“Wired For Madness” is the latest solo opus from Dream Theater keyboardist Jordan Rudess. DT has just released an album so it’s interesting that Rudess is releasing this at the same time. If you know his solo discography, you know that Rudess isn’t one for subtlety. And it’s very clear from the start that this album is no different in that regard.
The album starts with 2 massive epics,”Wired For Madness, Part 1″ and “Wired For Madness, Part 2.” And this album is worth buying for these 2 tracks alone. Yes it showcases his playing ability but it’s not just solo after solo. Rather each track has sections and movements. Also (as with the whole album) they have vocals from the man himself.
Rudess has a really good voice and is a good lyricist. It makes me wonder why he doesn’t contribute each skill to his main gig in DT. The tracks have heavy moments, melodic moments and technical moments. Honestly he could have just released the 2 songs and I’d be satisfied. Ah but there’s more! “Off the Ground” is a true song in length and structure, and yes has another quality vocal by Rudess.
The strangest track is actually “Just Can’t Win.” No it’s not some crazy prog shredfest. Rather it’s a blues number. Yes really. Apparently Rudess loves blues and he sings the style well. The song features the great Joe Bonamassa on guitar. And there are plenty of other great guests on the album. Other guest guitarists include Vinnie Moore, Guthrie Govan, and John Petrucci. Drums are handled by Marco Minnemann, Rod Morgenstein and Elijah Wood. DT vocalist James LaBrie is on the closing section of “Wired for Madness, Part 2.”
But this is definitely Rudess’ show here. His playing is some of the best he has done. Yes there’s modern sounds but he does mix in some old school sounds here and there. There are clear moments that remind me of the late Keith Emerson. I think that “Wired For Madness” could very well be Rudess’ best solo album to date. This is a no brainer for any fan of his or Dream Theater. “Wired For Madness” is filled with adventure and dynamics, a truly rewarding listen.
1. Wired For Madness, Part 1
2. Wired For Madness, Part 2
3. Off The Ground
4. Drop Twist
5. Perpetual Shine
6. Just Can’t Win
7. Just For Today
8. Why I Dream
Label: Music Theories Recordings
Release Date: 19 April 2019