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Rush - 2112 CD (album) cover

2112

Rush

 

Heavy Prog

4.09 | 1484 ratings

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Draith
3 stars More a 3.5 really.

I have listened to compilations of Rush music all of my life (thanks to my parents, bless them), but this is really the first album I owned of theirs. I even had a few friends who spoke of Rush's "20 minute long song (!)" epic 2112, and finally about a year ago I bought 2112 and have listened to the album a million times since.

The song 2112 is a masterpiece of an epic, only musically second to Cygnus X-1 Book 2 in my opinion. Rush finally really kicked off with progressive elements with this album. What they did with the epic is somewhat similar to what authors of literary merit do with their books; the craft is complimentary, and sometimes parallel with the textual content. It is all a commentary (from what I hear, based on a novel) on the dangers of a society ruled by religious, fascist, and technological figures, and how they would one day deprive us of our freedom to attain individual enlightenment. Overture is, well, self-descriptive. Temples of the Syrinx has Geddy practically screaming the priests' words of demand for submission with Alex playing a quite imposing sounding riff. Discovery has our hero find a guitar and in a way, attains enlightenment. Now this important point and is often missed: the guitar has almost always been a symbol of freedom of expression, the freedom to "make their own music," and would especially be so to libertarian musicians as the Rush members are. Musical-lyrical parallels are especially prominent in this section of the epic, such as when plays "notes that fall gently like rain," were individual guitar notes are each gently plucked to simulate the description. In Presentation, as one might expect, the protagonist is persecuted when he presents this item to the priests. "Forget your silly whim, it doesn't fit the plan!" They disapprove greatly that he is starting to become independent of their strict teachings. They destroy his guitar and cast him out. The Oracle allows him to see a growing society of free people "light-years away" and that they may someday "tear the temples down." This epic ends with the hero tragically dieing, his life without freedom being "cold and empty."

More to it than you previously thought? And now the reasons why I rated it a good. The entire album, even the epic, is not wholly progressive with Rush still clinging to their Led Zeppelin roots and just now surfacing as a major player in progressive act of the seventies. I don't recall any odd time-signatures (sorry if I maybe missed one or two), that much diversity or sophistication (compared to their later albums of course) and only the lyrical content pokes its head out as truly strictly progressive. And finally the rest of the album was dwarfed in quality songwriting compared to the epic. As much as I love this album, I feel it is really good but by no means a masterpiece. Still, 2112 was an artistic launcher for one of the greatest progressive bands of all time, and a must for any Rush fan who enjoys their early music.

Draith | 3/5 |

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