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James Labrie - Prime Cuts CD (album) cover

PRIME CUTS

James Labrie

 

Progressive Metal

3.86 | 9 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Muzikman
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Most folks that have any familiarity with the name James LaBrie, connect him to the incredible band he sings for Dream Theater (since 1992). The listeners that know progressive rock and progressive metal are aware that there is a vast catalog of recordings from James as a solo performer, his contributions to compilations and his band Mullmuzzler and for the first Frameshift album. He has been the guest on a score of different albums and now Magna Carta has released the Prime Cuts album to honor all his work with the label.

James LaBrie's voice is probably the most recognizable in progressive metal/rock today thanks to the impressive resume of work his has accumulated over the years. There are 10 tracks on this Prime Cuts featuring his best work and special mixes for the radio and one extended version of the lead off track "Afterlife" from the Mullmuzzler 2 album, which is a classic slice of LaBrie and the band at its fiery best.

I remember all the tributes that came out years ago from Magna Carta and this recalls the excellent interpretation of the Rush track "Red Barchetta" from Working Man (A Tribute to Rush). LaBrie was a big fan of Rush and his mates in Dream Theater are as well so it came as no surprise that he did such a great job with the song. I also recall with pleasure the following tributes and compilations-Encores, Legends & Paradox (A Tribute To ELP), Leonardo: The Absolute Man, and the Explorers Club. All of these recordings were exceptional pairing the renowned vocalist with people like Terry Bozzio, John Petrucci, Billy Sheehan, Kerry Livgren, John Myung, Steve Morse, a literal who's who list of great musicians in the world of progressive rock that have recorded for the highly regarding Magna Carta label.

There are 10 very strong and diverse tracks on this CD. It can be difficult to pull out the most deserving tracks with such a large body of work however; the label does a nice job giving each listener a taste of the variety of the James LaBrie cache outside of Dream Theater. This CD also points very strongly to just how diverse a vocalist LaBrie is. Prime Cuts is a fitting tribute to all the work the artist has compiled over the years on the label.

It takes a special talent like James LaBrie to make music consistently exciting and timeless and this is only a taste of his capabilities and work outside of Dream Theater. This CD is a highly recommended adventure you should take. Now I have to go find my Mullmuzzler and tribute CDs to remember how excited I was to hear all this music when it all came out and how those feelings and energy still hold true today because of how great all this music is.

Muzikman | 4/5 |

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