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Rush - Counterparts CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.76 | 858 ratings

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4 stars Presto was a return to form for the band, but Counterparts is their true comeback album. Released in the the classic rock-unfriendly alternative explosion, Counterparts seemed doomed to fail. Presto was good, Roll the Bones was a step backwards, so why should this have been any good? Though Peart uses themes in nearly all of Rush's albums, this is the first- and only- concept album by the band. It deals with relantionships and romance, and it features the band's best melodies in a long while. After half a decade of sitting in the background, Alex gets back to the front for their most guitar-driven album since Hemispheres. Lee has picked up some new tricks and Peart never fails to dazzle.

There are quite a few gems on this album, especially the opener "Animate," which is driven by a great bassline. "Stick It Out" is one of Rush's heaviest songs, and it truly heralds the return of Alex. "Leave That Thing Alone" is a fun instrumental and one of the band's best. "Cut to the Chase" shows off Peart's amazing drum skills. "Cold Fire" and "Alien Shore" show how the band has matured from the sci-fi freakouts of yore. The true highlight of this album, however, is "Nobody's Hero," which is Peart's plea for HIV awareness. It's one of the Peart's most moving songs (maybe even more so thatn Different Strings). It features an orchestra, wondeful vocals, and beautiful acoustic guitar from Alex.

Some criticize the album for sounding alternative. I always defined alternative as alternative to what was dominant on the radio. Now, the term has been twisted into a certain sound, which I think defeats the purpose of being alternative if everyone sounds like each other. True, this almost sounds like a collaboration with King's X. However, you'll be hard pressed to find a concept album in the grunge revolution. The band would follow this powerful album with the flawed but decent Test For Echo, but it would be nearly another decade before they made an album worthy of following this.

Grade: B

1800iareyay | 4/5 |


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