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Rush - A Farewell to Kings CD (album) cover




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4.33 | 2289 ratings

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5 stars Warning: this is a review done by an extreme Rush fanboy. If the mention of even the word bothers you, then move on to another review.

Now that I got that cautionary message out of the way and you probably ignored it...I'll admit, it's about time I did a Rush review anyway. And what better place to start than with one of their classic albums? I think that for me, this album is tied with Moving Pictures and Hemispheres for my favorite Rush album, since I can't really choose one over the other two. An absolutely fantastic album that highlights what Rush's 70s period was all about, and probably one of the best albums ever written.

1. A Farewell to Kings - Starts with an acoustic passage that makes me picture King Arthur and his court at Camelot, since it's very medieval-like. Wind chimes add to that feeling very well. Around 1:15 in though the rocking comes in which lets us know what's coming next. While Lifeson may not be a virtuoso guitarist, I always feel he really knows how to make his guitar "speak" and give it the right feel for any Rush song, especially with solos like the one on this song. A fantastic opener. 10+/10

2. Xanadu - I sought the sacred river Alph to dine on honeydew and drink the milk of paradise...and found this mind-blowing song instead. One of my favorite parts of Rush's classic period, and especially on this album, is the medieval yet spacey feel present, especially on this track's intro. This is definitely the highlight of the first side of this album, and it pulls out all the stops. This is one of those songs that send chills down my spine then across my entire body when I listen to it. A thousand years may have come and gone since the first time I heard this, but it is an absolutely magical, breathtaking journey. 10+/10

3. Closer to the Heart - The second half of the album kicks off with what is a staple of classic Rush and was a mainstream hit. A fairly short, mostly acoustic song with chimes accompanying it, but it strikes with a powerful message. 10/10

4. Cinderella Man - Here we have the only Rush song where all the lyrics were written by Lee instead of Peart. Powerful bass here, but then again when isn't there any of that in Rush? 10+/10

5. Madrigal - Quite honestly, this is my least favorite song on the album. I think at times it makes me think of Closer to the Heart, but otherwise, I can't really think of an enormous weakness in this track (blame it on my fanboyism if you must, but I'm really trying to be objective with this review). 9/10

6. Cygnus X-1 - Ah, yes, the first part of a concept that was continued on the next Rush album. We have an explorer who enters a black hole and in the end becomes a god, almost a deus ex machina if you will. The song starts with a very spacey, psychedelic section until about 1:25 when a fairly heavy guitar riff comes in and slowly builds in volume until a bit after 2 minutes when it seems to explode. A very heavy (for Rush standards) guitar section enters a bit after 3 minutes. Alex is giving that section a real thrashing. Vocals come in at 5 minutes in. I might get some slight criticism about this from others, but I actually might like Part 1 of Cygnus more than part 2, although both are absolute masterpieces. 10+/10

Despite the fact that I may be a massive fanboy of this band, I still can recognize obvious masterpiece work when I see it. This album is no exception. If you are a member of this site and haven't heard any Rush yet, I guarantee that you will get this album eventually. Being a part of Rush's classic period, this is not an album for a prog rock fan to pass up anyway. I give it 6 stars out of 5, and I'd probably give it more if I could. One of the greatest prog rock albums of all time.

horsewithteeth11 | 5/5 |


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