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Rush - Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.41 | 165 ratings

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3 stars Yawn. Lacking a new album to tour (a couple of tracks that would later make it onto Clockwork Angels appear here, but they're not the focus), the band decided to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Moving Pictures by doing that album in its entirety (with the rest of the album filled out with a mix of standards and slight surprises). Quite honestly, I don't understand why that's such a huge deal; it's kinda neat that the band brought back "The Camera Eye" (done every bit as "pretty good" as the original was), but five of the other tracks had been done at least once in the last two live albums, and the band had done "Red Barchetta" on a leg of the Snakes and Arrows tour. It's not like the band was especially stretching itself by doing all of the MP tracks, and the album never had any tight conceptuality that would make it flow better as a unit, and it's not like the album performance ended up fitting on one disc, so all I can do is shrug my shoulders at the decision. "Tom Sawyer" and "Limelight" still sound great (though, as on the last live album, they're slowly creeping towards sluggishness), the rest sound good (though "Vital Signs" is still an underwhelming closer), and there are bunches of movie and TV clips sampled in for whatever reason.

The band makes some interesting choices in terms of older material they choose to resurrect; I've never liked "Time Stand Still" as much as "Force Ten" or "Presto" as much as "The Pass," but they both sound ok here, and I'm rather pleased that "Stick it Out" makes a return (I would've preferred "Animate," but I guess they were making a concerted effort to pull in some less obvious choices). The band totally ditches Vapor Trails and Test for Echo, but three Snakes and Arrows tracks make it on, and while I still don't like "Working Them Angels," I've always enjoyed "Far Cry," and I'm very pleased to hear "Faithless" get a live treatment. Elsewhere, aside from a slightly surprising revival of "Marathon," the material is all familiar; aside from a brief acoustic solo, and whatever variations Neil threw into his endless drum solo, everything else here either appeared on Rio or Snakes and Arrows Live, and all of it is done in a way closer to the latter than the former.

I suppose there's nothing especially wrong with this live album (though there's nothing especially great about it either), and as secretly half-assed as the gimmick for this live album (doing Moving Pictures straight through) may be, it's still better than having no gimmick at all. I guess that if I had to choose between this and Snakes and Arrows Live I would take this one, but that's a pretty silly decision to have to make.

tarkus1980 | 3/5 |


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