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Rush - Moving Pictures CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.39 | 2935 ratings

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4 stars Moving Pictures was my second Rush album. It's really tough for me to grade this one, since so many Rush releases are great, but I would say this one is certainly among the very best.

''Tom Sawyer'' Is a very cool tune full of complex Lifeson guitar, the signature killer percussion from Neil Peart, and of course the keyboards, bass guitar and singing of multi-talented frontman Geddy Lee. This is not a very long track (only one song on Moving Pictures really is), and it is one of the best songs the record has to offer.

''Red Barchetta'' starts off with some great, dreamy guitar parts courtesy of Lifeson, and the song itself has an awesome rocker of a beat all the way through. A guitar solo at 3:21 starts out very reminiscent of Steve Howe, but soon leads into signature Lifeson. That section is followed by the mighty recurring main riff. As standalone song as well as a smaller piece of the big picture, ''Red Barchetta'' is amazing.

''YYZ''. This is an amazing instrumental full of crazy beats and highly technical playing that was surely an influence on pioneering Prog Metal bands such as Dream Theater and Queensrych.The odd, pounding guitar riffing during the track's opening is obviously a lot of what Tech Metal band Meshuggah are all about. Martin Hagstrom has cited Alex Lifeson as an influence before, and it is at moments like these in Ruch music when I can clearly hear the connection. An all-around great track.

''Limelight''. Whenever a non-prog fan talks about Rush music, this song almost always comes up first. It is certainly among the most well-known Rush tunes, and for very good reason. It's beautiful, complex, catchy and heartfelt. I can't see anybody not enjoying this song unless they simply don't have a grasp on what good music actually is. No, this isn't their most progressive or technical song, but it IS a very enjoyable listen, and one of my personal all-time favorite Lifeson solos is featured, here. This song just rocks, without being so pretentious that it alienates certain people. In short, if a person likes music at all, they will enjoy this song, prog rock fan or not.

''The Camera Eye'' is the one epic track the Moving Pictures album features, and boy, does it deliver! Well . . . sort of. Alright, while I think for the most part, the song is great, it just doesn't feel a tight and together as the other pieces found on the album. That's just my opinion, of course, but it does keep this album from getting a full five from me. There are moments of the vocal melody that sound recycled from ''Limelight'', and the instrumentation itself repeats itself a little too frequently here and there, although Neil Peart's drumming always keeps the song fresh despite that. And there ARE moments within this track that are truly magical, but I just think they could have tightened things up a bit in places. Still a slod track, but my personal least favorite.

''Witch Hunt'' may divide some listeners' opinions, as well. Mainly because a lot more purely electronic effects are used for a good portion of this song's opening, which causes it to take a little longer to really kick in. And even when the song proper DOES get going, it's a much chuggier, slow-moving heavy rocker than the others, and possibly the most simple-sounding song. I personally like this kind of stuff, but I can see why it may seem a little too simple and/or repetitive for some. Luckily it isn't all that long (like all the tracks except for the last one reviewed), so you won't be missing much music if you decide to skip over it.

''Vital Signs''. I love the opening. More electronic stuff, but the instruments and vocals come in very quickly (about thirty seconds in, actually), and the main chorus is very accessible. It's about the same caliber as the last one, in my view. Not the best on the album, but still better than ''The Camera Eye''. A nice gradual fadeout brings this song (and record) to its end. It serves as a good album closer, anyway, but I wholeheartedly feel like the last exceptional track on Moving Pictures is ''Limelight'', and the final three tracks fall a bit short after that.

However, as a complete album, this absolutely cannot be bypassed. I would say this is one of the top Rush records that shouldn't be missing from your collection. Really good. Also, many people do seem to consider this one as the band's pinnacle, so you may just find that you disagree with me on the few criticisms I do have, and unconditionally love the whole thing. But one thing is for certain: it's an album worth owning.

Very happy listening.

JLocke | 4/5 |


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