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Rush - Hold Your Fire CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.28 | 859 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Rush continued to move forward in developing both their sound and songwriting with 1987's Hold Your Fire, the peak of their forray into synth enhanced heavy prog pop/rock, or whatever you may choose to call the highly technical, emotional, and intelligent music they had been making with the last several albums. There are even more layers of even faster moving keyboards than on Grace Under Pressure and Power Windows, the drums are more electronically enhanced than before, and Alex Lifeson's ability to hang in there through all of the computerized additions with great wrenching, expressive solos is even stronger than before. Neil Peart continues to grow as a lyricist, taking his already profound philosophical approach to a new level, with every song having a very socially important subject matter that he's taken on deftly, with many, many great lines that are sure to get you and I thinking. The songs are packed with new musical ideas, and Geddy Lee has brought us some highly listenable and intriguing bass parts, especially in the chorus of "Force Ten", and in the intro to "Open Secrets." He's also using a wider pallete of keyboard sounds from the broad, majestic synth pad chords that open "Mission", to the oriental flute sound that graces "Tai Shan", to the sparkling decorative high-pithced synths that augment the arrangements throughout the album. There are many other noteworthy moments, like the humanist lyrics for "Lock and Key", and a generous helping of great melodies sung powerfully and expressively by Lee, including the truly beautiful harmonies between him and Aimee Mann on Time Stand Still. Many of the songs are more straighforwardly written than previously, but not necessarily simpler, and the band is playing very virtuostically throughout. When listening to Hold Your Fire all the way through, I'm tempted to say it's the best of their 80's output, but also always get the feeling there are a couple songs that weigh down some of the other ones and that it may have been just a little bit stronger if it would have been released as one of their 8 song albums, although I can never decide which two would have been better left out, as they're all great songs. I believe I once felt the same way about Genesis' ...And Then There Were Three... at one time, and eventually got over it, so let's go with 5 stars for this one as well, instead of that 4.5 stars I was thinking about that just didn't feel right.
7headedchicken | 5/5 |


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