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Rush - Clockwork Angels Tour CD (album) cover




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3.99 | 118 ratings

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Enigmaticus Rex
5 stars This is a phenomenal live recording, enhanced by the addition of a nine member string ensemble. As far as I am concerned, whenever anything can be done to bring about the enhancement of Rush's songs; it is always better. The Clockwork Angels String ensemble is composed of great musicians who have redefined Rush as a symphonic progressive rock band; their interpretation of songs from Clockwork Angels is precise, uplighting and beautiful, providing each of these songs with a dramatic flair which would further improve their already superlative compositions. The bulk of the material that the ensemble enhances comes from the Clockwork Angels' album. The remainder comes from two of their more popular recordings, Power Windows (Manhattan Project) and Roll The Bones (Dreamline). There is also a song from Grace Under Pressure (Red Sector A) and Moving Pictures (YYZ) which also receive this symphonic enhancement.

The first set is a hodgepodge of earlier Rush classics, beginning with 'Subdivisions' from "Signals" and concluding with 'Far Cry' from "Snakes & Arrows." Much of this set is dominated by songs from "Power Windows," including 'The Big Money,' 'Grand Designs' and 'Territories', "Roll The Bones" is represented by 'Bravado' and 'Where's My Thing' and the remaining songs are either from "Signals" (The Analog Kid), or "Grace Under Pressure" (The Body Electric), or "Hold Your Fire," (Force Ten). These are all great songs, although I think that 'Bravado' would have been another great song to re-interpret with the addition of the string ensemble.

The second set and a portion of the third set however is what makes this recording spectacular. First of all, let me say that I am not and have never been, a Rush purist. In my honest opinion, whatever can be done to enhance their work is perfectly acceptable. Therefore, the songs on this disc are enhanced by the support of the Clockwork Angels String Ensemble. Beginning with 'Caravan,' we are led on a personal journey through some individual's life. 'Caravan' is extraordinary and sets the stage for the sublime 'Clockwork Angels,' the gripping 'Anarchist,' the dark and moody 'Carnies,' the intensely sad, but beautiful 'The Wreckers,' the energetic 'Headlong Flight,' the serene 'Halo Effect,' the intense 'Seven Cities Of Gold,' the reflective 'Wish You Well' and the superlative 'The Garden.' 'The Garden' has the elements which have made it an instant classic, it is sublime, understated and ethereal. Geddy Lee's singing reaches a new level of calmness, heretofore unknown.

The third set begins with the extraordinary 'Dreamline,' from the magnificent album "Roll The Bones." To those detractors who do not like "Roll The Bones," for some unknown reason, one cannot deny that Geddy Lee's voice had never been better before, nor since the release of that recording. On this particular song, the Clockwork Angels String Ensemble adds greatly to the overall atmosphere of 'Dreamline.' In my honest opinion, this version is even better than that on "Roll The Bones." The remainder of the songs, 'Red Sector A' and 'YYZ' benefit greatly from the String ensemble which adds more depth and texture to each of these songs. Of course, I was not surprised by yet another version of those Rush staples, 'The Spirit Of Radio,' 'Tom Sawyer,' and '2112,' but 'Middletown Dreams,' 'The Pass' and 'Manhattan Project' were spectacular. Conclusion: I highly recommend this recording; it is one of Rush's best live albums!

Enigmaticus Rex | 5/5 |


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