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Rush - Permanent Waves CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.28 | 2123 ratings

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5 stars Sometimes albums can take several bashes about in order to understand what goes on. If you don't get what my jive is, let me explain it this way; I once thought that PERMANENT WAVES was fluttered with too many flaws to achieve the masterpiece status even though I loved quite a good portion of the album. I even reviewed the album during the growing phase (the original review date was 4/25/2008; the day of re-write is 5/22/2009) hoping there would be an epiphany to come. I already know the euphoria of the two most ''prog-like'' songs (''Jacob's Ladder'' and ''Natural Science'') but I'm going to go on and say that ''Natural Science'' is possibly nine minutes of exactly what Rush represented in their heyday; intricately structured epic-esque pieces of music littered with blistering guitar solos and drum fills, odd metred riffs that harken to hard rock all in a pace that will keep the listener interested throughout.

Even if we don't observe the longer pieces, the shorter ones also deserve their fair share of praise. Songs like ''Freewill'' and ''The Spirit of Radio'' sacrifice the weird fantasy themes and banshee shrieks of earlier albums in favour of bright guitar riffs and pop-like sensibilities with an insane amount of tweaking to them. ''Entre Nous'' might be a little ho-hum compared to everything else, but I still have a soft spot for it. ''Different Strings'' will be filler for most people, but I've found it to be one of the better cases of Rush goes soft along with ''Madrigal''.

I'd say that PERMANENT WAVES is much better than HEMISPHERES simply because on the latter effort, Rush tried way too hard to have prog kudos and ended up having a bloated epic. However, I think PERMANENT WAVES has more focused songwriting and tighter interplay all the while retaining that heavy-progressive edge that characterized Rush's previous two efforts. An absolute highlight for any Rush fan.

Sinusoid | 5/5 |


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