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Rush - Hold Your Fire CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.28 | 859 ratings

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2 stars Rush's 1981 album, Moving Pictures would be the last album they released until Counterparts in 1993 that I could say I thoroughly enjoyed. As a fan that had discovered them in the seventies it was with great disappointment that I watched them abandon their heavy rock/progressive early years and descend into more commercial and synth driven music, Alex Lifeson's excellent guitar work often sidelined. When he was to the fore it was with some weedy eighties processed sound replacing his powerful riffing. A run of six below par albums that caused me to just about give up on the band. Sure, they still managed to produce a handful of tracks on most albums that were worth listening to but very little, if anything that I found to be essential Rush. For me they hit rock bottom on Hold Your Fire in 1987.

Of course with a band of Rush's calibre the playing is never less than excellent but the music!!! On Hold Your Fire I can find nothing to lift this album out the depths of mediocrity. The production is terrible; a highly processed typical eighties sound, the type you'd more associate with pop at the time than a rock band. Lifeson's guitar is thin and weak, often overwhelmed by Geddy Lee's synths which took more and more of a front seat during this era. Neil Peart's drumming is a master class in precision, but lacks the excitement of earlier work and ditto Lee's bass playing.

Despite there being nothing particularly bad, I have to say there isn't really a single track that I like here. Ten tracks of commercial lightweight rock that leaves me totally uninspired to hit the play button again. The next two albums would show improvements but it wouldn't be until Counterparts that I could get excited about a Rush album again.

Nightfly | 2/5 |


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