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Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Rush - Hemispheres CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.36 | 2194 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars I hate to be the only naysayer, but I have to say that the title track is somewhat weak. The song continues the "Cygnus X-1" story from A FAREWELL TO KING's, but I think RUSH perhaps felt a little bound to completing the song on their next album and so didn't hone it as well as they could have. Some of the transitions are a little awkward, especially between "Apollo" and "Dionysus". I understand the idea of having both sections be musically identical to represent the underlying similarities between the two modes of life, but I feel like perhaps maybe a call-and-response of different voices or a single section reflecting both would have worked better. It's not a bad song by any means, but it has some glaring weaknesses that detract from it. One great thing about this track, at least for me, is the way that it subtly states that NEIL PEART was tired of talking about Ayn Rand and had moved past her intellectually; this has to do with her preoccupation with Apollonian thought and the general lyrical theme of the track. I found this quite delightful.

I can never remember how "Circumstances" goes despite having heard the album many, many times. I think that says enough about that track.

The second half of this album is one of my favorite parts of any Rush album. "The Trees" reminds me of JETHRO TULL's acoustic/hard rock/progressive hybrid songs, especially with the subject matter. The lyrics, despite what Peart may say, sound far too much like a dig at social reformers, which makes me a wee bit uncomfortable, but the music is solid. Meanwhile, the final track, "La Villa Strangiato", is one of Rush's best. It reminds me of FRANK ZAPPA, being built around virtuosity while also having strong elements of humor, musical quotations, and sweet melodies. This is another album that comes perilously close to five stars, but some qualms I have with the title track, the weakness of "Circumstances" and the lyrical iffiness of "The Trees" makes me hesitant to give it that. But it is definitely, definitely a great album and well worth your time.

Gorloche | 4/5 |


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