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Rush - Test For Echo CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

2.86 | 773 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Well, they really pulled things together for this album. Test For Echo was their strongest effort in a long time, bringing back the consistant songwriting quality of albums like Signals, Hold Your Fire, and Roll the Bones, and returning to a more guitar dominated sound but with a few synth garnishings like that of Permanent Waves, but slightly updated to make use of new instrument technology and recording techniques. I remember reading in a newspaper article soon after the album was released that Alex Lifeson was very proud of the album, and in particular, the guitar tone. I would not be surprised if those were in fact his words in the article, seeing as how the tone he captures on Test For Echo is one of the best on any Rush album, it being very strong and powerful, yet kinda rough around the edges, but with a full spectum of frequencies. The riffs are also some of the best he'd come up with for several albums (not to the detriment of the riffs on any of the immediately previous albums; they're just that good.) Speaking of news, the opening title track is a great commentary about how the news gets all their information from the same source and never really has anything new to say, among other good points it raises on the subject. There are many other examples of great lyrics on this album, which have also evolved with the rest of the band's commendable virtues. Neil Peart has fine tuned his scientific approach to philosophy and added a nice dose of light humor that definitely increases the overall listenability of the album. All of the lyrics are great, in fact, but "The Colour of Right" and "Totem" are standouts. There's plenty to appreciate sonically on Test For Echo, like the minor key, suspenseful melodies on "Driven", "Time and Motion", and the title track, the great melody and chord change writing in songs like "Half the World", and "Totem", the combination of Lifeson's new guitar sound and the expertly recorded drums of Neil Peart, which have a new depth of attack and clarity (just listen to those floor toms!), best exemplified on "Virtuality" and the title track, and the fact that the band are using their playing skills as sonic enticements, like the cool picking effects Lifeson does on the pre- chorus of "Virtuality", Geddy Lee's bass solo on "Driven", and some of the best applications of odd time signatures I've heard from any band on "Driven", "Time and Motion", and "Carve Away the Stone." There are many other things to praise about the album, like the awesome middle sections of both "Time and Motion" and "Virtuality," but you really have to hear the album to understand why it stands out among their other 90's albums. Sure, "Leave That Thing Alone" may be a slightly better instrumental than "Limbo", and maybe "Nobody's Hero" is more emotionally resonant than "Resist", but I'm not complaining! Test For Echo is a thouroughly great album, that also gets my vote for their best sound production and cover art. 5 stars easily.
7headedchicken | 5/5 |


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