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Rush - Counterparts CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.76 | 876 ratings

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3 stars Following on the heels of the moderately successful Roll the Bones, Rush released Counterparts in 1993. The band practically eliminated synthesizers from the overall sound, here and there being used as backdrops. The music on Counterparts is highly guitar-oriented and much heavier sounding than previous efforts, hearkening back to their 1970s sound in some ways (but not in style). I also sense a clear 1990s alternative rock influence throughout the album.

The formula is again shorter pieces of music, primarily radio-friendly. From time to time the album feels kind of harsh in sound. It kicks off with a great start with the song Animate, but quickly loses my attention as the album progresses, with some notable exceptions being Nobody's Hero, Alien Shore, and the instrumental Leave That Thing Alone.

I'm not so sure I'm fond of the direction Rush took with this album. Over the years I have noticed their incorporation of styles from other genres that were making it big at the time, like reggae and ska in the 1980s, then African tribal percussion in the late 1980s, and now alternative rock from the early 1990s. One could say Rush was evolving, but after more than a decade they've stuck to a formula while adding in little nuggets. Were they trying to expand their sound or market themselves towards the next "in" thing. That would make an interesting debate. I think their experiments with reggae influences was interesting, but I was never fond of the 1990s alternative rock scene and thus, this leaves a sour feeling to my ears when I listen to some of this album.

I still think the good songs on here outweigh the poorer tracks, so a three-star rating seems suitable to me. Good, but not really essential. Rush has many more much better albums in their discography than this one and by 1993 prog was starting to make an underground comeback and there were much better releases than this one that year.

progaardvark | 3/5 |


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