In order to celebrate the release of Dream Theater’s latest studio album, Black Clouds & Silver Linings, I am offering detailed reviews of each of the six tracks throughout the week.
Track 5: “The Best of Times”
On “The Best of Times,” Rudess delivers the prettiest keyboard intro heard on any Dream Theater song to date. The acoustic accompaniment that Petrucci offers is a slower phrased version of the beginning lead to “Hollow Years” from 1997’s Falling Into Infinity; that is until an eruption of soul and a burst of speed, in the style of a classic Rush track, fades in towards the first verse.
“The Best of Times” takes on an uplifting spirit in orchestration and lyricical composition (“I’ll always remember, those are the best of times”) compared to the previous songs of the album. The glorious “Hollow Years” riff and theme can be heard once again in the instrumental mid section (6:12).
Labrie belts out many feel-good lines (“Thank you for the inspiration, thank you for the smiles”) while Myung’s bass and Portnoy’s thunder holds down the fort. The final guitar solo carries the song to its ending; it is safe to say that true fans will love every bar of it because it is reminicisient of Petrucci’s legendary “Hollow Years” solo from Live at the Budokan. Now that the song is over, I am going to go out and do something good for someone –Meds
Track 5 of 6 — Length 13:08 — Roadrunner Records
Dream Theater is James LaBrie (Vocals), John Petrucci (Guitars/Vocals), John Myung (Bass), Jordan Rudess (Keyboards/Continuum), & Mike Portnoy (Drums/Percussion/Vocals).