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Rush - Permanent Waves CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.28 | 2123 ratings

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3 stars Never a band that attracted my attention, I've long resisted listening to any of their post-All The World's A Stage albums just cuz I felt that I had "outgrown" their music (as I had Sabbath, Led Zepp, Heep, BöC, and all the heavier proto-prog rock bands of the 1970s).

1. "The Spirit of Radio" (4:56) tight, refreshing, radio friendly. The reggae section is weird--as is the solo section at the end. (8.75/10)

2. "Freewill" (5:21) Nice instrumental passage in the fourth minute, otherwise, a forgettable song. (8.75/10)

3. "Jacob's Ladder" (7:26) long, slowly developing introduction period before Geddy's singing joins in around 0:45. Thereafter, sounds like a song lifted by Spinal Tap for their 1985 mockumentary before switching to a little more disciplined version of a Led Zeppelin song for the instrumental passage in the second and third minutes. A sparse, slowed down passage in the fourth minute, which builds and eventually comes back to a protracted jam that ends with a return to Geddy's singing for the finish. Not bad. (13/15)

4. "Entre Nous" (4:37) a solid construct with little emotional impact until the instrumental section in the third and fourth minutes. (8.75/10)

5. "Different Strings" (3:48) one guitar being picked while Geddy sings. This sounds like a template and precursor to many of the hair band hit ballads in the 1980s. Greatly engaging chords, palette, and construct. My favorite song on the album despite the bluesy lead guitar solo at the end (that, interestingly, gets faded out). (8.75/10)

6. "Natural Science" (9:17) (/20) - i. Tide Pools (3.5/5) - ii. Hyperspace (4.25/5) - iii. Permanent Waves (8.25/10)

Total Time 35:25

All in all, an album of solid compositions, very solid performances, that definitely show the band's development and maturity as both instrumentalists and songwriters since their earlier days. But, in the end, this is not the kind of music that draws me in or even interests or impresses me. (I have, after all, heard lots of Yes, McLaughlin, Zappa, Area, PFM, Banco, and RTF. These guys are tight but nowhere near as impressive as the former. As we say, "Nothing to write home about.")

B/four stars; an excellent contribution to prog world and a solid indicator of this trio's evolution into the icons that they've become.

BrufordFreak | 3/5 |


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