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15.04.2019

JORDAN RUDESS

Wired for Madness

Anmeldt av Jens Nepper
(Music Theories Recordings/Mascot Label Group, 2019)

Karakter: 4.5/6

Jordan Rudess album cover.jpgProgressive keyboard maestro Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater) is about to unleash this intricate and rather complex musical affair of his appropriately named "Wired for Madness", which is a most fitting title for this convoluted opus. Countless different genres and styles are woven together and the music constantly shifts and mutates from one thing to the next. It ranges from progressive metal to jazz and then circles back to progressive 70s rock ala Yes/Rick Wakeman only to change completely and veer off into big band music territory. Peculiar and intriguing stuff? You bet! There is always something new on the horizon and you never know what eccentricities are waiting just around the corner, which is a huge part of the record's charm. The fact that it sounds as if Mr. Rudess had fun making this album and did nothing remotely akin to compromising with respect to his musical vision is obviously very cool, and if you are on the lookout for something different and challenging, then this might just be for you. Tracks such as the wonderfully twisted and rather lengthy "Wired for Madness (Parts 1 and 2)" as well as the moving "Off the Ground" possess excitement and thrills whereas "Perpetual Shine" and the ELP-esque "Drop Twist" never really manage to either establish or conjure up an atmosphere that is consuming. In short, a couple of pieces feel more like disjointed displays of musical talent as opposed to memorable tunes, which entails that the album loses momentum at times. Having said that, "Wired for Madness" has an awful lot going for it, and all in all I find this much more enjoyable and interesting than pretty much anything by Dream Theater out there. There is an honesty to it that is endearing, and huge parts of the disc come across as inspired, playful, and utterly creative, which is a treat to experience. I also cherish the strong dramatic undertones that sliver and slide underneath the tracks and the cinematic scope of the album as a whole. It goes without saying that the musicianship is superb and that Jordan's skills are downright dazzling, but you probably already knew that, right? The entire thing comes to a close with the uplifting "Why I Dream", which results in the record ending on a positive note in terms of mood.

"Wired for Madness" is neither flawless nor captivating all the way through, but it is something different and original, and its many great aspects and qualities ought to please all you lovers of the wildly progressive and experimental out there. It might take you ages to penetrate its many layers, but give it a go as it is well worth it, and do keep in mind that it contains many surprises along the way. One moment it will make you feel as if you are witnessing a spectacular battle scene from in epic fantasy movie only to make you believe that you are walking down a crooked alleyway in an old Hitchcock suspense thriller the next, which speaks volumes about how much musical ground the record actually covers. It is a blur of movement, so make sure you pay attention when spinning it.
 


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