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Rush - Permanent Waves CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.28 | 2123 ratings

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5 stars This album is not the collaborators' favorite Rush outing, mostly on the grounds that the songs are shorter, and the music accessible enough for airplay. Here's the thing though - in Rush's case, this is a very good thing!

A few elements are gone forever, and they will be missed. Never again will Rush create a sidelong epic such as Cygnus X-1 Book 2 or 2112, and that is a tragedy. Neil has also shifted the focus of his lyrics to more earthly matters, rather than the Tolkien-inspired tunes of old. What we are left with is an extremely refined version of Rush, combining first rate songwriting with incredible technical wizardry.

The strength of this album is this: Rush no longer needs a whole side of an LP to display their creativity. Within the first ten seconds of the first track, it is clear that this is still a group of extraordinary musicians bent on pushing their music to the extreme. The only difference is efficiency. They do not need to write an overture or a twenty-part bridge to get their point across. So skilled and focused is the band that they can accomplish in five minutes what other bands require ten minutes to say. There are catchy yet complex hooks that can entertain the most particular music nerd yet satisfy even the casual listener.

There are still a few more spacious numbers where Rush explores the studio space. Jacob's Ladder and Natural Science are unconventional multi-part suites (albeit more restrained than the longer numbers on Hemispheres) featuring hypnotic time signatures, diverse instrumentation, ambience, and all the charm of the last two albums. This is still 100% prog rock, rest assured!

This album has a slight case of musical anorexia which was very in vogue during the eighties. At only 35 minutes, you will wind yourself wanting much more quantity from this album, so high is the quality. At any rate, this album is still a masterpiece of eighties progressive rock, guaranteed to satisfy any fan of their last two albums.



TwoCents | 5/5 |


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