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Rush - Signals CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.95 | 1232 ratings

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3 stars Having discovered Rush in the mid seventies when they were at the height of their prog excess, for me Signals was the album where the rot set in. Although it had been clear that for the last couple of albums they were moving towards a more streamlined sound I found the over reliance of synths on Signals a step too far. Sure, they had been gradually increasing their use over the last few albums but on Signals Alex Lifeson's guitar was overshadowed by them. It was also the first Rush album that didn't include any longer tracks, featuring eight songs around the five to six minute mark.

The sound is very eighties, mainly down to the synth sounds and the bands influences were changing. The Police influences that were even more prevalent on following album Grace Under Pressure showed with the mock reggae of Digital Man. A shame really as it has one of the better riffs of the album, but the reggae sections leave me cold. The song structures are also far simpler and less interesting as a consequence. Here Rush were clearly going for a mainstream rock sound which I guess they achieved, no doubt hoping to capitalize on bigger commercial success.

By now you probably gather I don't like this album very much. However it's not all bad news. Subdivisions is unmistakably catchy and there's still the occasional decent Lifeson riff, the best being The Analog Kid where some of his former power is displayed.

As much as I don't like Signals very much I can't really put my hand on my heart and say it's a bad album and I can understand why a lot of people enjoy it. It's just not what I wanted to hear from Rush and it wouldn't be until the release of Counterparts in 1993 that they would release another album I fully enjoyed.

Nightfly | 3/5 |


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