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Rush - Grace Under Pressure CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.70 | 1079 ratings

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4 stars In 1984, Rush had moved into a sound that they would largely stick with for a while, with slight additions and modulations with each successive album. This sound consists of Geddy Lee's already persuasively punctuating basslines along with the lower range he'd been singing in to very expressively bring the necessary emotional intensity to Neil Peart's now fully globally concerned lyrics in an album that certainly has a purpose, all set to a backdrop of urgent, metallic guitars from Alex Lifeson, and layers of sparkling, frenetic keys and both acoustic and electric drums. These lyrics are the strongest on "The Enemy Within", the last (or first, if you listen to them in the order specified as opposed to chronological release) part of the "Fear" trilogy. The rest of that song's side is a stellar accomplishment, starting with "Distant Early Warning", a deeply concerned letter to troubled nations overseas (it seems to be a concept album about nuclear war), with a classic 7/4 intro and a wondefully emoted melody in the chorus. "Afterimage" keeps the pace going with a very strong groove, and sets up the moment when "Red Sector A" begins perfectly, by which point the listener is (hopefully) fully transported into the intense emotional world they've created with this album. "Red Sector A" is one of their most moving songs from this period (maybe from any period, actually) with a cold yet living atmoshpere over a pulsing beat. When Geddy sings "for my brother and my father it's too late/but I must help my mother stand up straight", the chills are unavoidable. The whole album actaully has a very dark vibe, with all but two songs being in a minor key, and even those two songs have a very serious subject matter. I think the music on Side Two is noticably less mindblowingly awesome than the first side, but only slightly noticably - it's still very good. (Any fan of this album should really hear "Between the Wheels" live, as a side note.) And all of the lyrics are great. 4.5 stars.
7headedchicken | 4/5 |


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