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VICTOR

Victor

 

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3.13 | 35 ratings

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Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer
2 stars Alex Lifeson's solo release is practically a mandatory purchase for serious fans of RUSH, and so long as one's expectations aren't too high, "Victor" proves to be a fun, if light-weight diversion.

Know going in that the sound of this album only rarely resembles anything produced by Rush. For the most part these are straight-forward hard rock tunes, heavy on volume but light on depth. The opener is a big, noisy, riff heavy rocker fans of Lifeson's would probably guess was recorded by someone much less ambitious. While not necessarily bad, it and is numerous cousins, like the driving "Promise" or "Big Dance" don't have much going for them beyond the novelty of hearing Lifeson play outside of his band. However, these songs do score points for me for having many layers in their production, with walls and walls of guitar sound (similar to "Vapor Trails" but with more textures).

Lifeson's playing is, of course, the star of the show, and he certainly delivers. There aren't any stand up and cheer solos or memorable melodies, but rather a fine mix of (noisy) effects, and solos. These are typically short and sweet, shining especially on the instrumental or atmospheric albums. "Shut Up Shuttin' Up" has some of Lifeson's finest jamming ever, and is a clear stand out track for me. The mellow, groovy riffing and crescendo in "At the End" dinstinguished itself nicely for its composition and artistic playing. The rest is pretty much Alex Lifeson by numbers, buried somewhere in clamourus hard rock.

The vocals and lyrics are, unfortunetly, one of my biggest strikes against this album. "Edwin" has an energetic voice but its timbre-- combined with Lifeson's simplistic lyrics-- fail to impress. He's loud, overpowering, and not especially engaging.

Undeniably fun for an occasional listen, but "Victor" would have benefitted more from Lifeson's instrumental prowess than his desire to make a hard rock album. I certainly recommend it to fellow RUSH fans, but it just doesn't have enough going on to make it strong enough to stand on its own without prior enjoyment of Lifeson's body of work.

Songwriting: 2 Instrumental Performances: 3 Lyrics/Vocals: 2 Style/Emotion/Enjoyability: 3

Prog Leviathan | 2/5 |

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