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Rush - Permanent Waves CD (album) cover

PERMANENT WAVES

Rush

 

Heavy Prog

4.30 | 1425 ratings

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Unitron
4 stars Rush-Permanent Waves: Rush hits the mainstream.

After the intricate epics of AFTK and Hemispheres, Rush started their transition into a much more radio-friendly sound. While still maintaining a couple of Prog epics, even these 'epics' are much more accessible ones. Never going over 10 minutes, you may find this very disappointing at first, however, just because these epics are shorter, it doesn't mean they are not as complex. On PW, Rush eases listeners into the world of Prog.

1: The Spirit of Radio is the 'hit single' if you will, from the album. At the start of the song, I really enjoy the swirling guitar riffs and Peart's drumming really stands out here. After some heavy guitar riffs, TSOR immediately sounds very radio-friendly and different from Rush's previous albums. The song is very catchy, it has some very flowing riffs and an interesting use of different percussion. The swirling guitar I mentioned previously is probably my favorite part of this song. At the end, however, the song transfers into a sort of Reggae sound, which I honestly really dislike. The lyrics as well I feel are pretty mediocre for Rush, being about the invention of the radio, In all, for a 'Hit Single' it's not bad and sometimes really catchy and enjoyable; however, it is pretty mediocre in my honest opinion. (5/10)

2: Freewill is the other single from the album. Again, Freewill immediately sounds pretty radio-friendly as with TSOR; however, I find Freewill much more enjoyable then TSOR. The lyrics are very inspirational, moving away from the fantasy of previous albums and bringing in more of the social lyrics. I love the guitar solo in this song, it is one of my favorite guitar solos of all time. The riffs are great as well, and Peart throws in some double bass as well, that's always good. Lee gives a nice vocal performance here as well. (8/10)

3: Jacob's Ladder is the first epic on PW, and the first thing you will probably notice is the length. Seven and a half minutes for an epic!? Yep, Rush is shrinking the length of their epics, but that is not a bad thing because JL is a very complex song. I love how it starts out quiet and slow with fading in guitar slashes. Lee's lower voice blends in perfectly with the dark and menacing mood of JL. Lifeson's heavy metal riffs are perfectly complimented by some really good orchestral keyboard. These amazing riffs end part one of the epic. Part two starts out with swirling synth and some lower vocals by Lee. The guitar again slowly fades in and really catchy riffs come in. Heavy guitar slashes signal the end. An amazingly complex epic for one so short. A favorite from this album. (9/10)

4: Entre Nous starts out with some honestly very annoying squealing synth. The riffs are catchy like TSOR, but there are acoustics in EN. The acoustics are nice in this track, but I don't really find anything else enjoyable. That squealing synth just really annoys me throughout this entire song. A weak mediocre track. (3/10)

5: Different Strings seems to be called filler quite a bit, however, I find it to be a very beautiful acoustic track. following a darker mood similar to JL, DS has more fantasy-based lyrics sounding like it could of been an outtake from AFTK. I love how everything compliments each other, and the acoustic riffs are so beautifully melancholy they just send chills down my spine. Once the drums kick in, this song just reels you in. The short bursts of electric guitar at the end are nice as well. A woefully underrated track. Another favorite. (10/10)

6: Natural Science is the grand finale, and a perfect finale. It starts out with great acoustics and environmentalist sounding lyrics, before the electric guitar kicks in and just flows perfectly. In the heavy chorus, Peart really nails his drumming here, He just attacks the drum set. The unique glitched out voice in part of the chorus really adds to the feel of the track. You can't help but bang your head during these parts of the track. The keyboard really compliments the flowing guitar, and the dark heavy metal guitar solo is so awesome. NS now changes pace to a much lighter chorus with catchy guitar similar to Freewill, with a solo similar as well. The lyrics are very inspirational as well. smoothly changing pace again, It has some nice guitar slashes and ends with the soft beautiful sounds of the ocean. One of my favorite Rush songs, an excellent album finale. (10/10)

So overall, PW is a great album for easing a listener into the world of prog rock. PW does have a few weak tracks; however, they keep the mood, so the album remains consistent. Even though not nearly as adventurous as AFTK or Hemispheres, PW shows that Rush could keep their Heavy Prog Rock style while being more accessible for a wider range of people. An excellent album, Recommended.

Hope you found this review helpful.

Unitron | 4/5 |

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