Friday, May 04, 2007

Rush-Snakes and arrows

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Alright the new album came out on Tuesday and I snagged it at Wal-mart. I think that overall it's heavier at times than recent efforts and I do think they tried some new things here. The production values are as stellar as usual. Tracks like "Far Cry", "Armor and sword", "The main monkey business" and "We hold on" were are all very interesting. There seems to be some fire and creativity left in the band as these songs are evidence of that. They really seem to plunge ahead and go it at times. However the opposite end of the spectrum are tracks like "The larger bowl", "Spindrift" and "Faithless". While these songs are decent, it was like deja vu. The songs would start out fine and then it would feel like the songs could have just as easily have been on "Counterparts" or "Test for echo". Nothing wrong with those albums, but that was ten plus years ago. I am a huge Rush fan and have enjoyed the last few albums, but even I have to admit these albums are at best very good. Unfortunately it has been a long time since they have had a great album. Yes, a good Rush album is still better those people's efforts though. If you are a Rush fan then you will like it and I am sure it will end up on my top ten albums of the year list. However I fear Iron Maiden's 2006 album "A matter of life and death" has changed how I view new albums by older bands. I used to give bands some leeway and say "they're older and maybe it's not fair to compare this with their prime". However last year Iron Maiden's new album was exceptional and ground breaking. Yes, it's Maiden and they are on a different level, but as a fan I can and will have high standards. "Snakes and arrows" is played with a lot of skill and precision yet part of me wishes there was a little more spirit behind it at times.

**Make sure you go and check out Rob's review on this album over at Hard rock hideout.


Blogger bob_vinyl said...

I'm largely with you on this one, except that I view from the perspective of not being a huge Rush fan. I liked the same songs, because I thought they were the ones with energy and punch. In that sense, I think that's something that was missing from albums like Counterparts and what I remember of Test for Echo. The rest of the songs sounded like they were going through the motions. But as you say, going through the motions for Rush is still better than a lot of bands' best efforts.

I really like your point about the new Maiden album changing the way you view new albums by old bands. It makes me appreciate that album even more, because I tend to think a lot of bands get to much of break based on past greatness.

7:02 AM  
Blogger David Amulet said...

On first listen, some of the songs really worked and some dragged.

Every Rush album in the last 15 years has disappointed me at first listen ... and grown on me as I listen to it more and hear the nuances come out. I liked the first five or six songs on this new album much more the second time I listened to them.

I think this is one that I need to soak in for about a week before giving a full judgment. But I think I like the driving guitar edge on many of the songs.

-- david

11:05 AM  
Anonymous Fred Charles said...

I'm loving the new album. Great songs, impressive production.

I give Rush credit for doing what they want to do, instead of delivering Moving Pictures II, which is what some fans seem to want.

6:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, at least the production quality of this one is better than vapour trails. I'm a huge Rush fan but I think they've become a bit mediocre within the last 10 yrs. I agree much of this album could just as well feature on counterparts or even geddy lees solo project my favourite headache. I've always been in favour of their heavier material but they don't seem to really push themselves anymore. They play safe all the time. I'd love to hear some regression to their old concept album days - reputedly, according to the hype, this album was supposed to be just that. It isn't. Not bad but not the most amazing thing I've heard from Rush.

9:45 AM  
Blogger T-_Bone said...

Great points, especially the comparison to Iron Maiden as I feel exactly the same way. AMOLAD was a breath of fresh air.

12:32 PM  

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