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Rush - Hold Your Fire CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.28 | 860 ratings

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4 stars Hold Your Fire was my least liked Rush album for the longest time (of the ones I owned, anyway). I bought it used and sold it probably that same month. Only two songs moved me at the time, and they were "Time Stand Still" and "Open Secrets." The former I performed with a high school band, and the latter was just a tune I really dug during long drives to and from Georgia. The rest of the album disagreed with me and my distaste for 1980s synthesizers and drum tones. However, I have warmed up to it greatly. The melodies and lyrics are moving. There is a variety of tones in the guitar department, while the bass remains consistently "plunky." I love Presto, and it's nice to love the album that came two years before it; all but two songs have a resonant quality. And they're all so damn catchy; if one of these songs gets in my head, it's going to remain there for the better part of the day.

"Force Ten" After a solemn choir, the well-known 1980s Rush sound pours forth. An incredible series of vocal melodies over clever bass thumping provides a catchy introduction. I did not appreciate this track way back when, but now it has joined the next two as favorites on the album. It weaves between energetic and tranquil, but is wholly captivating throughout.

"Time Stand Still" As I mentioned earlier, this was a song our band performed at a gig for a high school function at a lovely ranch (we didn't think we were half bad and I guess neither did anybody else, but it'd be interesting to find the tape we recorded this performance on just to see how truly awful it was). In any event, it is a favorite 1980s Rush song of mine, with incredible melodies, powerful clean guitars and beautiful female vocals. Indeed, as one grows older, the lyrics prove more and more relevant. I was fifteen yesterday. My children will be grown tomorrow.

"Open Secrets" After a memorable bass riff and dynamic bit of drums, Lifeson offers a simple guitar lead introducing a thoroughly enjoyable vocal performance from Lee. The parts intertwine in an incredible way. Despite having that 1980s vibe, this piece could have belonged on Counterparts with its lyrics and Lifeson's guitar ripping through the piece here and there- an amazing Rush song.

"Second Nature" I suppose the phony piano textures here threw me off, because piano isn't an instrument one associates with Rush. However, I'm always happier for listening to this song- it has a pensive melody with an excellent chorus.

"Prime Mover" A decent 80s rocker in the Rush vein, "Prime Mover" never really moved me until recently. It is a solid song with Lee's excellent bursts of bass. "Anything can happen" indeed.

"Lock and Key" A grand synthetic opening begins this one, with an opening cry. The lyrics describe how anyone, even the most upright person, is capable of losing it and taking a life. The music is upbeat and occasionally grungy, delving into some screaming lead guitar work.

"Mission" Following a synthetic opening and a light vocal passage expressing the album title, the typical 1980s sound takes over, alternating with the airier part in half-time.

"Turn the Page" Well, I never cared for the hectic verses or rather callow lyrics of this song. It involves Rush's sound typical of this period, backed by organ. The shrieking lead guitar rips through a number of creative licks.

"Tai Shan" Rush explores an Oriental style here, offering peaceful music of synthesizer pads and shimmering electric guitar brushes.

"High Water" I consider this the second of two weak tracks. Unlike the previous songs ("Turn the Page" excepted), this one still hasn't caught on for me. The music is rather dull and uninspired. A pity an otherwise admirable pop rock album could not have ended on a high note.

Epignosis | 4/5 |


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