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Rush - Power Windows CD (album) cover

POWER WINDOWS

Rush

 

Heavy Prog

3.53 | 706 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

anandrajan
4 stars For me, Rush's Power Windows is their best album period. But I can understand why so many people seem to hate it. For a child of the 80s like me, a combination of synth pop and hard rock is not a problem. It is, however, a problem for many which is why I think they hate this CD. Listening to Power Windows now, I can find more flaws: the echo chamber drumming, the thin guitars and the over produced synth pop, pseudo metal sound. But this shouldn't detract from just how good this CD is which is only revealed after repeated listening.

I think _The Big Money_ is familiar to many. While it has a slick beginning, the place where the song really comes to life is after the 2:45 mark. Alex plays a beautiful shimmering solo with a backdrop of synth fills and skittery drumming which all comes together around 3:50.

I'll pass over _The Grand Designs_ except to note the extended drumming at the end of the song.

_The Manhattan Project_ is probably the most melodic song on the album. If you're not familiar with this song, listen to it after the 3 minute mark. The orchestra sets up the main melody followed by beautiful basswork from Geddy culminating in a tasty Alex solo.

The middle section of _Marathon_ is the most stunning part of this CD. From 2:55 to 4:05, you're treated to a tremendous Alex solo set to a 7/4 beat. The song closes with a truly great chorus, very much in line with the uplifting theme of the song.

_Territories_ has the best lyrics of any song on this album. While it's easy to get put off by the disco beat, if you get used to it, you'll start noticing small things: the far east opening, Alex's powerful playing, Geddy's funk like closing, the synth fills which actually help this song etc.

_Middletown Dreams_ gets going around the 2:00 mark. Listen to the interplay between the synth and the double scratched guitar leading to Alex's solo around 3:00. Watch for the reintroduction of the bass line around the 4:00 mark.

_Emotion Detector_ starts off like a ballad with a synth-guitar interplay that lasts around a minute. This song, however, has a blistering solo between 3:30 and 4:30. Even if the song itself isn't my favorite, the solo is worth multiple listens.

_Mystic Rhythms_ is also probably familiar. Again, while it's easy to dismiss because it sounds like bland synth pop, it reveals much more upon repeated listening. Again, watch for Geddy's bass to re-enter the picture halfway through the song. Notice how Alex and the synth set up a very trippy atmosphere.

While it's easy to derisively dismiss Power Windows as a pompous synth-hard rock hybrid, it is much more difficult to sustain a dismissive attitude upon multiple listening. Rush attempted to marry keyboards with Alex's guitar and Geddy + Neil's rock solid rhythm section. I think they succeeded. The integrity and the musicianship on display overwhelm an initial negative reaction.

anandrajan | 4/5 |

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