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Pretty Good Live Album, But Has Its Flaws - 77%

PowerProg_Adam, February 9th, 2003

First of all, I would like to say that this album is called Once in a Livetime. In some areas, such as John Petrucci's guitar playing ability, this album shows improvements from the studio. Another high point of this album is how the band chooses to show their talents by dedicating tracks to solos for Petrucci, Portnoy, and Sherinian. One of the flaws of the album is the voice of James LaBrie. He has an excellent voice, but on this album it kind of gets away from him at times to where what he is saying cannot really be interpreted if you have never heard the song before. I was also slightly disappointed in the track selection. They have most of their best songs on here, such as Lie, Pull Me Under, and The Mirror(which are all done amazingly), but they felt that they had to include the majority of the often criticized album A Change of Seasons. Its kind of strange though how at the end of Take the Time, they play the guitar solo to Free Bird(IMO way better than the original) and in another song, they play the opening riff to Enter Sandman. Unless you are a diehard Dream Theater fan, I wouldn't recommend paying full price for this 2-cd set, but its a pretty good deal if you can find it for about the price of a used cd.