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Rush - Hemispheres CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.37 | 2567 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
5 stars HEMISPHERES continues the unique hybrid of hard and progressive rock that RUSH so successfully married together and basically continues where their previous album left off. Literally. I am unaware of any other two-suite composition that ended one album with part one and began the next album with part two. Other than the sci-fi and Greek mythology used to tell the story of how the logical and emotional parts of the human mind are separated into different hemispheres, parts one and two sound very different from one another which makes sense since the different sides of the brain represent two different aspects of human reality. Whereas part one represents the emotional brain and conveys a sense of cohesive flow, part two represents the logical brain and is divided abstractly into several seemingly unrelated parts much as cognitive information tends to be. The results of the second part of "Cygnus X-1" may seem strange at first but I have grown to love it as much as the first part. It's definitely the more demanding listen of the two.

"Circumstances" is a proggy little rocker that is very catchy at the same time. It is basically Neil Peart's introspective take on the time he spent living in the UK which is where both "A Farewell To Kings" and this album were recorded.

"The Trees" remains one of my favorite shorter RUSH tracks which allegorically uses the examples of the different species of trees in competition for the sunlight to represent the trials and tribulations of humanity's own internecine competitive nature to dominate resources for political control. Alex Lifeson just nails it on the beautifully composed classical guitar which belies the hard rockin' tale of the trees that abruptly ends by hatchets, chains and saws.

"La Villa Strangiato" like "Xanadu" is one of my personal all-time musical compositions which has the honor of taking more time to compose and record by itself than most of RUSH's earlier albums. It has also been cited as the straw that broke the camel's back in the tension created by ever upping the progressive ante but what a way for RUSH to end their full-on prog stint. This 9 minute masterpiece is divided into 12 parts which all string together effortlessly. There is even a 20 second part that begins at 5:49 into the song which uses a riff called "Powerhouse" written by cartoon jazz master Raymond Scott.

HEMISPHERES is another huge winner in my book. Unfortunately more albums like this were not to be :(

siLLy puPPy | 5/5 |


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