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Rush - Signals CD (album) cover

SIGNALS

Rush

 

Heavy Prog

3.95 | 949 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Sinusoid
Prog Reviewer
3 stars A warning signal.

I once prided myself as being one of the biggest Rush fans around. I acquired all of the first eight studio albums within a year, got a couple of DVDs and even saw them live for good measure. After hanging around with a couple of guys who are bigger Rush freaks than me, I began to get a little uncomfortable with the ''Rush fan'' tag and needed a sabbatical from them, a year to be accurate. So, I purchased SIGNALS during a time when my Rush fandom was waning; not to my surprise, I have an issue with this album.

The issue here is not that Rush threw in synth music and it all fell south. Rush have openly embraced synthesizers since at least 2112 and have slowly integrated it more and more into the music. If anything, Side B of MOVING PICTURES might as well be a clear indication of the direction Rush were heading into. The songs would be simpler in structure, more synth pads would dominate and Neal Peart's lyrics would shift from the fantasy to the psychological.

But here's the issue for me; they've lost it somewhere.

Unfortunately, the so-called ''synth-dominance'' ruins the chance at what I really like to hear from Rush; sharp, punctual bass lines from Geddy Lee. We get that here, but not as often as I would like. Take ''Subdivisions''; most of the time, the bass is missing barring a few spurts where it sails into the foreground with a great lick only to recede just as quickly.

Most importantly, I feel that the overall compositional level is way down from any of their immediate predecessors. ''Losing It'', ''New World Man'' and ''Countdown'' stand out the most here in a positive way, but none would have been strong have they been put on say MOVING PICTURES. ''Digital Man'' has some fantastic bass playing, but the song itself just goes on too long to really make a point; a similar case could be made for ''The Weapon''.

Try picturing the sound as typical Rush meets new wave meets the Police. What we get as an end result is an album that's not horrible (''Chemistry'' would be the only mediocre track here) but not stupendous either. While it's better than what plenty of new wave bands were doing, the name Rush makes me expect more and with the songs being relatively par here, I can't help but feel discouraged.

Sinusoid | 3/5 |

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