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Rush - Signals CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.95 | 1232 ratings

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4 stars This was Rush's last exceptional album. They went on to make some other very good records and even continued to progress as an entity but in retrospect, Signals was the last time the world-class ensemble would truly surprise us with their music and ideas. The uninspired and gloomy Grace Under Pressure was to come next and somehow they were never able to get back the magic (in fact 2007's Snakes and Arrows is the closest they've come to rekindling that old glory). At the time Signals was released, the trio was accused by some of "selling out", "going pop" and God forbid, becoming "a keyboard band". Of course this new sound was a natural extension of what they had done on the previous two albums and the band had never been one to repeat itself, but their hard-rockin' fans cried foul. No matter, the LP turned out to be a wonderful if somewhat restrained session, economic and clean. And filled with really good songs.

'Subdivisions' sets a stark tone and warns of the plight of youth - a continuous subject for this record - Neil Peart's sharp drum accents and sympathetic lyrics, and Alex Lifeson's slippery riff leads 'Analog Kid' featuring some great Jimmy Page-style breaks on guitar. The awkward 'Chemistry' is an academic look at human relations, 'Digital Man' contemplates a cybernetic future, 'The Weapon' is a chilling reflection of the darker side of human nature, and 'New World Man' continues the theme of youth fenced-in. The deep sadness of 'Losing It' expresses the fate of the creative artist and is one of the band's most heartfelt moments, and 'Countdown' ends on an high note with fond memories of early spaceflight.

Balanced between the new sounds of the 80s and their heavy past, Signals was, to many fans, both the end of an era and the start of a new, polished and mature period for this beloved band.

Atavachron | 4/5 |


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