The cool thing about this album is that it was actually done entirely by a friend of mine. And he’s an extremely talented musician. He does all the vocal and instrumental work on this album, and he writes all of it as well. The album mixes some great progressive rock sounds with a bunch of other musical styles. It sounds a lot like a weird (yet awesome) mix of The Flaming Lips and Coheed & Cambria. It’s a concept album about (you guessed it) Dr. Christopher Jenkins and his voyages within the dream world, where he follows a path of what is ultimately self reflection.
1. Entrance Into Lucidity
The intro to the album, Entrance Into Lucidity is a brief instrumental song. It contains some great songs, and sounds slightly weird. But in a really good way. The album is a concept album about a person’s voyages within his dreams, and this song offers a great intro to the album.
2. The Silent Hill
The Silent Hill is a quiet, toned down song. It has vocals, but they are quiet, and merge extremely well with the songs style. The Silent Hill reminds me a lot of The Flaming Lips, musically. It’s striking how much Adam sounds like Wayne Coyne on this song, and that isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it’s a great thing. The vocals are great on this song. The song is about questioning yourself, and plays a key part in the story, in which the main character, Christopher Jenkins, really moves into the dream. The whole thing has this great creepy feel to it, and I love that.
3. Flawed Philosophies
This is yet another great song. It starts off with a few high guitar chords, and then breaks into a great heavy guitar riff, with an excellent deep, bass sound backing it. the guitar work here is great, and the intro solo last about two minutes. The song seems to stop, and just as you think it’s about to go quiet, the death roars start. And it’s awesome. This part especially builds suspense, and it’s cool. It happens twice in the song, and is really awesome. The song is really about looking back at actions you aren’t all that proud of, and, in the context of the story, s about Jenkins looking back on those experiences, before he gets back on the path.
4. The Reticent Loather
In addition to Jenkins, other characters exist within his dreams. In a very similar manner to Coheed & Cambria’s Key Entities, there are four other characters who get their own song on this album, the first being the Reticent Loather. The Loather is a symbolizes parts of Jenkins’ earlier life, which wasn’t all that great. The Loather is a really interesting character, especially since he is the part of Jenkins that is constantly conflicted. Musically, it’s another heavy song, with great death roars and heavy guitar riffs. Until the chorus, which is done in clean vocals backed by a great guitar riff. It’s all awesome, and it’s striking how similar the vocals sound to those of Claudio Sanchez from Coheed and Cambria.
5. Trouble Amongst The Crowds
“Trouble Amongst the Crowds” is a ten minute epic. And I don’t use the term lightly, this song is an epic. It wastes no time with a slow intro, and starts with a fast paced and extremely well played guitar riff, with a violin in the background ,as well as some loud percussion work. It’s hard to think of a ten minute song as being fast, but this song is fast. It’s done in clean vocals, and, as much as I love death roars, the clean vocals are a nice change. But, about halfway through, the death roars are back. After a brief moment of quiet, building suspense, it goes right back into the death roars. The drum work here is especially good. At this point, it’s clear that Jenkins is following a path, and that path is showing events from his (very troubled) past. I love the lyric “Is there no one you can trust in your conflicted life?” It shows how much Jenkins’s life sucks.
This is a quiet, more contemplative song. It’s another instrumental, and is a moment of calm for Jenkins. He’s taking something of a break from the path of self destruction that this dream has taken him on so far. The song uses a variety of instruments, but the most present are string instruments. Sustained notes, with piano in the background, are great, and build the drama of this song. “Relapse” is a suspenseful song, but it doesn’t build suspense for anything within the song, but rather for future events. However, three minutes was a little lengthy, and, though the sang was good, it didn’t quite need three minutes to build the drama.
7. Confusion in the Heart
Confusion in the heart continues Jenkins’ journey, and the next stop on the path is his views on love. The mood of the song suggests that he has negative feelings about love, and it’s a subject that he is actually extremely conflicted above. But really, the song is about the sorrow that comes with love, and how that’s hurt Jenkins in the past. It’s another quiet song, and actually sounds a lot like “Relapse”, but with vocals. Still, two songs that sound a little like each other isn’t an issue, especially when “Confusion in the Heart” picks up towards the end. Guitars and drums are added, and create a great sound, that isn’t exactly heavy, but not really quiet either. The laughs and screams at the end are also great, showing Jenkins’ descent into madness. It’s a great song, but not the album’s best.
8. The Poisoned Addict
“The Poisoned Addict” is, hands down, my favorite sound on the album. It has a little bit of an Arabian sound backing the heavy guitar riff that starts the song out. Above that riff is the laughter of a madman, who I assume is the Poisoned Addict, the second character in the dream. The Addict is a symbol of addictions that Jenkins has endured in the past. The first two and a half minutes are almost entirely instrumental. When the vocals start though, they’re awesome. The song had gone quiet for a while before picking up again. And it decrescendos again after the vocal segment is finished. It’s actually similar to a style used by Opeth, in which there a re a few minutes of quiet instrumentals, and then loud vocals. It’s a great style, and creates a great sound that builds suspense. Here, Jenkins falls further into madness, as the bipolarity of the Addict drives him down the path of insanity.
9. The Lascivious Rapist
The Lascivious Rapist is the third of the characters that we meet on the album. The Rapist is the most extreme character that Jenkins has met, even more so than the Addict, and the heavier music style, as well as the lyrics, show this clearly. The intensity of the song clearly gets across the message that this is the first time within the dream that Jenkins has actually been truly scared. The song also has a creepy feel to it, employing sounds that you would find on a horror movie or TV show soundtrack. But the concept of the rapist is how Jenkins has buried his pain throughout his life. The music is intense, especially th guitars, drums, and vocals. Overall, it’s yet another great song, but is a little long, and, at points, feels a bit repetitive.
10. The Unfaithful Lover
The Unfaithful Lover is the last track on the first part of the double album, and is also the fourth and final character Jenkins’ meets. The Unfaithful Lover is someone form Jenkins’ life whom he used to care for, until discovering that she was simply using him. Having finally become completely insane at this point, Jenkins goes berserk. The song is also a lot about how the scars of this event never healed, and he hasn’t quite gotten over this loss. It’s a fitting end to the first part of the story, as it ends with yet another heart break for Jenkins, leading him even further down the path on insanity.
So, all in all, “The Dreams of Dr. Christopher Jenkins Part 1: Entrance Into Lucidity” was a great album. The story, about Jenkins’ voyages through his dreams, is awesome, and comes across really well. Each of his experiences take him further down a path within his dreams, which is the path to insanity. He goes through experiences throughout his life within the dream, and before going insane, looks back in his past in a contemplative manner. All of the songs also have an application to real life, and I find that that is really cool. And the music is great at well. A triumph.
Also, be sure to listen to it! Here’s the link to Adam’s Soundclouy page: http://soundcloud.com/adam-abou-gad