Madness was, (same as Freedom to Fly), a departure of sorts from Tony's early neoclassical metal style. After debuting to much critical acclaim, with both Edge of Insanity and Maximum Security, T-Mac went into a phase where he experimented with a more "normal" heavy metal sound. i.e. (Eyes of the World and his Instructional Video). On Madness, Macalpine explores many genres, and being the consummate professional musician that he is, he produced an outstanding, entertaining record, worth listening to over and over again.
I have owned this album since it came out in 1993, and 18 years later, still stands the test of time. If you're looking for his neoclassical flare and prowess, look past this record, but if you respect the fact that he plays blues, jazz, heavy metal, hard rock, and a little neoclassical metal, all within their own identity and particular characteristics, this is the cd to buy.
The rhythm section on this record is very good, especially on those songs that really benefitted from what both, bassist Larry "Bones" Dennison and drummer Glen Sobel brought to the table. Take a close listen to the astonishing "Peruvian Power Layback", or the amazing blues "Restaurant at the End of the Universe". For a huge surprise, look no further than "Albert's Fat Sister", where Tony trades solos with the great Branford Marsalis, with The Tonight Show's Band's horns section on the background.
A song by song: (5 stars being the best)
1. Naked Nancy: Opens up and sets the tone for the whole record 4/5.
2. Peruvian Power Layback: Incredible songwriting. Glen Sobel's work on this one is exceptional. Great solo, one of my favorites!!! 5/5.
3. Albert's Fat Sister: Great jazz tune with the mighty Branford Marsalis on saxophone. Entertaining song!!! 5/5.
4. Restaurant at the End of the Universe: Great blues with an incredible baroque between Gina Demos and Tony. Huge soloing between 'em!!! 5/5.
5. Realm of the Flying Monkeys: I just love it, don't ask me why :) 5/5.
6. Prelude #8 Opus 28: A beautiful Prelude by Chopin, T-Mac's own tribute to the master from the Romantic Era. 5/5.
7. Confrontation with the Electric Bees: An average song at best. 3/5.
8. Dr. Garlic Breath: It kind of stinks, just like garlic. I guess this is an attempt at being comical. 2/5.
9. Houses in Motion: Great song, this is kind of a hidden gem on this record. 5/5.
10. Muffin Bandits: Hard, Heavy and Powerful. 4/5.
11. Rats with Wings: Only rather neoclassical cut on this record, safe perhaps Muffin Bandits. Fast and entertaining! 4/5.
Go ahead, give it a try, it really is worth owning!!!