What can be most revealing about the cohesive nature of a band is any solo output from its individual members. For some, the music they create individually doesn’t show any markings in the collective band’s material and this can be good for a number of reasons but the primary one being showcasing how multi-faceted a musician that individual can be. Other solo output can bear a striking resemblance to their band discography showing how vital that individual is to the overall sound of the band. This is the case with Jordan Rudess’ newest solo outing Wired for Madness (Mascot Label / Music Theories Recordings).
From the word go, you can hear how integral Rudess is to the sound of Dream Theater. His keyboards play a large part in the orchestration and conception of the band’s material and this solo release only reinforces that fact.
Opening with the gargantuan title-track spanning thirty-four minutes (albeit in two parts), the creative mind of Rudess is unleashed in all its sporadic glory. It feels like every possible musical texture is touched upon in this reaching opus. Ranging from Rock to Prog to Metal to Jazz to electronic, sprawling is the only word to describe this musical journey.
The other tracks on the record follow a much more concise formula however they are still musically eclectic in ways that only Rudess could envision. With that being said, however, some of the tracks feel more like an afterthought in comparison to the title track and some sound like unfinished demos of could-be Dream Theater songs. Rudess shines more when he forgoes convention and allows himself to take a musical rollercoaster instead of confining songs to structures and ideas which would sound better combined and refined with the other members of Dream Theater.
Wired For Madness is a musical rollercoaster and only proves what many in the music world know: Jordan Rudess is an eclectic and ruthlessly creative musician.
7 / 10