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Rush - Hemispheres CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.37 | 2484 ratings

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Mr. Mustard
5 stars Hemispheres takes the prog aspect of Rush's music as sampled in their previous albums to a whole new height. There are only four songs here, but each one is amazing in their own right. Musically, the songs are similar to those on Farewell to Kings; the prog is abundant, the riffs are complex and catchy, and the keys are used to great effect to give the album a slightly symphonic feel.

'Hemispheres' continues the Cygnus duology started in the previous album. Though I consider this a close second to the epic 2112, this is much more of a "song" in that it really can't be broken down into separate tracks like 2112 can. In this sense, I find it amazing how much they can do with so little, but still keep it interesting. The song is energetic and rocking for most of its duration, except for an atmospheric section two-thirds through. The instrumentation is complex, the melodies and harmonies are stunning, and the flow is perfect. This is one of Rush's greatest single accomplishments.

'Circumstances' and 'The Trees' may be stuck in the middle of two of Rush's greatest songs, but they themselves have their musical merits. The former is upbeat and rocking throughout, with some great vocal melodies from Geddy. The latter opens with an acoustic passage before going delving into more up-tempo madness. Though, the middle section shows that Rush isn't a one dimensional band in this regard, and that they can slow down and be more methodical with their music.

Even with the praise I gave to Hemispheres, the concluding 'La Villa Strangiato' is even better, and is perhaps my favorite Rush song. Everything that prog is about is in this song; the structure is elaborate, time changes are abundant, and the instrumentation is complex, but not overwhelming. The song incorporates a plethora of styles and sounds in its 9-minunte frame. The opening Spanish guitar, great use of keyboard, and the overall jazziness are just a few examples. This piece exemplifies Rush at their musical apex.

For a lack of words to describe this album, I will simply say it's a flawless masterpiece, and is one my all-time favorite albums.


Mr. Mustard | 5/5 |


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