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Rush - Signals CD (album) cover

SIGNALS

Rush

 

Heavy Prog

3.95 | 962 ratings

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Epignosis
Special Collaborator
Eclectic Prog Team
3 stars Rush had embraced the 1980s, mullets and all, and it shows with this album. No doubt this record proved divisive among fans, but as with most work from Rush, there's not a whole lot to dislike.

"Subdivisions" Signals represented a major shift in sound for the Canadian trio, and that is evident right from the first song, with those synthesizers providing the foundation (although the previous album hinted toward this direction). This incredibly catchy tune contains some of the band's most relevant lyrics.

"The Analog Kid" One of the coolest riffs of Rush's career is right here- the whole song is an upbeat rocker, with Alex Lifeson laying on the flanger nice and thick. His guitar solo is a bit messy, but still exhibits the man's chops.

"Chemistry" Another song that successfully brings together synthesizer pads and lead guitar, this one begins fantastically but is something of a clumsy rocker overall. Believe it or not, I could hear this song sung by Jon Anderson- it feels like it would have been home on another album released around that time, called 90125.

"Digital Man" This song is a really nice shuffle that brings in elements of reggae. The main riff, with that shimmering yet somewhat gritty guitar, is yet another highlight of the album. Parts of it really sound like The Police.

"The Weapon (Part II of Fear)" The longest track on the album opens with steady, almost mechanical drumming, electronic noises, and clean guitar. While I enjoy this track and while I think the lyrics are important, it's a very bland composition compared to several of the other songs here. Toward the end, Geddy Lee shows off his bass prowess a little bit.

"New World Man" Beginning with a well known electronic introduction and soft electric guitar, this is a bouncy tune that's incredibly catchy. Even the first time I heard it on the radio, it was forever stuck in my head!

"Losing It" Ben Mink's violin is absolutely gorgeous on this song, such that it all sounds virtually nothing like Rush (of any period). It is by far the softest piece of the album and includes delicate twelve-string guitar in the background.

"Countdown" The sound of a rocket flying past begins the final track, the one I think is the weakest on the album. The rhythm mainly consists of a synthesizer pounding out the same note, accented by Neil Peart, and made fuller by some smooth guitar. I rather like the synthesizer lead, but the constant radio talk proves irritating. The bass work is good and chunky, but so much of the vocal melody seems forced to fit the words, which contain some pretty bad clichés.

Epignosis | 3/5 |

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