Well....it should be obvious what I meant if you heard the album....but I'll expand. Downtuning in itself isn't a bad thing. Lots of bands, including probably the best prog band, Pain Of Salvation, use downtuning. However, downtuning is also what I would call an "easy way out." It requires no thought or creativity to downtune to C or whatever, chug out generic power chords, and make it sound "cool." This is what it sounds like John Petrucci is doing a whole lot on this album. As I said, on other things, 'Awake' for example, he made great songs with a low tuning. Two other things with this album.....production is very muddy and has that nasty "pop" production on guitars. I haven't liked John Petrucci's album tone much at all ever since he got the Music Man, but it's gone down farther on this one. Also, James LaBrie's vocals are mostly awful. They paint him into places where he's doing "dark" vocals, which he can't make sound good. That's where there's a bit of a conflict on some parts, because it's a great vocal moment, but the music isn't all that amazing. Downtuning can be good if you're doing something with it....but they're not. So basically, this isn't a great prog album, and on the other hand it's not a great "metally" album either. So it doesn't even win if you don't call it a proggy album, which, by the way, is what they said it was going to be. Octavarium is the high point, and it gets all the way down to "These Walls," which just sounding disgusting when I first heard that opening nu-metal riff. Continued: Oh....and this little bit about Octavarium makes some good points, although not quite as harshly as I would put it. And really....this made me think about the solos on the album. They really do sound like......"oh yeah.....we probably need a solo here," and then Petrucci just improvises some random guitar excercises. Especially the solos on "Panic Attack," what kind of sick joke are those? It's like they're just such an afterthought, not even written out or thought about. The dual run towards the end of "Octavarium" is really the only interesting solo on the album, where I see the "signature" Dream Theater style come through. Just picking out a few things I haven't gotten to yet.....what about the keyboard playing? On the ballad parts with the piano effect, what happened to Jordan Rudess' interesting piano fills? He's just basically playing chords, or boring, repeated patterns as in "The Answer Lies Within." So if this was from some other band, maybe it would get a 70% or something. It has some nice moments, Octavarium is a nice track. "Sacrificed Sons" is the next best in terms of "prog," although it's also pretty generic, but it's the Dream Theater sound. But coming from Dream Theater, this album sounds like the dying breath of a great band. It really sounds like they're not even trying. What, did they write this over a couple of days or something? Their talent shows in that it sounds like they didn't even try and they made a decent album. But it's not a decent album for a Dream Theater album. And you have to remember that.....that's the name attached to this, and that's the standard you should hold it to. On a side note, Dream Theater need to be taking lessons from Pain Of Salvation in making good music. Here's a band that started out somewhere around perfection and gets better. They know how to work as a band, with all the band members playing off each other. On the piano aspect, listen to "This Heart Of Mine" from the live acoustic album 12:5....that's what good accompaniment piano work is supposed to sound like, not just hammering out chords or some lame melody.