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Rush - Permanent Waves CD (album) cover

PERMANENT WAVES

Rush

 

Heavy Prog

4.30 | 1442 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Warthur
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Having mastered the accepted conventions of prog rock on Farewell to Kings and the title track of 2112, and having taken them to excess on Hemispheres, Rush then set about changing the rules to suit their ever-evolving sound. Not a single song on Permanent Waves has a running time of more than ten minutes, but whilst Rush's revised sound is delivered in radio-friendly portions, the content of the songs themselves is as innovative and technically complex as ever.

Musically speaking, this album sees the band sitting on the cusp between metal and hard rock, with hard rock winning out on most tracks but metal still creeping in here and there, usually when Alex Lifeson decides to get a little wild with his guitar (as on Jacob's Ladder). Neil Peart's drumming is, of course, whilst Geddy Lee breaks out some really excellent bass solos. Thematically, the band steer away from fantasy and allegory in favour of a more direct lyrical message - Freewill, for instance, is a song which proves that you don't have to be angry, accusatory, or downbeat to endorse atheism, whilst opening number The Spirit of Radio is a simple song about the love of music.

But the real genius of the album is how all these ingredients, plus Rush's love of complex time signatures and so forth, is broiught together in perfectly formed little songs that are as catchy as hell, without sacrificing any of the complexity. Many other prog rock bands were trying to make their style more accessible at this time, but this was usually at the price of damping down the whole "prog" aspect of their music and leaning more towards a poppy, mainstream style. Rush were one of the few who accomplished a broadening of their appeal without compromising their musical vision, and Permanent Waves is the album they accomplished this on.

Warthur | 5/5 |

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