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Rush - Permanent Waves CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.28 | 2123 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars A great halfway point between pop RUSH and hard rocking prog RUSH.

Following up 2 of the best progressive rock albums of all time in 'A Farewell to Kings' and 'Hemispheres' was never going to be an easy task but RUSH managed to do a fine job, cobbling together a great album which although quite doesn't reach the same level as it's predecessors is good in it's own right.

Things start off strong with the hard rocking anthem 'Spirit of the Radio' with some fiery guitar work from Lifeson and we catch a glimpse of the synth-pop RUSH that was to come in the chorus but it isn't too bad at this point, the song on the whole is great and the little reggae breakdown towards the end is particularly good. 'Freewill' is very much in the same vein as 'Spirit of the Radio', and is incredibly catchy, there are some great riffs and progressions here.

Jacob's ladder is the first real progressive song on the album and what a song!, it starts off innocuous enough with some nice chords and a bit of marching snare work from Peart before things become staccated before launching into some brooding middle eastern inspired guitar driven territory with a great solo then coming to rest peacefully - one of RUSH's best prog songs. 'Entre Nous' and 'Different strings' are where the album really dives, there is nothing really to these songs they aren't prog and they are quite poppy and weak. Natural science more than makes up for it, easily the best song on the album it starts off slowly before becoming frenetic and incorporating crazy timings with the best synth work in the album and the best solo in the album (Lifeson shreds!). Things end triumphantly with some lighter music and some great bass work from Geddy and some inspired lyrics "Art as expression, not that much it can change, will still capture our imaginations" and yet more shredding from Lifeson - a brilliantly written prog piece.

Overall Permanent waves is a solid album and most of the songs are good or great, it isn't as proggy as previous efforts from the band and is moving towards the more accessible poppy sound on later albums further along in the decade but it's definitely worthwhile for any heavy prog fan and essential for any RUSH fan.

FruMp | 4/5 |


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