on 22 October 2004
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!!
on 23 November 2008
Power Windows is that rarest of animals; a perfect album. Every track, the mood of the album, is electric. It is also one of the very best Rush albums. Polished, slick and glossy but more importantly, it is infused with layered depths of emotional and musical intelligence.
Grand Designs and Middletown Dreams overflow with excitement, powerful pulsating basslines, combined with some of Neil Peart's most heroic, unusual, complex and exciting drum fills, fully brought to life by the lush, full bodied production.
Elsewhere, Marathon and Emotion Detector burst with feeling via Alex Lifeson's stunning guitar work. The Big Money will make you wonder how on earth three musicians can create something that sounds so vast. I find the songs pulse with energy and vibrancy, almost like a living thing, the craftmanship and quality of the songwriting is first class. This is one of those records that can transport you to another place, it is like taking a walk on a dark evening with lightning in the sky and a brilliant full moon, remote in the blackness, this is a record that will make you feel alive.
Power Windows is one of the best rock albums you will ever hear. Rush blended electronics with the full power of traditional instrumentation to create something quite extraordinary. To fully appreciate this album in its correct context I strongly recommend the previous studio album, Grace Under Pressure (an album approaching perfection) and Hold Your Fire - the latter being the sister record to Power Windows as it shares many rhythmic similarities and contains further developments on the the themes of power and emotion. Also, Rush experiment further with the fusion of electronic and acoustic instrumentation. Rush have never been afraid of taking chances, they are musical scientists exploring sprawling new avenues of sound with a rare honesty and bristling intelligence. For me, Power Windows rates amongst their best work, alongside Hemispheres, Permanent Waves, Moving Pictures and A Farewell To Kings.
on 14 March 2012
Rush, I have come to appreciate, are an anomaly of a band. On some albums they can be frustrating, on others inexplicably daring. Occasionally they can produce a song that seems like it has always been there floating around in the air waiting for its disparate tones to be configured. And on other occasions they can make something that seems, on the outside, to be completely boring and useless. Invariably there is a collective mind controlling the output and every one of their albums expresses passion and workmanship like you wouldn't believe. Despite this they have produced mixed results within their constant experimentation. 2112 was near perfect, A Farewell to Kings far from it, ditto Hemispheres. However on the latter 2 there were sparks of genius among a wholly inconsistent structure (20 minute songs wallowed next to 4 minute ones, next to 10 minute opuses etc). During the 80s however their experimentation continued but, as with all Rush albums, using the tools of the time. This is both a plus and a minus as a lot of their early to middle albums do sound completely derivative of the time in which they were created, making a lot of their 80s albums sound very dated. But if you can look beyond the synths and fake trumpeting then you should find a wonderful world to explore in just 8 tracks. Power Windows has gone down on my list of albums I had low expectations of, that have become one of my favourites. Yes - it's a stunning album.
'The Big Money' is actually my least favourite of these but it is still a great opener. Lively and poppy and fun, it exudes both artistry and technical nous with a nice jangly 80s guitar sound. 'Grand Designs' takes a while to bed but is the real precursor of what is to become. The chorus is subdued and underplayed and quite beautiful. 'Manhattan Project' is the first 'classic' as such. Again it takes a while to appreciate but the lyrics and music work together so well. Indicative of the sound of the whole album, it is gentle and melodious but in a surprising way. 'Marathon' is near perfect and has one of the best choruses ever which slowly builds to a crescendo of delight.
'Territories' is more akin to the Rush of old but still regains a lot of melody and rhythm and is a great song. 'Middletown Dreams' is another 'perfect' song with a chorus so gentle you almost miss it. 'Emotion Detector' is more of a single with a very immediate chorus but it is one of the best songs I have heard. And 'Mystic Rhythms' completes one of the most consistently excellent Rush albums perfectly. It is soft and beautiful and worms its way into your head.
At the moment this is my favourite Rush album by a mile. It's not as progressive or experimental as, say, 2112 but the music speaks for itself.
on 21 April 2010
I am more of a heavy metal fan, but Rush is a band that is well respected in the heavy metal community, or at least they were back in 1985. The first Rush album I ever heard was "Signals" (1982). So it's not surprising that I had no problem with Rush's style change in the 80's (as I simply had no idea how they had sounded in the 70's). When I first heard "Power Windows", it sounded to me exactly the way Rush was supposed to sound.
By today, I have heard almost all of Rush's records, but I still think "Power Windows" is the second-best, right after "Vapor Trails" (2002). Not that this one sounds anything like "Vapor Trails". It sounds exactly 1985 - keyboard-dominated melodic rock, but still unmistakably Rushy. The record is very even. None of the songs is really spectacular taken alone, but they are all good and they fit together very well, making a perfect album just the way I like it.
I totally love the mood on Rush's records, not only this one. Black metal helps me calm down when I'm angry, but Rush's music improves my mood when I'm down for no apparent reason (and not only then). They're so positive and inspiring - and, as I hardly need to tell you, really good with their instruments.
Good work, guys. You're still great - keep it up.
on 2 April 2010
Rush Well where do you start, well they are probably the biggest band no one has heard of. Which sound a bit strange but its true. I can go to work and I could not find anyone who has heard of them, but they sell millions of records. So who is buying them. Well I will tell you, real fans of real music.
As rush goes they are not a easy band to get into but this album might help you. In my view this is their best and is in my top 10 albums of all time. To start with its well played well written and well produced by Peter Collins. There is not one weak track on this album.
I am a bit of a hifi nut and still buy vinyl when I can get it and if I go out to buy any new hifi I take this album along as it will bring out all the strenghts and weaknesses of said product. This album is that I have even had a owner of a hifi shop sit and listen to the album with me in their demo room as he was blown away by a group he had never heard of.
If you buy this album and you are new to Rush then the nightmare begins as which album do you buy next. Well here the bad news as you have alot of catching up to do as they have about 19 sudio albums, 8 live albums, and many more.
on 22 March 2001
Power Windows is an album to be listened to as often as possible. Thoroughly enjoyable in both music and clever lyrics, it captures hopes and dreams that never get accomplished in "Middletown Dreams" and "Emotion Detector" but also the darker side of human achievement and greed in "Manhattan Project" and "Territories".
This is a more polished and refined album than some earlier ones and the music has more style and melody than raw enthusiasm but it is no less captivating and delightful for the change of direction.
on 20 September 2006
This was the first Rush album I listened to and despite loads of other songs I like spread across several albums this is my favourite. Here they found a perfect balance between great lyrics and great song writing and the arrangements are not as full on as in earlier recordings yet still have maximum impact. Always sublime to put the vinyl on and after the crackling wait for the opening of the first track.
on 23 April 2012
It is interesting to note that this album seems to be the big dividing album between rush fans they either love it or hate it. I don't count my self as a fan of anything I either like it or I don't but I don't claim to be a fan really, I have perhaps a more objective look, when I FIRST put the cd of power windows on, I have to say I didn't really remember anything and nothing stood out or grabbed my attention I am not sure why but thats just what happened then the second time I listened I realised it was apretty cool album it has for me almost perfect balance of keyboard and guitars and wierd rhythms and things like Grace under pressure but slight more so.
having said that I still don';t know the name of the songs and I still can't remember any of them off the top of my head which is a little bit strange. but I do like it everytime I play it I can remember the words and things so its not a bad album Its just not as memorable as their other albums or something :)
buy it though its worth it
on 25 June 2002
IMHO this, along with 'Exit... Stage Left', is Rush's finest hour. From the opening statement-of-intent that is 'The Big Money' to the damning indictments of weapons of mass destruction and over-zealous 'patriotism', it hits the spot every time. Peart's lyrics have never been more incisive, and Geddy Lee attacks his shiny new Wal bass with obvious relish -- just check his fantastic playing on 'Marathon...
Fantastic musicianship as per usual,a welcome return to the mix for Alex Lifeson,with the guitar and lead solos more noticeable than the last couple of releases. Much of this disc,for me,remains a heavy rock version of Steely Dan,musical perfection sometimes at the cost of raw excitement,well played,constructed and flawless.almost too perfect.
Best tracks 'Big Money' ' & 'Mystic Rythmns','Manhattan Project & 'Territories'
While its not my favourite era 1984-89,this is certainly the best album,its a big bold production with the Bass performance of Geddy under pinning everything as usual,Pearts drumming dynamic and Alex's rightful return as wonderful as it was unexpected, as the rating says i like it ,its just not a 5 star disc for me,it also helped Rush survive the 80's,bringing in more fans,Rush transcending genres,sadly many of the new fans cant accept that long standing Rush fans may hold differing opinions,sad.