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Rush - Presto CD (album) cover

PRESTO

Rush

 

Heavy Prog

3.14 | 623 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

7headedchicken
2 stars After Hold Your Fire, it was logical that Rush had to scale down their sound a little bit - if they'd continued to add more and more layers of synths and electronics, eventually all of the sounds would have cancelled each other out... or something to that effect. But they didn't completely go back to the time before they'd added any of those elements, it seeming to be that they took just a few of the sounds they liked most from the recent period to make a precise recipe. We have some synth pads, a few sparkly keys here and there, but nothing too fast or mesmerizing, and the ringing out trebbly guitars that were common on their other 80's albums, along with the typically impressive bass and drum playing you'd expect from Lee and Peart. Unfortunately, these are not some of their best songs! Surprisingly, there are a number of numbers here that seem uninspired, dull, or unsure of a direction. Don't get me wrong - it's not all bad. There's usually some point of interest that pops up every once in a while, they're the type of songs that you may appreciate quite a bit, if you're already a big Rush fan. And there are some true shining moments - dig that intro to "Show and Tell"! That's some impressive riffing. And "Chain Lightning" is a thrill to listen to - all excellent music there. "Scars" somewhat rises above the rest, while "Superconductor" sinks a little below the rest, "Hand Over Fist" is a pretty good song (I do admire the lyrics on that one a lot), and the album does happen to end on an extremely high note. The last song, "Available Light" is one of Rush's best. Moving, deeply personal lyrics, set to a dynamic, building musical backdrop that makes great use of their then new sound, all leading to a chorus that very effectively uses 5/4 time to convey a rich sense of emotion and spirit, with wonderful, moving singing from Lee - and then he sings "in the available light" in some of the highest notes he's ventured to in a long time, yet with decidedly the cleanest tone he's ever sang those notes in, and everything drops out to come back with a slower straight beat over melancholy piano chords. They've never made a song that sounds like "Available Light" before or since, and it does lift the overall experience of Presto, and leaves a much better taste in the listener's ears than if it wouldn't have been there. I would love to hear an album of songs like this one from Rush. These particular songs, presented in this particular order, with these particular performances and production is a good example of what I would consider 2.5 stars.
7headedchicken | 2/5 |

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