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Beneath The Surface

  • Beneath The Surface
    September 16, 2011 - 7:40am

    I was wondering how everyone feels about this song? I absolutely love it. While it sounds more like a bonus track, considering the ending of Breaking All Illusions is epic, It's fantastic that they included the song on the album.

    I think it provides great contrast to what is an extremely technical album, and generally an album which really only becomes very good after you've listened to it 3 times over. It is basically the only song which you instantly enjoy.

    Do you think Dream Theater should get back to doing simpler songs like this every now and then?

    39
Spin's picture
on September 16, 2011 - 7:40am

I was wondering how everyone feels about this song? I absolutely love it. While it sounds more like a bonus track, considering the ending of Breaking All Illusions is epic, It's fantastic that they included the song on the album.

I think it provides great contrast to what is an extremely technical album, and generally an album which really only becomes very good after you've listened to it 3 times over. It is basically the only song which you instantly enjoy.

Do you think Dream Theater should get back to doing simpler songs like this every now and then?

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JeffAsIAm's picture

Yes. The best one yet. So far. Lots to go. I easily see 25 major releases and 40 total cd's out from DT.

JeffAsIAm's picture

@The Shaman: I agree with you. This song struck me the 1st time I rolled through the cd. It's a love song melody with the ultimate anti-love song lyrics. Beneath The Surface is clever, but isn't everything DT does? I think the song is perfect as the ending tune. It winds me down from the epic Breaking All Illusions. I love the guitar solo in that one.

hamanimal1971's picture

It actually made me tear up. There are several DT songs that I feel very close to because of things that have happened in my personal life. "Hollow Years", "Take Away My Pain", "Wither, "Far From Heavan" and now " Beneath The Surface." The music gives me an outlet to release those bottled up emotions that otherwise can't find an outlet.

This is without a doubt DT's best album, lyrically and musically, to date.

CONSTANTMOTION's picture

amazing song, both music and lyrics - so true to life. A lump in the throat every time......Also couldn't help crying seeing it performed live in Helsinki, James was VERY convincing

DigitalMan95's picture

I'm sorry to pull this thread back up, but I have to ask you, does anyone of you know if there's a way to get that picture that is on the background on the album where the lyrics for this song are? I really like that picture and I would love to have it as my wallpaper on my computer.

Oh, and the song is amazing! It's my favorite song from ADTOE, and I think it fits perfectly at the end of the album to balance the whole. It was also mind-blowing when they played it live here in Finland!

AnotherWon's picture

Love this song. It really brings a nice close to the album.

The lyrics are really moving. Everytime I listen, it makes me think about the relationships in my life. The song is very well done that it makes the listener go deep beneath the surface :p

Capra.simona's picture

I love this song so much! When I heard it for the first time I was shocked. Both for the music and the lyric, it can sound strange but it describes perfectly the period I'm going through!!
I think this is my favourite song in the album together with Build me Up, Brake me Down.
Kisses.
Simona.

Ytsejam58's picture

I like beneath the surface but I wish they would've put it earlier in the album... They have a history of putting the extra long song in the back... Learning to Live, Finally Free, Six Degrees, In the Name of God, Octavarium, In the Presence of Enemies, and The Count of Tuscany.

Kashmir75's picture

It's an amazing song. A perfect closer for the album, in my opinion. A nice choice to end with a ballad rather than an epic

sixxstring54's picture

DT, can do what ever makes them happy, the fact that they share their music with us is so great. What ever they put on an album is great with me, I am just happy to hear new material.

Jedizen07's picture

Plus, to me this song isn't so much a sad song. It feels more like a close to a chapter in one's life to continue on and experience new things in life. It is a great way to bookend the album and helps to balance out all the other great tunes.

Sometimes it's easier for me to see the glass half full than half empty. Yeah, the lyrics are " sad " but sung with a powerful conviction that when we all get hurt we move on through our pain and able to experience new things in life. And it is the pain we encounter which makes us realize we couldn't enjoy the finer things in life without going through pain in the first place.

Maybe this song is a metaphor through the recent change with MP's departure. But if they didn't go through all of that hardship, then we all wouldn't have a great sounding disc. :)

Simple.

Jedizen07's picture

The whole album is simply beautiful and amazing. I am still listening to it everyday since its release. Love it all!

GaelTider's picture

I LOVE this song! Especially where James takes it at the end. Yes, it is a little sad, but it is a very honest song, emotionally. I work at a local radio station two nights a week, and I always end the night with "Beneath the Surface" one night, and "The Spirit Carries On" the next night. One night on a sad note, the next on a hopeful one. Plus, hopefully I'm making a few new Dream Theater fans!

dspurdy's picture

DT is all of the above. JP's breakdown is as follows:

“Beneath The Surface is the last song we wrote for the album. We had tracked all of the drums on the other cuts, and I think we were working on keyboards. At this point, we realized that the record needed something. Everything else was very intense, so a cool-down felt right.

“With the exception of This Is The Life, I was writing about very heavy topics: political unrest in America, uprisings in the Middle East, ancient Persian armies, shamans. For the closing song, a lighter, more poignant lyrical message was in order, something that would reach deep into your soul in a very honest way.

“Actually, I wrote the lyrics without the music; it was before we even went into the studio. Once we started working on the song, I had a guitar part that seemed like it would work, but I ended up changing it around. There was a bit of a process with marrying the words to the music. I demoed the song and recorded it, and the guys were totally open to it.

“It’s mostly acoustic, and it could exist as an acoustic/vocal song. We did put an arrangement to it. I really like the keyboard solo in the middle. We searched for just the right Moog-esque sound, picturing the lighters, or I guess cell phones, coming out in the audience. It takes it away from being a folkish ballad and makes it more Genesis or ELP. I love it. I think it’s a great way to end the record.”

Batur Togay's picture

Dear Spin;

Beneath the Surface is clearly an emotional track. Labrie has done a great job. On the other hand, Dream Theater isn't this. We love Dream Theater because of their changing time signatures, clunky rhythms, impossible solos and being more than just an ordinary band.

They are bigger than Beneath the Surface. Dream Theater isn't Beneath the Surface. Dream Theater is not a simple band.

Dream Theater is special.

Dream Theater is Learning to Live, A Change of Seasons, Metropolis Pt.1, Octavarium, In The Name of God, Home, Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulance.

Dream Theater is "The Dance of Eternity".

dspurdy's picture

Of all the songs on ADTOE, this one spoke to me in some way. I made a lyric video for the Roadrunner Records contest:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcYJqEgtP5I

I guess it shows a little of how the song made me feel.

Obryn's picture

[quote=astroboy]@Obryn, if you have access to a keyboard try to match James' voice on the keyboard on the first chorus, then do the same with the last chorus. You will see that he is truly singing it up an octave. I think when he is singing on the last chorus, it's more towards the middle or upper part of his range and therefore he can get more power and resonance in his voice.[/quote]

Ah yes, you are right. JLB's range and technique still surprises me. I really hope they play [i]Beneath the Surface[/i] at the Dallas show...I MUST hear this one live!

Andreas Cambrand's picture

Yeah, this song is really amazing. After having listened to the album for the first time I thought of this and Breaking All Illusions as the strongest tracks on the record. Even now, after having listened to all the tracks at least 20 times, it's still "up there" as one of the strongest, most emotional statements of the album.

Hérus's picture

@Obryn, if you have access to a keyboard try to match James' voice on the keyboard on the first chorus, then do the same with the last chorus. You will see that he is truly singing it up an octave. I think when he is singing on the last chorus, it's more towards the middle or upper part of his range and therefore he can get more power and resonance in his voice.

litsand's picture

absolutely love this song, and totally agree with you guys about having tears after listening and not being ashamed to say it.To me ,that is what being a great artist is all about,the ones who make you feel these emotions with a simple yet so powerful song

Obryn's picture

Love this track. However, can someone please tell me what vocal technique JLB is employing at the last run of the chorus?...You know the part, "AND BEGAAAAN TO FORGET..."

Many people have just said, "the part where he goes up an octave." But I don't think this is correct. He seems to be in the same octave, but he is just singing in it much louder with more sustain. I'm a guitarist with no formal vocal training, so I'm probably wrong. If you know the technical term for what he is doing here please let me know.

FireHeart's picture

Man, I really love this song!!!
I write a lot in my blog and when I listened to this, I had a immediately identification with the words and melody.
My friends said to me it's just the kind of stuff I use to write, and of course I'm so proud of this!
Just like another great ballads: Another Day, The Aswer Lies Within and Wither, Beneath the Surface is one special music that really goes deeper in my thoughts and feelings.

Sorry if I writed wrong some words in here, ok? My english is poor, but I'm really loving this!

Hey, somebody can help me to put a image in my profile?
thanks a lot!

Wingnut1991's picture

This song touched me deep. I recently lost someone that I care deeply for, and it still hurts. I know one day I'll stop caring and begin to forget why I longed to be so close. But until then, it simple pleasures like listening to Dream Theater that helps me forget for awhile.

Sebastiandaq's picture

What a beautiful way to close the album.

A Change Of Screen Names's picture

When I first heard it I thought”This is a nice little song” Then I paid attention to the lyrics. As you all know “This is not a nice little song” I would put it middle of the pack for this album. I have been trying to find my least favorite song on this album. I know that sounds stupid, but the album is incredible and Bridges in the Sky is my #1, so I thought I might try and find which I enjoyed the lest. Lost Not Forgotten or Outcry are leading/ lagging as it may be said. Still either of those two is better that 90% of what else gets released these days.

DevZor's picture

Hello, names Devin, new here.

Love this song and I'll readily join in the ranks of men who were brought damn near to tears by this song. When james just starts soaring for the last part of the last chorus... I get drawn right in to the emotion of what he's singing and then the record ends... seconds after after my my most emotionaly connected moment of the album. Its a fantastic way to end a record really, I'm actually left wanting more when this song finishes and am eager to replay the whole album to experience that revelation once more.

zvan92's picture

When it first came on as the album was drawing to a close, I got a lump in my throat as soon as James' singing kicked in. Such a wonderful song; I'm a real sucker for the ballads, because DT throws so much god damn soul into them that it makes them beautiful beyond comparison.

samde's picture

A beautiful, sad song. Kind of balances the whole album.

Ryan_nadon's picture

It's easily one of the best songs on the album.

The Shaman's picture

[quote=Acid Rain Puppy][quote=astroboy]I really like this song as well, although the lyrics are extremely sad.[/quote]

Unless... everything is cool again, once everything is "beneath the surface". Then, enough time and thought has past. The song could be then thought of as more bitter-sweet, than sad.... as the whole process is a heart breaking thing to go through, and a steep price to pay in order to end up OK in the end. Maybe??? :-)
[/quote]

I see where you come from, but I don't think so. "The darkness turned to pain and never went away" - incredibly sad. I think everybody knows how it feels when you stop caring about a person and "forget" all the emotions you had for her or him; all the experiences you had with the person. It all washes away and seems forgotten. You don't even feel sad about it most of the time - you just live on normally, but every now and then you sit down and think about that person and you get carried away by a sadness that is beyond words. At least that's what the song describes for me. :(

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