Famed keyboardist Derek Sherinian released his latest album, Vortex last week. Released July 1 through InsideOut Music, the eight-song record came less than two years after the release of his then latest album, The Phoenix, which was released Sept. 18, 2020 through InsideOut Music. The 46-minute record is another strong offering from Sherinian, who has etched out his own place in the music community through his work with the likes of Dream Theater, Alice Cooper, Sons of Apollo, and Platypus. Its latest single, ‘Scorpion,’ is just one of the songs that serves to support that statement. It will be discussed shortly. ‘Key Lime Blues,’ which comes just past the record’s midpoint, is another prime example of what makes this new album so engaging and entertaining. It will be discussed a little later. ‘Nomad’s Land,’ the album’s penultimate entry, is yet another example of what makes Vortex so enjoyable. It will be discussed later, too. All three songs noted here do their own share to make Vortex engaging and entertaining. When they are considered along with the rest of the record’s works, the whole makes the album in full one of the year’s top new albums overall.
Vortex, the latest album from Derek Sherinian (and his second in less than two years) is another strong offering from the renowned keyboardist. One of the songs featured in the record that serves to make that clear is its latest single, ‘Scorpion.’ Much as with ‘Dragonfly,’ which was featured in this album’s predecessor, The Phoenix, the song easily lends itself stylistically to comparison to works from Trioscapes. It is a moving, fusion-style composition that features Sherinian on keyboard, Tony Franklin on bass, and Simon Phillips on drums. Sherinian does not miss a beat as he works his way through the polyrhythmic patterns. Phillips and Williams meanwhile keep steady as they partner, keeping time and providing the song’s low-end. William’s subtlety when he gets the spotlight adds such a nice touch to the whole, giving him the ability to really display his talent.
That ‘Scorpion’ is just as comparable to works from Trioscapes as ‘Dragonfly’ is no coincidence. Sherinian said in a recent interview about the single, the response to ‘Dragonfly’ led him and Phillips to craft this composition.
“Don’t be surprised if you see me going more in this direction in the future,” Sherinian said as he talked about ‘Scorpion.’
‘Scorpion’ is just one of the notable additions to the album. ‘Key Lime Blues,’ which comes just past the album’s midpoint, is another standout addition to the record. The funky beat that Phillips lays down right from the song’s introduction pairs with Sherinian’s work on the keyboard and the addition of the bass and guitar is so similar in sound and style to works from the likes of Steve Vai and Joe Satriani. The light, positive vibe that the whole presents is so infectious throughout the course of its nearly five-minute run time. The little driving guitar lines in the song’s “chorus” sections adds its own punch to the whole while the more playful “verse” sections are just as light and fun. The whole is completely unlike anything else on the album, just as ‘Scorpion’ is, too. The positive energy and variance that the composition in whole presents is certain to make it a fan favorite and easily shows even more why the album in whole is so successful. It is just one more of the songs that shows how much the album has to offer, too. ‘Nomad’s Land’ is yet another prime example of what makes Vortex so enjoyable.
The penultimate entry in Vortex, ‘Nomad’s Land’ is just as unique as the other compositions examined here and as the rest of the album’s entries. Sherinian’s performance on the keyboard’s serves as the song’s foundation. Again, the polyrhythmic patterns that he turns out present a sense of some odd time signatures. Even with that being the case, he and Phillips easily keep the song moving steadily from beginning to end without missing a step. What is really interesting about the sound and style presented in this case is that it seems to throw back to some of the fusion-rock sounds of the late 70s yet still manages to do so in a modern sense. That ability of Sherinian and company to create that vintage sound and still balance it with a touch of modern style and sound makes the song all the more engaging and entertaining for certain. When it is considered along with the other songs examined here and with the rest of the album’s entries, the whole leaves no doubt that Vortex is another strong, successful offering from Derek Sherinian.
Vortex, the latest solo album from Derek Sherinian, is another impressive offering from the renowned veteran keyboardist. From start to end, the diversity in the record’s compositions and the creativity in each work gives audiences plenty to appreciate. The songs examined here each do well to support the noted statements. When they are considered along with the rest of the album’s offerings, the whole makes the album overall easily one of the year’s top new albums overall.
Vortex is available now through InsideOut Music. More information on Derek Sherinian’s new album is available along with all of his latest news at: