on a shred-tangent. His style is 100% appropriate for the rest of the band.

 

Portnoy and Petrucci have written some great stuff, and some lame/boring/fastforward-this-part stuff. Great, skilled players with songwriting ability that isn't always displayed but often is. Both players display a lot of range in their abilities.

 

Once again, opinions...

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Symphony X singer would be awesome in dream theater.

 

I think the existence of Symphony X makes that of bands like DT pretty worthless. Like DT, Symphony X has musicians with chops that can tear your face off, but they have a better singer and write better songs. They're not my favorite band by any stretch but they have almost everything that I like about DT and less of the things I don't. Plus, Paradise Lost sounds like the album that DT tried and failed to write with Train of Thought.

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Whenever I'm going to see a band live, or just if everyone raves about them, I always try to check out their entire catalog if I can. Even if I'm never going to listen to it again, I can usually get something out of it and at least I know the band, right? Well I've been listening to Dream Theater all day today and yesterday, and I can't take it anymore. I have to vent.


It's like James is
immitating
a skilled singer when he sings. His voice, tonally, is beyond bland. I get the feeling he chooses his melody lines based entirely on what other singers have done before and not from internal inspiration, like any real songwriter should. I just don't hear originality and creativity when he opens his mouth. But it's his lyrics that really kill me. The simplest, stupidest sounding rhymes over and over again, like a 15 year old with no real life experience wrote it. Every song is cheesier than the last (and I'm aware that Portnoy has a lot to do with this too). From songs about human rights to 'coping with insanity', it's all a bunch of FILLER. At least they had a concept for SFAM (which I've had and 'mostly' enjoyed for years fwiw). But I just finished listening to Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence and...


He helplessly stands by

It's meaningless to try

As he rubs his red-rimmed eyes

He says I've never seen her get this bad


Even though she seems so high

He knows that she can't fly

and when she falls out of the sky

He'll be standing by


Good lord, what is that exactly?


He's a Monday morning lunatic

Disturbed from time to time

Lost within himself

In his solitary shell


A temporary catatonic

Madman on occasion

When will he break out

Of his solitary shell


Clearly whoever wrote these lyrics has no idea what actual insanity is. They sure don't have a clue how to express it in lyrics. It's like they're writing songs based on what they see on TV commercials about teenage depression. There is absolutely no depth and meaning here.


Instrumentally, while DT can be pretty self-indulgent, they've got it down. They can write interesting parts and occasionally communicate a fairly passionate performance. Technically speaking, they don't sound skilled, they
are
skilled. But put James' singing into that and it's like an advanced physics course being taught by Barney the Dinosaur. The two are just on completely different levels and don't work together whatsoever.


Now, this is all just an opinion
, obviously I'm not the all-knowing infallible judge of lyrics and singing and I recognize that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I also recognize that there are many different ways to be good as a singer, and not all singers possess all of these qualities. But I'm of the opinion that if they ever want to write something GOOD, they need to sit down and realize that a singer is at least as important as each individual instrument, so they need to take it that seriously otherwise the whole package is spoiled. They need to come up with SOME reason to justify having Labrie around. To me, at this point, he's nothing more than a distraction.


At least there's Liquid Tension Experiment...

 

Post this thread over at the Petrucci forum because I have something important to say to the moderator over there:thu:

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I think the existence of Symphony X makes that of bands like DT pretty worthless. Like DT, Symphony X has musicians with chops that can tear your face off, but they have a better singer and write better songs. They're not my favorite band by any stretch but they have almost everything that I like about DT and less of the things I don't. Plus,
Paradise Lost
sounds like the album that DT tried and failed to write with
Train of Thought
.

 

Ultra cheesy dragons&wizards&church stuff= better songs?

 

Don't even mention Paradise Lost in the same sentence as Train of Thought.

 

And......I like LaBrie. :wave:

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