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Rush - Presto CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.16 | 798 ratings

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Eclectic Prog Team
4 stars Presto is quite simply one of the finest musical products of the 1980s, fusing popular sensibilities and sounds with smart songwriting. I gravitate toward this album simply because it's great music. Take it for what it is.

"Show Don't Tell" With relevant lyrics, Botox-tight drumming and bass playing, and some powerful guitar work, this stands as one of Rush's best songs of the late 1980s. Lee demonstrates that he has not grown lazy with four strings.

"Chain Lightning" The second song on the album boasts discordant chords and a somewhat discordant melody during the verse. The experimental guitar solo sounds weak, especially with the low-lying rhythm section.

"The Pass" Quite simply one of the best thing Rush did since Moving Pictures (and probably the best song of the 1980s proper), "The Pass" is always a joy to hear. Neil Peart's drumming is as fervent as ever, perhaps imparting additional power to his potent lyrics. Geddy Lee's vocal harmonies are simple but impeccable, while Alex Lifeson's guitar is smooth and welcoming.

"War Paint" Powerful music gives way to cheesy synthesizer on this one, unfortunately. The lyrics are also fairly substandard. Despite those shortcomings, Peart's drumming is outstanding.

"Scars" Inspired by African tribal drumming he experienced whilst on a motorcycle tour of West Africa, Peart uses both acoustic and electronic drums here. Despite it's nearness to Lee's bass sound, the bass here is actually a sequencer. The vocals are particularly forceful.

"Presto" The title track is somewhat cheesy, but tended to grow on me over the years. While I used to skip over it each time I played the album, I no longer can do so.

"Superconductor" That heavy riff in 7/4 is a great taste of the fun in store on this track. The chorus is nothing short of enjoyable, and even the synthesizer-laden middle section makes me bask in satisfaction.

"Anagram (For Mongo)" A song loaded with fun but relevant lyrics, the words dominate this track. The music is good also, but not as powerful as the words.

"Red Tide" One of the few Rush songs to employ the piano as a major instrument, this is largely a laid back song with a somewhat forceful chorus. An allusion to Dylan Thomas's most famous poem is a major part of this song. Lifeson shreds a bit, but his tone is one of his worst.

"Hand Over Fist" Thin clean electric guitar runs through the beginning of this amusing track, which I have always enjoyed. Aside from the typical radio-boasted tracks, this is one of those Rush songs I heard growing up, and it holds a place in my heart.

"Available Light" Another track that's heavy on the piano, the final track on the album is slow initially, but does not stay so. The refrains are beautiful and pertinent, and Lee sings at his most spirited.

Epignosis | 4/5 |


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