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Rush - A Farewell to Kings CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.33 | 2289 ratings

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4 stars Enter the second (and finest) era of Rush's career.

Here is where the band begins making their own brand of stunning, conceptual prog-rock. Lifeson abandons his traditional Zeppelin-esque tone for a cleaner, more refined sound. Geddy's bass lines are beginning to become ultra technical. Neil's drum set has doubled in size to include gongs, bells, chimes, and about a million other trinkets listed fully in the liner notes. Keyboards also make their first serious appearance.

The two long songs are the standouts here. Xanadu and Cygnus X-1, at about 10 minutes a piece, show the band's songwriting skills becoming much more intelligent, blending dozens of different parts into a cohesive whole. The time signatures are odd, in the instrumentation is diverse, but never does the music become overtly intellectual or cerebral the way that, say, Gentle Giant does. Rush puts the rock in prog-rock, if you will.

Though highly recommended, Cinderella man and Madrigal do not soar to the heights of the other tracks here, so I can't quite call it a masterpiece. Hemispheres on the other hand...


TwoCents | 4/5 |


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