Top critical review
7 people found this helpful
on 2 May 2007
I have not totally got into this latest offering admittedly, but, as with all the post Presto releases it does not inspire. I am inclined to ask, are Rush losing it?
The overall sound causes me to think of a sea whipped by high winds keeping it flat. To quote from Presto, "if I could wave my magic wand..." I would have liked to see a brighter texture with more soaring guitar rather than the dense churn of recent releases. "I had a dream of the open water" for this latest album, with more waves from Mr Lifeson in particular. In Rush speak, that would read "When something left the ocean, to crawl high above the foam." Instead, Snakes and Arrows creates too few waves, too little foam, and thus cannot surf above it. There is neither the emotion of a "Mission," nor the sheer exuberance and originality of a "Xanadu." The overall fare is still worthy enough, but it feels to me like the reheated leftovers of a satisfying, if non gourmet, meal first served up on the Counterparts menu in 1993.
My overall, admittedly early, impression is one of a mushy wall of sound on too many occasions.
While I will delight in seeing them again in concert in the UK, I just don't "feel that elation" which I did feel through HYF and up to Presto. The old days of Rush were great, if perhaps slightly overblown. The middle period contained interesting artistic development, but the last ten years see them, in my view, stuck in a groove. Maybe they have set the bar so high that, almost four decades on, it is almost impossible to vault it. Next time, they need to let rip with a bit more passion. The last 14 years feel like an overdose of cool, philosophical detached views of the world. I ask myself, does this release really add to my musical pleasures on the level of a Farewell to Kings, a Moving Pictures or indeed, looking further afield, the likes of a Misplaced Childhood or Dream Theater's Scenes from a Memory, which really life me out of my seat.