Tag: Alex Lifeson

First impressions – Snakes & Arrows

First impressions – Snakes & Arrows

Music
Here's my stream of consciousness review of Snakes & Arrows, written as I listen to it. "Far Cry" - This is the only song I heard prior to the album release. This is much in the same vein as Test for Echo and Vapor Trails. It has a really catchy chorus, and crackles with more life than all of TFE. And of course there are the Hemispheres-era chord changes, which are sweet. "Armor and Sword" - A little plodding, but I like the addition of the acoustic guitar and the lush (but not overpowering) production. Lyrics are decent but it seems like Geddy doesn't know how to cram that many words into the arrangement. Love the bass tone on this one. More classic era chord changes toward the end of the song. The main qualm here is that it is just too slow, which lessens the impact of ...
Rush Album Countdown: #4-#1

Rush Album Countdown: #4-#1

Music
Well we've arrived, and not a moment too soon! Snakes & Arrows is mere days away, and I look forward to seeing it take its place in the Rush pantheon. But before I reveal the four greatest Rush albums ever, let's recap one last time: Part 1 (#17 - #15) -- Rush, Hold Your Fire, Roll the Bones Part 2 (#14 - #12) --  Test for Echo, Vapor Trails, Fly by Night Part 3 (#11 - #9) -- Caress of Steel, Power Windows, Presto Part 4 (#8 - #5) -- Counterparts, Hemispheres, 2112, A Farewell to Kings For those who have been paying attention, a pattern has been developing over this countdown. Most of the early and recent albums, while good, don't seem to stack up as well. Last time we got into the creamy center of Rush's catalog, and now we reach the rich, nougat center. I think. I don't eat
Rush Album Countdown: #8 – #5

Rush Album Countdown: #8 – #5

Music
If you've been paying attention to the Rush album countdown thus far, you'll notice that with one exception, the remaining albums were released between 1976-1984, a period most fans consider the Golden Age of Rush (although some would stop at about '81 or '82). This is typical of many bands, I think. After finding their way (no pun intended) for a few albums, great bands tend to hit their stride by no later than the 3rd or 4th release. Then it's smooth sailing for awhile. Most bands experience a decline after some time, and it's just a matter of how much that decline is. I think Rush is in a select group that can claim a very soft landing, with some occasional spots of greatness in later years. But I digress... Here's the rundown of things so far: Part 1 (#17 – #15) — Rush, Hold Your
Rush Album Countdown: #11 – #9

Rush Album Countdown: #11 – #9

Music
I suppose I better get cracking on the rest of this countdown if I'm going to make it in time for the May 1 release of Snakes & Arrows. Today we crack the Top 10, which I guess is a pretty big deal huh? But before we get there let's recap the results thus far: Part 1 (#17 - #15) -- Rush, Hold Your Fire, Roll the Bones Part 2 (#14 - #12) --  Test for Echo, Vapor Trails, Fly by Night Everything on the list so far represents albums that are all very good but uneven. To put it another way, even a mediocre Rush album is better than most other bands' stuff. With that in mind, let us push onward! #11 - Caress of Steel (1975) Caress of Steel is where Rush really started to push the limits of their musical abilities. While the results are not consistently great, this is a cruc
Rush Album Countdown: #14 – #12

Rush Album Countdown: #14 – #12

Music
Now that you've had a week to digest the first installment of my countdown of the greatest-ever Rush albums, which shook the World Wide Interweb to its very core, it's time to continue! But first, a quick recap: Part 1 (#17 - #15) -- Rush, Hold Your Fire, Roll the Bones All caught up? Good. #14 - Test for Echo (1996) I guess when you get down to it, '90s Rush just doesn't do it for me (with one exception). Right around the time of Test for Echo's release, Neil Peart had implemented a change in drumming style that Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson claimed brought a freshness to their musical approach. I don't hear it. A lot of this record just sounds plodding to me, which is really hurts otherwise good songs like "Driven," "Limbo," and "Time and Motion." One exception to this is "T
Rush Album Countdown: #17 – #15

Rush Album Countdown: #17 – #15

Music
In anticipation of the May 1 release of Rush's 18th full-length studio album, Snakes & Arrows, I'll be reviewing the first 17 in order of greatness. I'm skipping compilations and live albums, mainly because none of Rush's compilations or live albums are all that essential. And I'm lazy. That can't be stressed enough. I originally wanted to dedicate a post to each album, but I think that would rightly be seen as a transparent attempt to drag this thing out needlessly. So I'll start with 3 at a time, and we'll see how that goes. #17 - Rush (1974) No surprise here. While by no means a bad album, Rush represents a group that obviously hadn't found their own style yet. Most reviews of this album point out how influenced it is by Led Zeppelin and Cream. Honestly I can't hear the...
2 new Snakes & Arrows reviews

2 new Snakes & Arrows reviews

Music
Thanks to a heads up from the Rush is a Band blog, I got to read a couple advance reviews of the upcoming Rush album, Snakes & Arrows. The first one is rather brief, and I'm not convinced it's all that accurate anyway. The reviewer compares the "Far Cry" single to the Permanent Waves album, which suggests to me that he either didn't listen to the song or has never heard Permanent Waves. Further compounding the confusion, he implies that Vapor Trails wasn't all that heavy. Wha?!?! That's a new one. Well at least the review is positive, so that's nice. The second review seems a little more with it, but is also positive. I won't go into the details, but it's worth reading. It is very nice to hear that we will finally get some Alex Lifeson solos - I was worried after hearing none...
New Rush single released – “Far Cry”

New Rush single released – “Far Cry”

Music
As a longtime Rush geek, I always look forward to new album releases, new songs, new tours, etc. So I was delighted to stop by their home page and see that the first single from their upcoming Snakes & Arrows album, "Far Cry," was released today. A streaming .mp3 sample is currently available on rush.com. After just a few listens, I like it. The arrangement is in keeping with the songs on Vapor Trails and Test for Echo, but with some old-school flourishes thrown in (the Hemispheres-era chord changes are so sweet). Even though it's a slightly muddled .mp3, I can already tell that new producer Nick Raskulinecz has done a good job keeping the sound clean but aggressive. Vapor Trails lost points with a lot of Rush fans for being way too "hot" in the mix. One thing that I hope is...