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Rush - Presto CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.16 | 798 ratings

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4 stars Ah, the magic had returned. "Show Don't Tell" slaps the listener around with its tight, sinuous mix of bass, drums and guitar while pushing the synthesizers back where they belonged. Credit coproducer Rupert Hine for helping RUSH rediscover where their true power lie: superlative musicianship, forceful imagery and rational exuberance. For the opening track alone this is the best RUSH album since "Signals", but "Presto" is not a case of top-loading the deck this time. The disc rocks hard from every angle, like the caged energy of "Chain Lightning", "War Paint" and "Superconductor." If you've been lulled to sleep by the synthetic softness of "Grace Under Pressure" or "Hold Your Fire", "Presto" is the wake-up call you've waited for. It'ss their leanest album since "Power Windows", but rendered with much more energy and technical skill. In fact, with this album RUSH began to show up in the heavy metal category (they did rock harder than Tull), joining borderline prog/metal acts like KING'S X and QUEENSRYCHE in that molten middle earth. There are still nods to their past work; "The Pass" sounds a lot like "Second Nature", while "Turn The Page" reappears in a few tracks. Of course, those were some of the better tracks from "Hold Your Fire", and it certainly does seem on "Presto" that RUSH and Rupert Hine were able to distill what was best about the band and replicate it across an entire disc. "Presto" and "Hands Over Fist" are also excellent cuts that rank with the best work from their last few efforts.

Having closed the '80s chapter with the live "A Show of Hands", "Presto" bodes very well for the future. Again RUSH had regrouped and revised their approach to stay relevant, once more proving that their vision of prog rock could take root anywhere, anytime.

daveconn | 4/5 |


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