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Rush - Permanent Waves CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.28 | 2026 ratings

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4 stars Rush hit new heights in terms of popularity with Permanent Waves in 1980. Compared to their previous albums, Rush opted for a more accessible sound with more concise compositions across the board. Neil Peart's lyrics began to come further grounded with this album, but through this effort he proves his versatility as a writer. Granted, I don't feel Permanent Waves is their best effort and is underproduced compared to the albums bookending it, but Rush still knows how to produce an album of quality. Yet again these three are consummate musicians, and the keyboards continue taking a progressively greater influence in their songs, which isn't always bad. Also notable is that Geddy Lee's vocals come down some on this album, the final bridge of "Freewill" being the only time he really hits near-falsetto highs. "The Spirit of Radio" became their first song to get massive AOR airplay, and the unmistakable guitar riff really sold this song to the public. It's by far one of their best numbers ever. The other recognizable track here is "Freewill," about choice among faith (Peart himself is believed to be a "linear-thinking agnostic"), with a great musical arrangement to go with. Neil Peart write very few pieces about love, but "Entre Nous" has to be his best. Who would think the intellectual love song could exist? Who can forget the three-part "Natural Science," a very moving piece which isn't my favorite epic but is still very solid nonetheless. Overall, Permanent Waves is an excellent effort as Rush really exhibits a shift in direction.
CVoss | 4/5 |


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