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Rush - 2112 CD (album) cover




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4.11 | 1935 ratings

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3 stars As much as I have tried to think highly of this very good album, I do not enjoy nearly as much as many other releases. The epic is somewhat banal by this point, even for Neil Peart, a fan of the writings of Ayn Rand. The bottom line is this: It's good rock music overall, and fans of Rush would love it. Otherwise, one could pass it by without missing much.

"2112" Mystical intergalactic noises initiate one of Rush's most revered epic tracks. During the heavily accented prelude, the notes echo out, and from the distance, Geddy Lee's voice contacts the listener, as though lost somewhere in the deep reaches of outer space. The introduction relies heavily on Alex Lifeson's guitar work. A thunderhead introduces Lee's calm and ironic proclamation just before "The Temple of Syrinx" begins. This segment is structurally the most simplistic. Soon, a quiet classical guitar interlude welcomes tranquil waters, and the sound of a detuned guitar (the protagonist having only just discovered the six-string wonder) eventually forms more complex phrases (indicating that the hero is teaching himself this lost art). He produces the chords for the next part. It rises and falls in tempo as the singer excitedly describes sharing his revelation to the others. The rest of the band enters as he tells of his discovery to the aforementioned guardians of society. Even though Lee was never the theatrical vocalist as the likes of Peter Gabriel from Genesis, he does use his range to differentiate between speakers. Lifeson delivers a powerful solo over a spirited reprise of "The Temples of Synrix" once the protagonist is summarily disappointed in the answer he has received. The segment thereafter depicts his despair, and has some brief experimentation with the sound. A stately section follows, but the sound of the waters is heard again, as is the sound of the lonely guitar. Over this, the main character recounts his nightly vision, but falls into a self-detrimental hopelessness. Lifeson rips into one more well-structured guitar solo, just before Lee announces the conclusion of Peart's ill-fated tale. The final minutes employ both heavy rock and experimental guitar work. An ominous and ambiguous announcement terminates the piece.

"A Passage to Bangkok" Over a guitar phrase (with that stereotypical oriental riff), Lee sings fairly simple narrative lyrics about drugs. The lyrics are certainly about marijuana given not only the content and innuendoes presented within, but by the visual presentations on certain tours. There is only one guitar accompanying Lee for a while, but soon the sound becomes fleshed out. Rush's sound here is very close to that of earlier albums (Caress of Steel comes to mind). The chord progression, lyrics, rhythm, and guitar solo are all fairly straightforward, so this song does have a tendency toward being lackluster.

"Twilight Zone" The short introduction is very different from the jazziness that follows. Lee sings what are short synopses of actual plots from the television program. The two episodes are "Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?" and "Stopover in a Quiet Town." Hokey backup vocals whisper beneath him. Lifeson concludes the song with a decent, but fairly uneventful solo.

"Lessons" My personal favorite from the short songs, Lifeson doubles up the rhythm guitar with an acoustic and a sprightly electric. Lee's voice travels quickly from subdued to a high-pitched screech, as he throws in some outstandingly tasteful bass riffs. Peart's drumming is full and lively on this one. It is, incidentally, Lifeson's guitar solo that falls a bit of on the bland side; even as everything is fading out, he still sounds like a tired country rocker.

"Tears" This is a fairly simple song from the pen of the bassist. It is certainly melancholic enough, and Rush's primary album cover designer Hugh Syme puts a further touch on the album by playing the Mellotron. It's memorable after a while, even if unremarkable.

"Something for Nothing" Twelve string guitar, bass, and a simple beginning ends the album. The lyrics are drenched heavily with the philosophy of Objectivism. It's a decent song, but mostly uninteresting (by the time Lifeson begins soloing, the song fades out), and it's a shame the album ends this way.

Epignosis | 3/5 |


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