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Rush - Signals CD (album) cover

SIGNALS

Rush

 

Heavy Prog

3.95 | 953 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

7headedchicken
5 stars Rush had been gradully changing their sound at the time of Signals, and they would continue to do so after, thus no two Rush albums sound exactly the same, but they all have their charm. The distinguishing factor in this one, is that the balance between guitar and synths was starting to favor synths more, with the previous album being an even balance, and many of the ones after this one having even more layers of synths. Here, though, while there aren't as many layers of keyboards as they would use soon after, they are mixed louder than the guitars, and they have a very full, almost bloated sound to them. This makes the feel songs like "Chemistry" and "Countdown" hard to grasp - at first, I didn't even notice how great Alex Lifeson's solo on "The Analog Kid" is, but once accustomed to this very unique blend, all of the sounds in the songs can be appreciated for their beauty. They're also playing slightly less ferociously than on Moving Pictures, but only slightly - there are still odd meters, and Neil Peart's drumming still qualifies as virtuoso (especially check "Digital Man" for that fact.) Geddy Lee was also showing increased ability at playing keyboards, the song "Subdivisions" having a very effective lead part and solo - the main part sounding definitely like it was written by someone who knows how to play the piano, not just synths. The lyrics on the album also happen to be some of Peart's best to this point, retaining the more directness he'd moved into starting with Permanent Waves, but now adding a nice degree of cleverness that he would continue to develop on later albums, highlighted here on the hopefully not timeless, but still relavent today "Subdivisions", and the politically concious "The Weapon" and "New World Man." All of these songs have very well thought out musical themes and style variations: "The Weapon" has a sort of progressive electronic sound to it with some interesting chord changes in its pulsating middle section, "New World Man" is the song that got me into The Police's sound (Neil even sounds very much like Stewart Copeland on this track), "Losing It" has a great, impressive electric violin solo from Ben Mink over a hypnotic 5/4 rhythm, and "Chemistry" uses it's simplicity to convey a rich emotional element that's very effectively set up by the full choruses of "The Analog Kid." "Digital Man" and "Countdown" end each side one a very energized note, and there is much depth to discover in every one of these songs. Not just highly recommended, but highly recommended for repeated listenings.
7headedchicken | 5/5 |

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