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Rush - Power Windows CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.54 | 940 ratings

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Marc Baum
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Probably Rush’s most 80s sounding album, Power Windows has a lot of synth on it. While Hold Your Fire had plenty of synth, it came off to me as more mature and refined in sound. Lyrically, this album deals with different forms of power whether it be money or nuclear bombs. So technically this is a concept album. I am a fan of concept albums as long as the songs are strong enough to support the overall concept. While the songwriting here is good, the resulting sound of most of the songs bugs me.

"The Big Money" is exceptional. The slap bass line rocks in the verses, it’s probably one of the better bass lines he’s written. The guitar solo in the song it great, although it doesn’t sound quite as strong as it should be. This is probably due to either the production or the type of guitar he used at the time, plus I’m comparing it to the Rush in Rio version where the guitar sounds much fuller.

The next track is "Grand Designs". This is where the synth and chime sounds are overdone. The beginning alone is enough to make you cringe. It sounds very . . . joyful. Not that sounding happy is a bad thing, however it feels like something that would fit on a kid’s TV show. Other than that, the verse of the songs works well. The guitar has a reggae-like quality to them.

I don’t have a problem with Rush using synthesizers to complement the music, it appears that here they decided to use it way to much. Listen "Middletown Dreams", "Mystic Rhythms" and "Emotion Detector" for the ‘dated’ 80’s sound I am referring to. I’m sure back then it might have sounded fine, but twenty something years later, it doesn’t come off as ‘cool’ sounding.

Besides the negative points, this is a Rush album so you can expect worthy performances by each member of the band. I wish the guitar’s sounded a bit thicker to make the music for driving, but the solos here are worthy to be called Lifeson’s own. The bass lines, as mentioned previously, as quality. Neal Peart sounds like he began experimenting with electronic drums, as the album has some drumbeats that vary from the typical drum kit possibilities (see Mystic Rhythms).

All in all, "Power Windows" is another great Rush album worthy for any prog collection. I prefer the predecessor Grace Under Pressure, since it has the more appealing songs for my taste, though I must gratulate Rush for a worthy successor. This one has grown on me the more I listen to it. Try to put the synth in context and enjoy the album.

album rating: 8/10 points = 80 % on MPV scale = 4/5 stars

point-system: 0 - 3 points = 1 star / 3.5 - 5.5 points = 2 stars / 6 - 7 points = 3 stars / 7.5 - 8.5 points = 4 stars / 9 - 10 points = 5 stars

Marc Baum | 4/5 |


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