A child prodigy, Jordan Rudess studied at Julliard from age nine to 17, at which time he left a promising future as a concert pianist for the lure of rock & roll. Upon this release, his second solo recording (the first was an independent release titled Arrival), Rudess had already toured with Jan Hammer and the Paul Winter Consort . His career started to pick up even faster when he was named Best New Talent by Keyboard magazine in 1994. The basis for the award was his live performances and this recording, on which he displays his innovative use of keyboards and dazzling technique. Soon after, he was asked to join his future band, Dream Theater, but turned them down. There is much to enjoy on Listen, but Rudess' toneless singing is not one of them. Female vocalist Barbara Bock saves most of the vocal tracks with her fine voice and should have been the only one singing. Aside from that, the compositions are fairly interesting with many different moods, styles, and textures being explored. Fans expecting Dream Theater-style prog metal are advised to approach with caution and an open mind.
AllMusic Review by Robert Taylor