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Rush - A Farewell To Kings CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.32 | 2037 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars This is the first full-on RUSH album, with their unique blend of sounds present from front to back, and man, does that make it great.

While I said about 2112 that the music was only worth 3 stars even though its historical value for prog almost necessitated a 5 star rating, this one earns all four stars straight from its music. The title track reminds me of the title track from JETHRO TULL's MINSTREL IN THE GALLERY, being that it shifts from an acoustic number to a rather strident progressive hard rock tune. Placing that song first indicates something; structurally and sonically, it is closest to their earlier songwriting approach, but it demonstrates that they had mastered it. If this song is what they heard in their heads when they wrote all of those earlier, weaker pieces, then it was all worthwhile.

The two epics, "Xanadu" and "Cygnus X-1", are what make this album for me. "Xanadu" feels almost like a heavier Yes track, with it's layered and somewhat sensitive guitar and drum parts matched with some very, dare I say it?, beautiful vocals from Geddy. "Cygnus" sounds like they were listening to a lot of King Crimson and decided to do a redux of "2112" and, honestly, I think it was a worthwhile thing to do. The tones and lines on this song were their strongest to date. It's one of my favorite songs by them.

The three shorter pieces on side 2 are nice, but nothing great. There is something cheesy and schmaltzy about "Closer to the Heart", but I'm fond of it. I can't tell you why, but it makes me happy to hear it. Strange, no? The other two, not so much. They aren't bad and they do offer some breathing room between the two epics, but they aren't great. If those shorter tunes were stronger, this would be five stars, but as it stands, it is merely four. That being said, it's one of Rush's great albums and anyone who likes prog should own it.

I mean, "Infinity, the star that would not die"? Is that not just the coolest line EVER?

Gorloche | 4/5 |


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