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James LaBrie - Elements Of Persuasion CD (album) cover


James LaBrie


Progressive Metal

3.52 | 144 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
3 stars 3.5 stars. I think i've mentioned this before but James LaBrie grew up about a half an hour's drive from where I grew up and presently live. In high school he was known as Kevin LaBrie and I have a few friends who knew him back then. He's 2 years younger than me. Penetanguishene where he grew up and where I was born is a predominantly French community with most of the signs being in French only. A little history I guess you could say. LaBrie's vocals seem to really divide fans in a big way, i've always liked them but I must admit there are certain times when I don't. This is his first solo album although his MULLMUZZLER project is pretty much his solo work too, in fact it's the same band other than the lead guitarist. The songs on this album average about 5 1/2 minutes and i'd say it's heavier than the average DREAM THEATER album but not as proggy.

Man I have to whole-heartily agree with b olariu about this first track "Crucify". It's awful. I don't understand first of all why it's on here at all but especially why they start off with it. Talk about getting off on the wrong foot. I understand this is a concept album which is i'm sure the simple explanation as to why he started off with it but... Anyway his vocals sound really bad here for some reason. I like the way the song starts off nice and heavy with the guitar over top but the rest is not my scene. "Aone" is better especially the vocals. Some interesting sounds on this one. "Freaks" starts off great then it gets really heavy. It settles then stays fairly heavy when the vocals arrive. "Invisible" opens with synths followed by heaviness. It settles with vocals 1 1/2 minutes in. Contrasts continue.

"Lost" has these sampled voices that come and go throughout. It really feels like a song inspired by Kevin Moore. I like it. "Undecided" is back to the heaviness. Guitar solo 3 1/2 minutes in. "Smashed" opens with drums and piano. Fragile vocals follow in this ballad-like tune. Not a fan. "Pretender" is heavy with vocals. I like the guitar 3 minutes in. "Slightly Out Of Reach" features soft vocals with keys and a beat. It does get fuller but i'm not a fan. "Oblivious" opens with some low end guitar followed by heavy riffs as vocals join in. Good song. "In Too Deep" has a really good intro although the rest isn't that great. Keys and lazy guitar end it. "Drained" is heavy although it turns ballad-like 3 1/2 minutes in before kicking back in with some ripping guitar.

Overall a good album but a little too inconsistant for my particular tastes. I think most DREAM THEATER fans will like this one a lot though.

Mellotron Storm | 3/5 |


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