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Rush - Hemispheres CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.37 | 2365 ratings

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5 stars Rush reached a certain pinnacle with Hemispheres. Sure it may seem that it is their most pretentious album, but you can't deny the innovation here and how well the trio works together. I must first note that for 1978, the production on this album is very good for the year, especially on the remastered editions. The album kicks off with the side- long "Cygnus X-1 Book II: Hemispheres," which is a more in-depth extension on the original Cygnus epic from Farewell to Kings. Alex Lifeson's guitar is very crisp during the piece, sonically enhanced more than ever. Geddy Lee and Neil Peart are still top-notch as a rhythm section, though Geddy still belts some of those high notes throughout. You have to figure out the story for yourself; regardless, Neil shows great writing ability yet again, especially with being able to create such a "sequel." The other side begins with the short rocker "Circumstances," with Geddy's catchy bass dominating, and funky time signatures in the musical composition. "The Trees" is my favorite, with Neil going on a semi-political rant with oak and maple trees being symbolic of social classes, "all kept equal with hatchet, axe, and saw" in the end; Geddy's keyboard break combined with another shining Alex solo drives the piece home towards the last verse. Finally there is the 9.5 minute instrumental "La Villa Strangiato," where all three members really get to show off. Alex's classical guitar intro leads into a fade-in where electric guitar is joined by synth, then drums, then bass, before the catchy melody flies in at speedy tempo. Neil has amazing precision behind a drumkit, as you can tell by his signature cymbal taps prevailing in this number, which is based upon a dream. I was very impressed by the compostion, musicianship, and some of Rush's best production (only Moving Pictures might have better procudtion sheen than this one). Overall, Hemispheres may be the least accessible album of the Rush catalog, but you could grow to love it if you like to hear more complexity and less progressive-pop-metal or what not. Just an amazing trip.
CVoss | 5/5 |


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