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Considering the combination of unrelenting stresses in my life, and the fact I’ve had an anger mismanagement problem since time immemorial, I often cleave to music that I perceive as having a calming effect. ‘Silent Lucidity’ is a song that for me, takes the tone of a comforting lesson from someone of great learning and experience. Although it continually skirts the perimeter of being patronising, it never quite crosses the threshold.
I do wish it was possible to remove the four-sentence crash course in ‘dream control’ without damaging anything else in the song. This ghastly interlude notwithstanding, the overall subject matter is admirably ambitious for a 1990 release. This is not the place to set forth my own views about active dreaming, but suffice it to say, I warm to the fact Queensrÿche wrote a very successful song about an esoteric discipline that is close to my heart.
Aside from the sentiments expressed therein, the lyrics themselves are composed with considerable skill. I always think highly of poetry in songwriting, even if it’s not an issue that can ruin a composition for me if other qualities are strong enough to carry the piece as a whole. Favourite moments include “Living twice at once, you learn”, “A round-trip journey in your head”, and “A doorway that I run through in the night”; extra points are also earned for painstaking attention to the complex rhyme patterns and meter.
The expansive orchestration is also very forward-thinking for its time, and serves to greatly enrich 'Silent Lucidity'. Although listening to a song -- no matter how exquisite -- is no substitute for the Land of Dreams itself, this represents a lovely window into it. Even if that window is open for just shy of six minutes at a time.
Check it out on YouTube