5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 18 April 2012
This sees Rush heading further away from the synths that has all but taken over the sound of their music through the entire decade previous. It is both a good and a bad thing as it was in a large part due to the synths that Power Windows and Grace Under Pressure attained their epic qualities and some of the tracks here do revert back to their 70s hard rock material which in my opinion was lacking in places. What hasn't been lost is their ability to pen a tune that'll stick to your ear drums forever and despite how many synths or how many guitars are in the mix it is fundamentally this that makes Rush such a great band and makes Roll the Bones a great record - although it is by far not their best.
'Dreamline' has a running riff, like a fanfare of trumpets and a driving core that makes it impossible not to like. A greatb start. 'Bravado' is more stripped down and is Rush at their tenderest which is always a good thing. Painfully melodic and pure. Then the title track comes in all brash and angular and funky, with a mid-section rap (gadzooks!) but also with one of the most stripped down, beautiful and insightful choruses ever penned. In all aspects it is excellent. 'Face Up' is where we see the rock n rollin' Rush appear once again. It is a good tune but in my opinion lacks a spark. 'Where's My Thing' is an instrumental and I usually have issues with most instrumentals from bands that are usually lyrical. It is ok and it did win an award (for some reason) and I'm sure it's all very technical and amazingly played but it just didn't excite me I'm afraid.
Strangely for the synth-less route they were embarking upon, 'The Big Wheel' with its addictively catchy and extremely synth-laden chorus, not so much came as a surprise but was a pleasant change from the rest of the album. Along with the title track it is by far the best thing on here. 'Heresy' left me a little cold as it seemed to go on too long for the tune. It is good but not particularly interesting or moving (obviously my personal opinion - I'm sure others may disagree). 'Ghost of a Chance' has a great riff that the song revolves around but that is it. Good but not great. 'Neurotica' is a fun little track that sounds like an 80s pop tune done by a stadium rock band. And 'You Bet Your Life' finishes the album on another fun, catchy high note. Essentially a song cut in half with a sublime refrain for the second half.
Another great album but not a classic. On every Rush album there are always a few songs that are pure genius. And a lot more that are very catchy that many bands would kill to be able to write. This is no exception.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 2 June 2007
I think I'd be what's termed an occassional Rush fan. I've made an attempt with quite a few of their albums and have to say this is easily the most catchy and approachable - would I upset true Rush fans by terming it pop rock ? , I hope not. Most of their offerings in my opinion take quite a few listens to get into - they're all 'growers' though. RTB however had me hooked from the very first time I listened to it. The title track and 'Where's My Thing' (an instrumental) to me are the stand out tracks - the remaining tracks are however far far away from being filler - I'm being honest when I say there isn't a duffer on the album. If you're new to Rush, I'd start here. Their latest offering of 'Snakes And Arrows' prove Rush are still an amazing band but to me this has to be their finest hour - I'd put this in my top twenty albums of all time without a doubt.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
"Roll the bones" is one of the albums from Rush`s wilderness years in the early 90`s. Having done art rock in the 70`s, and experimented with heavily synthed techno rock in the 80`s, Rush were at a crossroads, searching for a solid new direction. This album doesn`t really provide it, being very similar in sound and style to 1989`s "Presto". However, the excellent songs make it all worthwhile. There is also a loose gambling concept running through the lyrics, although the band deny any deliberate theme.
The album starts with three bona fide Rush classics: the driving "Dreamline", the atmospheric "Bravado" and the controversial "Roll the bones", complete with a cod rap section which you`ll either love or hate. Also of note is "Where`s my thing?", one of their best instrumentals ever, and the upbeat closer "You bet your life" with it`s multi tracked vocal chorus. There`s nothing bad on this CD, even though "Face up" and "Neurotica" aren`t as memorable as some of the other tracks.
This a great improvement on the disappointing "Presto" and has stronger songs than 93`s "Counterparts" and 96`s "Test for echo". The sound is a bit dated compared to today`s standards, as it was the era of big echoey drums and keyboards. This is Rush`s strongest album until 2002`s "Vapor trails".
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
I bought the remastered version of this album recently, having previously owned it on tape. Obviously, it sounds alot better on CD but I'm not sure the remastering has really added anything - Rush albums are very well produced to begin with, except perhaps,Permanent Waves which doesn't sound great even on CD.
Anyway, this album gets 5 Stars simply because it is music written and played by Rush who are one of the most talented and original bands in rock and who are yet to put out a single bad album in 30 years. Some of you might be shouting " What about Test For Echo?" but even that album which is admittedly weak compared to Rush's best, contains a handful of very strong songs.
One of my favourites on Roll The Bones is the title track which has a great verse riff in between Geddy's vocal lines with excellent interplay between all the instruments. The chorus is also very strong and Lifeson gives us another of his fairly short but very tasteful guitar solos, perfectly in keeping with the song.
Other highlights are Bravado with Lifeson to the fore again with a soaring solo, Heresy, relatively simple for Rush but very sincere and Ghost Of a Chance which has a very nifty guitar riff in the verse with a fantastic transition from a pacey verse to a slower dreamy chorus.
As usual, a special mention for Neil Peart whose drumming on this cements his position as the greatest, most inventive and enjoyable drummer to listen to in rock - never over the top in my book, despite what some might say. In each song, his general beats and fills gradually build in speed and complexity resulting in some great moments where he gracefully pans across the entire soundstage.
In all in, a worthy addition to any serious music fan's collection.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
After several perfect if cold,emotionless and lacking the human touch discs,this was a dramatic and truth be told unexpected return to form.From the outset on opening track 'Dreamline' Alex's guitar is back in the fold and upfront in the mix again,a fantastic opener.Combine that with the dramatics of 'Bravado' & 'Big Wheel',the humour of the rap section in the title track,the simply wonderful instrumental 'Where's My Thing?',the cool,casual,laidback class of 'Ghost Of A Chance',then this is a superb disc,indeed every track was a winner.
For the first time in a decade,Rush had made a disc that i truly loved,a direct connection to the class of MOVING PICTURES/SIGNALS,bitter dispointments of the late 80's and especially the two previous discs forgotten,a new era had started Alex's was back!!
on 22 May 2014
Roll the bones came out in 1991 and probably represents they're most accessible and glossy effort. That's not to say that what's here isn't any good. There is a strong undercurrent of commerialisation, but the Rush sound is in tact and the production absolutely flawless. Geddy lee is on fine form and the sound of Alex Lifesons guitar is pushed right to the forefront. In hindsight, this was probably the album that closed the door on the 1980's keyboard saturated sound; and, like the predessessor "Presto" the guitar prominence is increased:- leaving a nice balance of guitar and synths in equal measure.
The songs are nearly all top draw as you would expect. But it's probably the ballad's that steal the show for me on this one. "Bravado and Ghost of a chance" are heartfelt and moving pieces; while "Dreamline" is indeed the quintessential Rush opener, along with the rock pomp of "Face up & the big wheel". An incredible instrumental in the form of "Where's my thing?" is a nice appearance. Roll the bones T/T is a great song, but a slightly tarmished one becouse of a chanting line towards the end of the song which disrupts the quality and flow:- a slight mistake and error. Heresy is a surprisingly lackluster effort from Rush, and "You bet you're life" is a nice piece of pleasant AOR cake.
A couple of some unwise manouvers detract from an otherwise healthy and refreshing rock album. Clearly, it's probably not in the same league as the follow up album:- Counterparts, but it is likely on a par with Hold your fire and Presto.,
on 7 August 2011
There are times when you get to like certain music by word of mouth, from the radio, from web sites and so on. One thing that takes some beating, however, is when you go into a record shop and hear some music and think "Wow! I like that". This is how I came accross this album. The track that clinched was "Ghost of a Chance" - I was really taken by it's sparkly production, just set off fireworks in my imagination. I had to jot down some of the lyrics and do a web search of who performed. I have listened to it online and think this is rather good. Yep, I'm going to buy the cd, sorry Amazon, I owe the record shop a favour!
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 2 October 2010
Even though the rap inspired interlude in the title song will have most Rush fans recoiling in horror and disbelief, the track itself is both melodic and catchy and it is almost certain that it will reverberate around your head for sometime after. That is not bad or annoying because everything that Rush has produced is of immense quality.
Despite it being unfashionable to be modest, unassuming, talented and Canadian, this trio (yes, that is only 3 musicians producing that output) has a substantial, fanatical and loyal group of fans across the globe. Most, if not all of this club will have already eagerly grabbed "Roll The Bones" when it first hit the shelves in 1991 but if you are a fellow Rush fan, and this album has somehow managed to escape you, then here is a statement of huge significance which will make you want to get hold of a copy as soon as humanly possible. In my very humble opinion, the instrumental track "Where's My Thing?" surpasses "YYZ" and is easily on a par with "La Villa Strangiato" and the 2112 Overture.
The remainder of the album is good solid Rush fair which will not disappoint and contains the usual top notch production and arrangements, insightful lyrics and the highest standard of musicianship. Geddy Lee is an unbelievable bass player although his vocal style can be an acquired taste, Alex Lifeson on lead guitars is a monumental talent but so under-rated and Neil Peart just has to be the best drummer on the planet.
If Rush has escaped you so far, but you are ready to take the step which will change your musical appreciation forever, I would suggest that you start your journey with the albums "Moving Pictures", followed by "Permanent Waves", "A Farewell to Kings", "2112" and "Hemispheres" before venturing onto "Roll The Bones". Try a live album such as "Exit .. Stage Left" or the most recent "Snakes & Arrows Live" en route, to hear why a Rush concert is an almost spiritual experience as well as being a great musical occasion.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 16 October 2010
If you had ever told me that Rush would release a track where Neil Peart does a mini rap in the middle of a track .... I would have laughed you out of town. But, as bizarre as it sounds, he does .... and somehow it works for the title track Roll The Bones. This is a storming album ... every single track is incredibley well written, played and produced. Of the modern era Rush, its up there with Power WIndows and Signals as benchmark albums. Its that good.
This album makes Rush so accessible to the newcomer because it has a great range of songs and tempo, Geddy seems to be getting more and more rounded in his vocals and the band seems to be more of a tightly knitted blend than ever before. Superb stuff from the Canadian trio ... its hard to pick the best from 10 great songs but of pushed I would choose (in no particular order) Dreamline, Ghost Of A Chance, Heresy, Roll The Bones, Neurotica and Bravado. The latter two being my personal favourites from the album.
Currently on Amazon for under £5 with free p&p ....... there is no excuse .... buy it and never regret getting into one of the most prolific bands of the past 30 years.
update: as you will read from the message stream below I stand corrected, the rap was infact done by Geddy and not Neil ...... Until now I had always presumed it was Neil Peart due to the near identical sound of his voice-over at the start of The Necromancer (from Caress of Steel) .
on 6 April 2010
This is one of their better later albums with most of the tracks being good with a few excerptions Dreamline and Face up which are very good. I have noticed that a lot of their earlier albums are now being remastered which I find it hard to think how they could make any of their albums better as they were always very well produced in the first place.