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This review is from: ROLL THE BONES (Audio CD)
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.
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 28 Apr 2012 14:02:43 BDT
I do enjoy your reviews ratmonkey, especially the Rush ones, when you gonna review Test For Echo?
In reply to an earlier post on 2 May 2012 11:05:58 BDT
That's very kind of you to say G. Young. I am glad you like them. Test for Echo is on it's way - but it's taking a little longer than previously expected as I'm finding it gets better with every listen.
In reply to an earlier post on 2 May 2012 17:50:35 BDT
Last edited by the author on 2 May 2012 17:54:42 BDT
You are very welcome and I look forward to the review. I must admit, T4E was the first Rush album that (initially) disappointed me but after years of listening, I grew to love it. It is a little hampered by the dull production but this, for me, is when Rush really started to strip down their sound.
In reply to an earlier post on 3 May 2012 09:24:45 BDT
On a related note I have just read your excellent review of T4E. I'm afraid you have far more technical expertise than I but I definitely agree that it is their emotional intelligence that ultimately rises them above other artists. They have obviously taken a lot of time and effort to create the album and it is only fair that the listener puts in equal.
In reply to an earlier post on 3 May 2012 17:54:55 BDT
Last edited by the author on 3 May 2012 18:37:22 BDT
Thank you very much, though I got lucky with the T4E review, it just kind of came out in one go. I wrote one for the new Meshuggah album, Koloss, which I quite enjoyed writing but mostly I think they (my reviews) are just okay, describing music and how it makes you feel is I find, very, very difficult because you are trying to describe emotion. Your reviews are always interesting and have a unique character to them, keep up the good work! Looking forward to the new Rush album, (of course) out next month.
In reply to an earlier post on 4 May 2012 11:36:53 BDT
Not at all - it was very eloquent. Yes VERY looking forward to the new one. Bound to be worth the asking price :)
In reply to an earlier post on 4 May 2012 20:04:08 BDT
Last edited by the author on 4 May 2012 20:05:07 BDT
Thanks man. I've heard the new single, Headlong Flight, reminded me a little of Bastille Day in places blended with the Snakes and Arrows material, with all the usual blistering displays of musicianship. Sounds very promising.
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