Dream Theater: 'Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence' Album Review

Dream Theater: 'Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence' Album Review

'Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence' is a very impressive album with terrific songwriting and great lyrical content
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Line-up:

James LaBrie - vocals

Jordan Rudess - keyboards

John Petrucci - guitars, backing vocals

Mike Portnoy - drums, backing vocals

John Myung - bass

Additional info:

Produced by John Petrucci and Mike Portnoy

Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence is the sixth studio album by American progressive metal band Dream Theater, released on January 29, 2002, through Elektra Records. The album consists of two discs and its length is 96:17. The album is a type of concept album wherein the five tracks which make up the first disc explore different themes, such as alcoholism, loss of faith, self-isolation, sanctity of life and death. The 42-minute track occupying the second disc, explores the stories of six individuals suffering from mental illnesses. The illnesses that are present in the individuals are bipolar and post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, post-partum depression, autism and dissociative personality disorder.

The main question that many fans had about this album is whether it would be a worthy follow up to Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory. Dream Theater not only made a worthy follow up album, but exceeded many expectations. Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence features many different styles of music that include progressive rock, metal, jazz, and folk throughout the track listing. This album is a lot to take in upon first listen, but after multiple listens, any fan of progressive music will fall in the love with the concepts and musicianship that is demonstrated throughout the entire album.

Favorite Tracks:

Track 6: "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence"

The longest track in the Dream Theater catalog that is around 42 minutes is pure goodness for any progressive music fan. The storytelling of individuals with mental illness is a brilliant concept that is executed at a high level. The songwriting on display is ridiculous to not only hold a person's attention span for 42 minutes, but to also make that time captivating. Despite how good the five tracks on disc one are, disc two is where this album shines brightest.

Track 1: "The Glass Prison"

This is an excellent opener that is one of my favorite Dream Theater songs of all time. It is the beginning of the Twelve-step Suite, dealing with Mike Portnoy's story of rehabilitation from alcoholism. I love the mix of atmosphere and the usual insane amount of ridiculous instrumentation that this song provides. It is the complete package when it comes to Dream Theater tracks.

Track 2: "Blind Faith"

I love the soft opening of this song. Its so beautiful and atmospheric, which really helps build up to one of my favorite Dream Theater tracks. Labrie's vocal performance is excellent on this track in particular. The instrumentation is the middle section of the song catches the listener by surprise and makes it that much more impactful. This is definitely one of the more accessible tracks from the album, but that does not make any less impressive.

My Verdict:

Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence is one of Dream Theater's most impressive albums due to its great mix of emotion, instrumentation, and storytelling. The able is definitely dark lyrically, but as usual Dream Theater always have a way of still maintaining an uplifting sound within their music. This is a brilliant album that is among the band's most impressive works.

Grade: A+

Cover Image Credit: pinterest.com

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9 Reasons Crocs Are The Only Shoes You Need

Crocs have holes so your swag can breathe.
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Do you have fond childhood objects that make you nostalgic just thinking about your favorite Barbie or sequenced purse? Well for me, its my navy Crocs. Those shoes put me through elementary school. I eventually wore them out so much that I had to say goodbye. I tried Airwalks and sandals, but nothing compared. Then on my senior trip in New York City, a four story Crocs store gleamed at me from across the street and I bought another pair of Navy Blue Crocs. The rest is history. I wear them every morning to the lake for practice and then throughout the day to help air out my soaking feet. I love my Crocs so much, that I was in shock when it became apparent to me that people don't feel the same. Here are nine reasons why you should just throw out all of your other shoes and settle on Crocs.

1. They are waterproof.

These bad boys can take on the wettest of water. Nobody is sure what they are made of, though. The debate is still out there on foam vs. rubber. You can wear these bad boys any place water may or may not be: to the lake for practice or to the club where all the thirsty boys are. But honestly who cares because they're buoyant and water proof. Raise the roof.


2. Your most reliable support system

There is a reason nurses and swimming instructors alike swear by Crocs. Comfort. Croc's clogs will make you feel like your are walking on a cloud of Laffy Taffy. They are wide enough that your toes are not squished, and the rubbery material forms perfectly around your foot. Added bonus: The holes let in a nice breeze while riding around on your Razor Scooter.

3. Insane durability

Have you ever been so angry you could throw a Croc 'cause same? Have you ever had a Croc bitten while wrestling a great white shark? Me too. Have you ever had your entire foot rolled like a fruit roll up but had your Crocs still intact? Also me. All I know is that Seal Team 6 may or may not have worn these shoes to find and kill Osama Bin Laden. Just sayin'.


4. Bling, bling, bling

Jibbitz, am I right?! These are basically they're own money in the industry of comfortable footwear. From Spongebob to Christmas to your favorite fossil, Jibbitz has it all. There's nothing more swag-tastic than pimped out crocs. Lady. Killer.

5. So many options

From the classic clog to fashionable sneakers, Crocs offer so many options that are just too good to pass up on. They have fur lined boots, wedges, sandals, loafers, Maryjane's, glow in the dark, Minion themed, and best of all, CAMO! Where did your feet go?!

6. Affordable

Crocs: $30

Feeling like a boss: Priceless

7. Two words: Adventure Straps

Because you know that when you move the strap from casual mode chillin' in the front to behind the heal, it's like using a shell on Mario Cart.

8. Crocs cares

Okay, but for real, Crocs is a great company because they have donated over 3 million pairs of crocs to people in need around the world. Move over Toms, the Croc is in the house.

9. Stylish AF

The boys will be coming for you like Steve Irwin.

Who cares what the haters say, right? Wear with pride, and go forth in style.

Cover Image Credit: Chicago Tribune

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.

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Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.


I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.


I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.


As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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