I have listend to this album at least 30 times, and am still blown away every time. Every song on this record is a masterpiece, and the musicians play flawlessly! In addition to this, the sound quality is PHENOMINAL! The songs sound better live than on the studio albums (all of which I own). Not many bands can accomplish that live.
The song "puppies on acid" is guarenteed to blow you away, especially when you hear the guitar/keyboard solo. It is one of the most complexed and original melodies I have ever heard.
As far as the negative reviews for this album go, those people are simply wrong. I thik that one reason for some of these reviews is that the writters have not given this album a real chance. To tell you the truth, I wasn't crazy about this album when I first listened to it for the fist time either. Dream Theater's music is the kind that gets better with each listen, and that's a good thing.
As far as my credibility as a reviewer goes, you can trust my ears because I am a musician myself. I play guitar, bass, and drums. If you too are a musician, you MUST buy this album. The members of dreamtheater are 5 of the greatest musicians that ever lived. They play things that you wouldn't think would be humanly possible. In addition to the fact that this is an ablum of virtuoso musicianship, The songs are also incredibly written, and no too sound alike.
You owe it to yourself to buy "once in a Livetime", I guarentee it will make you a Dream theater fan.