Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
James Labrie - Elements Of Persuasion CD (album) cover


James Labrie


Progressive Metal

3.52 | 140 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This solo album by Dream Theater's lead vocalist, James LaBrie, showcases the impact of being a vocalist of a band and the kind of music that he performs with his own solo album. In fact, the influence is so significant, it's probably 60% to 70% of Dream Theater sounds and styles can be found here in this album. The good thing is that all of musicians that back up this solo album have never been in Dream Theater before. I can only say that Matt Guillory (keyboards & piano), Marco Sfogli (rhythm & lead guitar), Bryan Beller (bass), and Mike Mangini (drums) have in a way adored the music of Dream Theater because their playing are heavily influenced by DT. That's fine with me because basically I like Dream Theater progressive metal music.

This can be observed through the opening track "Crucify" (6:03) which I belive it's very Dream Theater in style especially the guitar riffs and solos. Oh yeah .. of course James LabRie singing style is very Dream Theater. Let's put it this way: if "Crucify" was included in Train of Thought or Systematic Chaos album, it would not create any question from the fans about this song being different from other tracks in the respective album.

But.. is it really very Dream Theater in style?

Well .. try the second track "Alone" (5:36) which I believe you would agree with me that Dream Theater would not ever explore their music into the boundary of this track. At least, I don't think this kind of music is in their vocabulary. What makes this song different from any Dream Theater music is the use of guitar loops and industrial nuance. This is really my favorite track from this album. It starts with an ambient nuance followed with guitar riffs resulted from a sample or loop plus some effects. It's really cool and I do enjoy it very much. The music flows beautifully in symphonic progressive metal style while the guitar loops / effects still appear nicely in unexpected segments. What make sthe song is so wonderful (masterpiece!) for me is its great combination of melody, inventive riffs in loop, symphonic nuance, attractive beats and great transition pieces. This might not be the case for you because those of you who adore legendary prog bands might not like the idea of putting riffs with loop.

"Freak" (5:38) intro has heavy riffs with some ambient sound effects, stunning guitar solo and keyboard work. "Invisible" (5:42) is another excellent track followed with "Lost" (3:41) which has different style as it has piano work that is different with any DT song. The rhythm section of this song is excellent especially with some kind of new age music in style. "Undecided" (5:30) is a keyboard-based rhythm section music augmented by raw guitar work. The vocal quality of James LaBrie is very unique and the song flows wonderfully from opening part into chorus and end of the track. The chorus really reminds me to Dream Theater music. The guitar riffs / rhythm section is nice and unique. "Smashed" (5:31) piano / keyboard work reminds me to "Space Dye Fest" song. It's another excellent track.

"Pretender" (5:36) is a heavy rocker with fast tempo and high register notes vocal line. " Slightly Out Of Reach" (5:31) gives break with silent opening part followed with James' low register notes vocal line. "Oblivious" (5:20) brings the music back to heavy rhythm section with raw guitar riffs. "In Too Deep" (6:56) is another heavy track with good composition. The concluding track "Drained" (5:14) starts ambient followed with music with full blast overlaid by vocal. This track is really masterpiece! The drumming is powerful.

Overall, I am satisfied with this solo album by James LaBrie. This album proves to me that James is actually not just a seasoned lead vocal of great progressive metal band but also he is an excellent solo musician. This album is heavily influenced by Dream Theater even though the music is not as complex as Dream Theater. One thing that I salute this album is the musicianship of all players. The guitar solo is stunning, the keyboard work is inventive and the drum is very dynamic while bass is also excellent. So, I consider this as an excellent addition to any prog music collection. It's a must for Dream Theater fans. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 4/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this JAMES LABRIE review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives