This is the only Rush album that I own .. which is odd, because this is one of my all time favourite albums. A friend lent me a cassette copy of this in 1991 whilst at Uni. I listened to it at night, in bed with my walkman - and it has left a deep impression on me. Later I purchased it on CD.
I usually am not one for deep lyrics, which I feel can often be pretentious and just get in the way of the music. Normally my ear gravitates towards instrumental performances. However this album has it all - fantastic instrumental performances and beautifully crafted lyrics that poetically yet efficiently ram the point home. The use of synthesisers (a new departure for Rush at the time - I think) is just perfect, blending wonderfully with Geddy Lee's superb bass lines and Lifeson's distant and reverb laden guitars, giving the album a smooth and mystical vibe. Production is 1st class - Pearts drums sit nicely with Lee's bass in the mix. Fantastic, memorable melodies - many of the vocal lines have real hooks and you can't help but sing along. This album is just beautiful - I can't praise it enough.
That's my opinion - as a non Rush aficionado!!