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Rush - Grace Under Pressure CD (album) cover

GRACE UNDER PRESSURE

Rush

 

Heavy Prog

3.70 | 838 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Jazzywoman
4 stars With on of Rush's most bleak sounding records, no wonder this album gets such mixed reviews. I find the album increasingly successful over the years, as the band had hit a peak with their New Wave influences, albeit with modern (at the time) Progressive Rock and Art Rock infleunces. The band had put together it's most intense work of the 1980s.

1.Distant Early Warning - Easily a favourite of mine off of this album. The song has a sound effected delay intro, where the band leads off into an almost apocolyptic style of playing. The song isn't particularly played with aggressive motifs, yet the subject matter and the almost dull sound of the band work well together to make a synth drenched classic. Geddy Lee takes command on his new steinberger bass guitar, as the new shape of the bass allows him to move quicker with his large array of keyboards, while losing a bit of tone. Alex Lifeson seems to be a more background player on this song (as with most of the bands 1980s output), yet he adds a sharp undertone with his chorus infected sound. Neil Peart, as always, seems to be the most consistent of the bunch, even with flourishings of electronic drums. The forces of Lee, Lifeson and Peart come together to create this excellent track. (9.5/10)

2.Afterimage - After such an intense opening track, this song is surely a letdown. It's not as bleak as the above mentioned track, and dosen't seem to work as well instrumental. Lyrical subject is a bit underworked about the loss of a good friend and structurally flawed in both lyrics and music substance. Lifeson hard-edge guitar work is only made sloppier by the odd synth spurts from Lee, who actually turns in an excellent vocal performance. Peart seems to be playing his top game on this track, showing a bit of emotion by the awkward playing of the other two band members. A total disaster, to say the least. (5/10)

3.Red Sector A - The album seems to get back on track with this song. An almost droning effect from the band, Lee puts his newly obtained synths and keyboards to good work, while having an excellent vocal melody over the steady and pulsating beats. The sound of this song is huge, with large guitar shouts and heavy drumming from Lifeson and Peart, respectivly, adding to the whole synth and grey soundscape. The song, if I heard correctly, is about the holocaust and surviving everything about it, as Lee's parents were holocaust survivers. Thank god those Germans shaped up in the late 1960s and early 1970s with their great Krautrock! Back to the point...excellent and essential listening. (10/10)

4.The Enemy Within (Part 1 of 'Fear') - The most enjoyable of all the Fear songs, easily. Though most of the Fear trilogy is very New Wave influenced, it's got a huge dark overtone that makes the song at least interesting. I used to not like the song as I thought it sounded alot like the rest of the album, but it has grown on me into an above average cut from the album. Liquid synths over melodic guitar playing and tone-filled bass playing set the stage for Peart to keep his drumset occupied with excellent bearts. Lyrics aren't as thought out as the previous tracks, but the song, musically at least, works. (8.5/10)

5.The Body Electric - Possibly the happiest track on the album. Still New Wave infleunced, the band starts to get more energetic on this track. The song alternates between happy verses and strong, techonology infleunced choruses. Lyrics are almost cosmic and futuristic, almost something I would have expected Hawkwind to write in the mid-1970s. The huge "1001001, S.O.S." is extremely catchy and is some of the best use of hooks the band have written. A great track. (9/10)

6.Kid Gloves - Maybe the oddest out of the bunch. The song is really stale, with an optomistic guitar sound and riff, yet almost sarcastic with the dark lyrics. It dosen't really work, but you can tell that the band were getting some more emotional response into this song. It's a good song, it just dosen't seem to work in an odd way. (8/10)

7.Red Lenses - I have heard so many bad things about this track, so many negative commments about this one track. I really can't understand why. It's a very good song (even if it's definatly not a top cut from the album), with drenched synths flowing heavily over the sharp sounds of Lifesons razor-edge guitar and the soaring rhythm section of Lee and Peart. Talking about Lee, his bassline during this song is some of his best. He adds a totally grooving line that makes the song all the more intense. An extremely underrated track. (8.5/10)

8.Between the Wheels - The best song on the whole album. The band really save the best for last, as the lryical content and the musical context come together to create something almost majestic and near perfect. The synth droning from Lee is well used as the main riff, as it almost borders on total cheese, yet still seems realistic with the drop D guitar from Lifeson and the intense drumming of Peart. Lee sings with such intensity on this song, as his lungs must have been out after this track. It's a really underrated classic. (10/10)

Though the band have seen better days, the album is still excellent. The band would still produce great albums (except for a few black sheeps) and make awesome music. The album gets a 4 stars for a bit of inconsistency, but amazing music on this album. You really should get this album in your collection, as it has some amazing songs.

Jazzywoman | 4/5 |

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