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Liquid Tension Experiment: Liquid Tension Experiment (Ltd Edition-180 Gram Colored Vinyl)

This Liquid Tension Experiment album holds a lot of meaning for many people, particularly the artists. For me it was the beginning of my days as a reviewer and the launching pad into years of enjoyment of discovering progressive rock and fusion music. I do believe it was second review that I ever wrote, Black Light Syndrome being the first. I have no record of those reviews, thank god. I know that I could not have done this music justice then, so now, I get a second chance.

This is the 10th anniversary of this instrumental classic release and I am celebrating my 10th anniversary in the music industry in October. In honor of this landmark recording and significance of the passing of a decade, Magna Carta has re-released this in 180 gram colored vinyl format. Disc one is green and two is purple to match the colorful cover. The band went on an abbreviated tour this month to play select live dates. Now that the tour is over, we can take in this issue to the album in all its rich and warm vinyl glory. As Kevin Godley of 10cc fondly remembers vinyl in an interview I had with him last year- "Ah sweet vinyl, like the rings of Saturn." That comment was beautiful, it made the world of vinyl seem so magical to me. It really is true, vinyl does sound better, and all along, we were lead to believe the CDs and all their predecessors were going to be pristine perfection, bah! It is all digitized, compressed, and lacking in warmth and richness, everything that vinyl still is today.

LTE was a short-lived super group made up of three quarters of Dream Theater: Jordan Rudess (keyboards), John Petrucci (guitars), the incredible Mike Portnoy (drums), and Mr. Bass himself Tony Levin. What makes this an incredible achievement is the fact that these four amazing musicians were able to come together in between projects and pull this together in one week! There was a lot of insanity behind that one week but somehow it came together and now we have one of the more significant progressive rock achievements on vinyl to relive again, minus all the digital interference.

Every song is a slice of prog-rock-jazz-fusion improvisation. I found myself stunned by the clarity and outright beauty and paralleled sadness of the closing track on the first LP (side one) "Kindred Spirits." I never noticed all of the emotion of that song like this before. Of course, I attribute that to the vinyl format. Every track was noticeably different, as if I was listening to an entirely new album. Interesting enough I had been revisiting this music on CD for the last few weeks, hearing with different ears and appreciating it more than ever.

As prog-rock enthusiasts know Liquid Tension Experiment 2 was released the following year and more recently downsized version of the band titled Liquid Trio Experiment and the CD Spontaneous Combustion, which turns out to be a real dandy of a free form jazz-rock-fusion session without Petrucci on guitar and Mr. Rudess running wild on keyboards. The tracks were actually outtakes of the initial LTE sessions in 1998.

Recently I got my iPod connected to my stereo system in my vehicle and I put it on shuffle. I have LTE 1 and 2 on the device and when a certain songs play, I swear its Dream Theater, for obvious reasons. "State of Grace" is one track that really grabs me as being something DT would perform. Petrucci's guitar work is magnificent, it bites hard and his six-string sounds like it is crying out for help. Musical tears of sadness come pouring out then when "Universal Mind" follows it, and the mood switches to a joyous outbreak of energy and a fast-paced trip down an entirely different road begins. These two songs together sound like a DT jam from the word go. It is like the range of human emotions expressed all in two songs. The tracks are the strongest and most diverse of the entire session. This recording turns into a stage for each individual musician and the band simultaneously, proving an unlikely collaborative effort could actually happen and work.

This epic album deserves to return reborn again in the vinyl format. With only 1,000 copies in existence, it is sure to disappear quickly. Interesting enough, the age group that snags up vinyl are the children of the digital age, the 20 something music freaks that are download happy with iPods, MP3 players and their mobile do anything iPhones. They love vinyl because of the superior sound and the originality of holding something tangible and real in your hands. The fold out gatefold sleeves and all the artwork are a real attraction, it is something that you can actually see and it has a mass, this is not something that is invisible and is stored on hard drive. Get real-get vinyl…and while you are at it pick up this album.

Track Listing
01. Paradigm Shift
02. Osmosis
03. Kindred Spirits
04. Stretch
05. Freedom of Speech
06. Chris and Kevin's Excellent Adventure
07. State of Grace
08. Universal Mind
09. Three Minute Warning
10. Three Minute Warning

Added: July 21st 2008
Reviewer: Keith Hannaleck
Related Link: More Information
Hits: 2533
Language: english

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