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James LaBrie - Elements Of Persuasion CD (album) cover


James LaBrie


Progressive Metal

3.53 | 151 ratings

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3 stars This album is James LaBrie's first solo album after being one of Dream Theatre's vocalsits. The album is definitely not as adventurous as Dream Theatre, though there are a few hints at the sound of the band. The songs are shorter for the most part, are more rock-oriented with hardly anything adventurous enough to be considered progressive.

There is a lot of variety here which is probably the main thing the album has got going for it. There are a good share of great guitar solos, no doubt about that. But everything is pretty straightforward for a pop/rock album. There are hard driving songs and there are pop songs, but nothing really that interesting.

Instead of a track by track analysis which I usually don't like to do, I will take a few examples that are representative of the songs all throughout the album. "Alone" is okay, but the drums are programmed and they sound that way. It's okay to use programming for certain effects, but they take over pretty much all of the rhythm section on this track. At least there is a decent guitar solo.

"Lost" is merely a pop-oriented song of which there are several on here. Nothing stands out here at all, not even the vocals. It's just another song to get lost in the endless list of radio friendly music that never really even makes it to the radio.

"Pretender" is just straight ahead hard rock track that really doesn't stand out. It's one of many instances of this on the album.

In other words, these are all just ordinary songs that can pretty much be listened to alone. That fits in well with the digital download age, but not fit for those who love album oriented rock.

There really isn't nothing on here that you can't hear on other rock albums. The production is great, the vocals and instrumentals are good, but there is nothing challenging and nothing stands out when the album is over. There is nothing progressive about it other than the lead singer being in DT. I haven't really listened to his other solo albums to see if they are more prog oriented, but as of this album, there is nothing much that can be considered progressive here. It's a good listen, but there are so many good listens out there already that this album just easily falls in between the cracks that lead to ambiguity. 3 stars. For DT fans that don't mind if the music is watered-down and for straightforward rock fans who don't mind a non-challenging album.

TCat | 3/5 |


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