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Rush - Signals CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.95 | 1227 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Tony R
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars An album that really divided the fans when it was released hot on the tails of the triumphant "Moving Pictures" and "Permanent Waves", Signals has really stood the test of time in my opinion.

Very much a turning point in the band's career this difficult album would ultimately lead to the departure of "4th member" producer Terry Brown and usher in the keyboard era that gradually alienated many fans.

"Subdivisions" really typifies the whole album; the intro is so dark and brooding, the vocals lower and the guitar fighting for space amongst the keyboards. One of Peart's finest lyrics paints a picture of boring, middle class suburbia and futile dreams. This dreamlike quality is echoed in the "Analog Kid" where the music and lyrics are juxtaposed - the music takes the opposite approach to what the lyrics suggest, so a dreamy,wistful vocal is accompanied by an uptempo rock beat. "Chemistry" is a strange, odd tempo track that was born out of a soundcheck on the previous tour and in some ways is similar to "Vital Signs" from "Moving Pictures". Next up is the companion track to "Analog kid"; "Digital Man". This track is a drum tour-de-force with some beefy bass and a killer guitar solo. Ironically the band argued with producer Brown about the composition of this track, especially the reggae bridge section and one wonders whether this was the reason he and the band parted ways before the next album. If the drums on the previous track were a tour-de-force then "The Weapon" takes them to a different universe! Apparently the opening to the song was composed by Geddy Lee on a Roland Drum Machine, only for the challenge to be laid down that Peart couldnt play the unusual patterns it created - Neil won the bet and a monster drum performance was created. Another fine guitar solo on this one too. So far we are easily in five star territory so you might guess that the last 3 tracks rather spoil the party.The poppy "New World Man" is a fine radio-friendly song and "Losing It" features a killer violin solo from Ben Mink against some Hemingway-inspired lyrics but the final track "Countdown" just doesnt cut it for me. Our three heroes were special guests of NASA for the launch of the Columbia Space Shuttle in Orlando but they seemed to have left their excitement in Cape Kennedy,it's such an insipid song.

A must have album for all fans of great music and a very mature performance marred only by the occasional missed opportunity.Almost 5 stars, 4.5 at least.

Tony R | 4/5 |


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