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Rush - Hemispheres CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.37 | 2484 ratings

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4 stars This was both the proggiest thing Rush ever did and the last real proggy album they made. I was never really into the Cygnus story and frankly don't care what it's all about. Neil Peart made a wise decision to drop all the sci-fi stuff after this album and concentrate on more human related topics. I prefer both his lyrics and Geddy's singing in the 1980s than almost anything either wrote or sang in the 1970s. Alex Lifeson, however, did his best guitar playing in the '70s, IMO. I don't think Rush were ever really good at making side-long epics or 3-minute pop/rock songs. Their strength, to me, was in making 5-10 minute songs whether instrumental or not.

The side-long track here has it's moments. Generally I like most of it but the mellower section with 'samples' from the other "Cygnus" song is kinda dull. This epic features what Rush fanboys refer to as "the Rush Chord"(I can't remember what it is exactly as I don't know how to play guitar). I'm not sure if this is the first time they use it here, but they used it throughout the rest of their career. Rush fanboys insist that Rush were the first musicians to ever use this chord. All hail Rush! One of the best things about Hemispheres is that they are starting to use more synths than previously(MiniMoog, Oberheim), and it adds to the music. By the time of, say, Power Windows, they went overboard with the synths and it took away from the music. Apparently Lifeson uses a guitar synthesizer on this album too, but I'm not exactly sure where. I never really cared for "Circumstances" too much, although it does forshadow what they will be doing on Permanent Waves. I actually never noticed that Geddy sings some of the lyrics in French before. Just goes to show how little I cared for/listened to this song.

Okay, now let's get to what I actually *like* about this album. "The Trees" has my favourite lyrics of any Rush song and "La Villa Strangiato" is my favourite instrumental of theirs. In fact, these may be my two favourite Rush songs of all time. Apart from the lyrics, "The Trees" has a super fantastic middle section that I could listen to forever. All three musicians just play their hearts out here. Hell, they play their hearts out on "Strangiato" as well, especially Lifeson. If you want to hear Rush at their proggiest, get this. If you want to hear Rush at their most consistent, get Moving Pictures. 3.5 but I'll bump it up to 4 because they tried so hard.

zravkapt | 4/5 |


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