Keep It To Yourself


Magna Carta Records, 1999

REVIEW BY: Paul Hanson


Full-force and without hesitation, this is a solo disc by Dream Theater's vocalist James LaBrie. There are, of course, other musicians on this disc to play drums, guitar, bass, keyboards and guest appearances from horn players, but this disc is really LaBrie shining up his vocal cords and letting loose.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

There isn't a lot of differences between LaBrie as a solo artist and Dream Theater. Whether he is supported by his normal backing band or the musicians on this disc, LaBrie's voice is one of the most expressionistic vocal styles I have heard.

The CD starts with "His Voice," in which a hushed LaBrie in the verses spins a tale about loss, a theme often covered in Dream Theater songs. The chorus and ending of this song, though, demonstrates LaBrie belting out his lyrics with a fury. The band supports him with an imaginative interplay between guitar and keyboards. And just like that, the song is done. The second track "Statued" is more keyboard based than the opening track but still rocks.

The stellar track is the Bill Clinton spoof track called "Beelzebubba" which includes the lyrics "An intern in a silhouette/ Gets DNA from the president." Coupled with horns and other pointed commentary, "Beelzebubba" is a definite highlight. Another highlight is the mellow/power ballad "Slow Burn." LaBrie handles his lyrics delicately.

The CD ends with the LaBrie showcase "As a Man Thinks." LaBrie sings a capella to set up the song. The band comes in and adds to his pattern. Then the song changes to a softer style with soulful vocals and lyrics. While MullMuzzler doesn't top Dream Theater's debut When Dream And Day Unite, I'd say this disc comes closer than the other CDs Dream Theater have released, the only caveat being I haven't heard the recent live disc.

Rating: B+

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© 1999 Paul Hanson and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Magna Carta Records, and is used for informational purposes only.