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Rush - Permanent Waves CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.28 | 2123 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars RUSH begins the new phase of their career with an in-yer-face advertisement in the form of "Spirit Of Radio" to begin their 7th studio album PERMANENT WAVES. This leading track not only signifies that they are now more radio friendly and ready to acquire a more diverse following in the process but also it incorporates all of the sounds that represent past, present (of the time) and future RUSH. Throughout their career they have always carried the hard rock torch on every album they put out but on this album they are the closest to a progressive metal sound with a heavy addition of synthesizers to add a thick layer of atmosphere. While they have not totally jettisoned their progressive songwriting prowess that reached its apex on the previous album "Hemispheres," they have toned it down and packaged it into smaller digestible morsels that fit within the context of radio friendly hard rock. They also added newer 80s elements including hints of new wave and the inclusion of the offbeat and staccato reggae chords of Alex Lifeson.

RUSH found enormous success with this album which honed all their talents and synchronized them giving music lovers something easily digestible and yet complex at the same time. A sound that would take them even further on the following release. The huge airplay that this received is one of the reasons I have neglected this album as I have heard songs like "Spirit Of Radio" and "Freewill" enough for a life time despite them both being excellent tracks. Despite the overplayed tracks this album has a few flaws that have always bugged me. One is that "Jacob's Ladder" has recycled parts of "La Villa Strangiato" that are just too obvious for my tastes. There are other less obvious borrowings from previous works as well. For whatever reason I just can't get into "Entre Nous." I can come up with no reasonable explanation. It just creates a cognitive dissonance that I cannot reconcile. The real gem in my opinion is the final longer track "Natural Science" which like the leading track perfectly exemplifies the triumvirate of sound that RUSH featured on in the different stages of their career. The difference is that while "Spirit Of Radio" focused more on the newer sounds, "Natural Science" is kind of a respectful farewell to the old as not too many more tracks of this length would be included in their albums. An excellent but not outstanding album in my book.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |


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