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Rush - Permanent Waves CD (album) cover




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4.28 | 2123 ratings

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3 stars Transition album lacking the best of both styles

Permanent Waves was the transition album from "epic" period Rush of long, winding monsters like Hemispheres to the rock masterpiece of Moving Pictures. It is one of their highest rated albums on the site but I'm in the minority of reviewers who find it a bit on the uneven side. The first two tracks are pointing towards what was coming in earnest on the next release though neither match the quality in songwriting. "The Spirit of Radio" became a huge concert favorite for the band and "Freewill" contains some unbelievable chops by all three that still amaze me. Then comes the highlight which is the dark and brooding "Jacob's Ladder." I just love the snare rolls Peart peels off during the intro. Then Geddy delivers the dramatic, stormy lyrics over the ominous rhythm with some nice keys in the background. It swells into a huge opus with some jaw dropping leads by Lifeson. Like my friend John I have memories of this era Rush which come flooding back when hearing songs like this. Side two is where things drop off pretty substantially with the mediocre "Entre Nous" and "Different Strings". "Entre" is particularly weak with its tiring chorus, "Strings" is a decent piece with interesting downbeat mood but nothing exceptional. The short album closes with its longest track "Natural Science" which despite some interesting change-ups and the usual great playing, doesn't get to where "Xanadu" or "La Villa" took us. Permanent Waves is certainly not a bad album and any Rush fan will appreciate it, but for me it's simply a good album. Each of the next three albums have held up better, and are more interesting and meaningful to me over the decades.

Finnforest | 3/5 |


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