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Rush - Vapor Trails CD (album) cover

VAPOR TRAILS

Rush

 

Heavy Prog

3.45 | 637 ratings

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Progrussia
4 stars In my view, Rush is one of the best-preserved prog dinosaurs, consistently releasing new material into their fifth decade with basically no-change line-up. At the same time, its clear that their creative years are behind them. For those new listeners who started with their best work and moved on to the rest, the thing to know about late-period Rush is that they are not especially progressive, fast, catchy or melodic. The best words to use, I guess, is mature, textured and groovy. They are also prone to filler songs.

Vapor Trails is known in the Rush canon as the album with perhaps most inspired, hard-hitting songs since the 80s (my favorites are the explosive rocker One Little Victory, and dreamy-yet-heavy Earthshine with its monster opening riff), but with atrocious muddy and compressed production. Even the band members were ashamed. The remastered version was finally released in 2013 in 8-disk box set, and it was this that prompted my review. Frankly, any remix would be an improvement over the original, and this manages to clear out the instruments. You can actually feel the layers. But there is only so much a remix could do with the source material. At times it sounds hollow and lifeless, and the vocal is mixed way upfront. They also couldn't get rid of the hugely annoying whiny ooh-ooh backing vocals. But for those looking for the best-sounding versions of the songs, luckily there is the huge Rush live canon. I know that I prefer a live version of Earthshine, for example, with a better guitar solo.

Progrussia | 4/5 |

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