1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This one will get better and better,
This review is from: Clockwork Angels (Audio CD)
Every album Rush have produced since the heady days of Moving Pictures has had at least 2 or 3 good tracks on it and while I was really pleased with Vapor Trails I found Snakes and Arrows a bit more of a mixed bag.
Clockwork Angels is the best of the three post hiatus albums by a margin and while it is too early to tell for sure I think there is an argument for this being the best album since Power Windows.
The album starts with the two pre-released tracks Caravan and BU2B which is a pity on first listen as the rest of the album is fresher and it detracted from that initial buzz of listening to an album for the first few times. That said, this is a loose concept album and there is a story going on around the songs so it makes sense to place them where they are.
There are twelve tracks on the album (11 if you discount the reprise of BU2B) and they are all of good quality with a handful of early standouts to grab the attention and pull you in to the album as a whole. The mid-section of The Anarchist, Carnies and Halo Effect is a superb run of potential classics with The Wreckers providing another 'hit'. The total standout is the superb closer The Garden. Genuinely up there with the best songs they have ever produced. It has everything - heart and soul combined with excellent lyrics and great instrumentation.
My only criticism of the album is the production. I bought the 'fan pack' so have the CD but my first listen was on a lower spec PC and the mix sounded very muddy; like there was great gig on inside the stadium but I was on the outside.
Since then I've listened through a few more times on better equipment and the mix is very bassy - which is great if you have the kit to do it justice but something to watch for if your main listening is with in-ear phones on a mobile device.
Even on a half decent system I had to take the bass down a notch to hear the melody properly.
I'd also point any fans in the direction of the CD booklet. This is the first time in ages that I've taken the time to read the sleeve notes etc and it did enhance the pleasure of the music. The short paragraphs that introduce each song help place it in the overall narrative and make the lyrics more accessible. It's a loose concept at best but works reasonably well.
The extras that come with the fan-pack are of secondary interest. I'm a bit old to get excited over a couple of posters and a keyring but the magazine is full of interviews & reviews and is of similar quality to an normal Classic Rock magazine ( so in fairness worth the £5 extra). The main benefit was to get access to the album a full month in advance and thankfully that has not been disappointing.
Overall I'd say this is a 4 star album - it's not the best Rush have ever produced but it is damned good and suspect that it will grow better with repeated listening.