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Rush - A Farewell to Kings CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.33 | 2289 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars A Farewell To Kings was Rush's first album in around two years and it saw them move in a different direction, or a new phase as they started to write with a different edge than the hard rock based fundamentals of their earlier work. 2112 was to date their most successful album and this ( A Farewell...) collection of songs was a sizable shift in musical styles which is more in keeping with the emerging new wave, although subtle as may come across. But while some of this album certainly works well and sounds cohesive there is still much of the music which comes across to me as naive and even unfinished. "Cinderella Man" being one side of the coin. A simple throwaway piece with a sympathetic vocal and some of Lifeson's better guitar playing but it not as enjoyable as "Closer To Heart", a short song that provided Rush with some airplay during and after the release of A Farewell To Kings. It is a song which would almost defy Rush's prog like tendency and veers toward middle of the road and safety. But while the band take on new structures with varying key signatures and time changes some of it, for me at least, sounds forced and unfocused. "Cygnus X-1" starts off promising but soon turns very ragged and that electro/robotic voice definitely sounded dated by the end. "Cygnus..." also serves as a prelude to another self same track on "Hemispheres", as part of a suite, which would follow this album a year later. "Xanadu" sounded a trite unfinished to my ears and the chorus very uninspired. To me it sounded as if Rush were forcing themselves to become a staple prog band, Yes were never a million miles away from this sound at their peak a couple of years earlier but they may have defined it better. Rush may well have been a progressive rock band but there may well be a generic identity with the tag prog rock. With a Farewell To Kings I think Alex, Geddy and Neil nailed it. Personally I feel it lacks the earthy and honest quality that made 2112 or even the much criticised Caress Of Steel so successful. But of course like this one, that argument is arguable. For what it's worth the lyrics on 2112 come across more convincing and with more passion. A Farewell To Kings has a cold and distant feeling for the most part, though certainly not a bad album. In my opinion it just lacks a drive to make it more memorable.
Philo | 3/5 |


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