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Rush - 2112 CD (album) cover

2112

Rush

 

Heavy Prog

4.08 | 1451 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Isa
Prog Reviewer
3 stars |C+| Very good and essential to Rush fans.

Hi everyone! This is my first review after looking around this wonderful site for the past couple years or so, and I figured what better a place to start than a classic album by my favorite band. I look forward to (finally) being a participant in one of the leading sites of my favorite type of music.

This was one of the first Rush albums that I bought after listening to my parents' Chronicles compilation all my life, as I had heard from someone that this is one of their most essential albums. In a sense I disagree, as I consider the following three albums some of the greatest musical work of rock history, but this is definitely a great one to start on, or at least it was for me. But this pretty straight up hard rock for the most part, not too progressive in the conventional sense, but certainly with prog overtones (I mean, how many hard rock bands were doing epics, even at that time? Not too many, I don't think). The Led Zeppelin and Cream influences are still rather obvious throughout, but one can definitely hear the band branching off starting to develop their own sound, which would unleash into a furry of masterwork in the following albums. However, I think whenever I rate an album, I want to consider how the album stands alone and avoid making comparisons. And as this album stands, I feel there is great writing, melodies, riffs, etc., but nothing really that transcending or even outstanding.

The best achievements from this album would definitely include our beloved epic suite, 2112. I'm sure there are plenty of reviews here that go to depths of explanation on this epic I shan't dare to venture, but I think I'll cover the basics just for this review's sake. The lyrics are based around a science fiction novel set in the year 2112. A man in a fascist society discovers a guitar, plays it for the priests of the temples of Syrinx who rule over the people, and is banished for his discovery, not of the guitar but of the concept of self expression he learned from the instrument. He then is confronted by the Oracle who gives him visions of a free thinking society, and realizes he is doomed to a worthless life, and thus commits suicide. This is where I feel the essential brilliance of this album lies: in the lyrical presentation of this story and how the music matches so well with the plot. As so many have said before me, the real point of attaining this album is really for this great hard rock conceptual suite, which is in my opinion some of Peart's best lyrical work with the band. Sometimes I wonder if I have a soft spot for this epic just because I'm overall pretty anti-government libertarian minded, as it seems that was the idea Peart presented in the lyrics. Again, there are some reviews I've read that go much more in depth with all this, and I won't invade their territory. Overall I wouldn't say the musical quality is masterpiece material, but it's pretty up there. Everything Rush does best (which is a lot) can be found here, but a bit more on the basic hard rock oriented side (which I love, but don't have full musical respect for compared to most stuff on this site.)

The songs following the epic on side two are definitely, almost ridiculously dwarfed by the epic. Passage to Bangkok is a Rush classic, period. But other than that the following tracks are quite mediocre, which is probably what mainly keeps this album from hitting four stars on my rating scale. As you'll read in most reviews on this album, the paragraph about the epic is huge, and the paragraph for the rest of the album is either smaller or more drawn out. I really dislike Twilight Zone, I consider it one of the few honestly badly written tracks Rush has made. Lessons is a catchy song, and Tears and Something for Nothing are very mediocre, I enjoy them in a hard-rock fanboyish sense but can't site them as something I'd recommend to anyone else. And seriously, when you look ahead at even the album following this, you wonder how these tracks ended up like most of Rush's early material. I guess they put most of their focus in the epic, which I suppose payed off in the end.

This is certainly a wonderful album for the prog-newbie to check out if they want to become familiarized with the music of Rush. It is also essential to the Rush fan, as many as there are of us out there. But it's not the album I'd recommend to the staunch prog listener, I'd tell them to go straight for the gold (the following three or four albums).

Phew, that was a good first review, I think. I certainly look forward to future reviews, and I'll try to mainly focus on albums that get less attention. Again, I'm pleased to be participating in one of the leading website communities on progressive music, and in a sense giving back to all of the incredible music this site has lead me to discover. Happy progging everyone!

Isa | 3/5 |

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