Six Degrees is the only Jordan album that floors me, it's possibly my favorite DT album. SFAM had it all, drama, intrigue, great construction... but for some reason, it never grabbed me. I love Metropolis, it's one of my very favorite DT songs. It actually changed my life. My friend was playing Images and Words on repeat in the background, he realized that I would like progrock, but I hadn't warmed up to it. It was during a playthrough of Metropolis that I "woke up", had some kind of epiphany or something, and from then on, I was hooked... it got me back into music in a tangible way, where I was sort of floating before, it gave me a home.
Anyway, the myth of "M2" was huge during the mid to late 90s. Then LTE happened, and I was floored... Jordan's material on those albums are incredible. When they announced he would be joining DT, I was extremely happy, since I had loved LTE, and hadn't yet really realized Derek's genius. When SFAM was finally announced, I couldn't have been more excited. I checked online every few weeks for updates, followed Portnoy's home videos of the sessions, and listened through a really low quality live stream that they leaked for 24 hours, about 6 weeks before the album was released. Then it was released, and the situation in which I acquired the album was more epic than I can really describe here (it involved being lost on my bike for 8 hours in the ohio countryside... I love getting lost). But when everything was said and done, I found myself not particularly drawn to any of the tracks. I like some sections of tracks a lot, but not any whole ones. The instrumental sections are incredibly strong, but I find the vocal melodies and lyrics to be largely fairly uninteresting. And since the whole album is so hinged on the story, that's a big problem. But the instrumental sections of Strange Deja Vu, Fatal Tragedy, and Beyond this Life, are excellent. Overture and the first half of Dance of Eternity are great (not crazy about the last 3rd, it kinda goes on too long), and I find myself drawn to the vocal sections of Home and Finally Free. But there's a lot of material I just can't get into... hardly a single track do I like all the way through.
Where-as, Six Degrees, while not as epic, has, pound for pound, the most songs I like all the way through. Pretty much every track on disc 1, with the exception of Great Debate (poop), and half the tracks on the concept album I love. The rest of the tracks on the concept album are quite good too. It features some of the most powerful instrumental sections too, notably Blind Faith, Misunderstood, The Test that Stumped Them All, and Solitary Shell.