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Rush - A Farewell to Kings CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.33 | 2289 ratings

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The T
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The second-best release from Rush's 70's period, this one was a true evolution after the great progressive-ignition that was 2112. If that earlier album had a flawed 20+ epic, A Farewell to Kings finally had the formula corrected and improved, with two long tracks at 10 minutes each, plus 4 short, almost filler tracks (my complain with 70's Rush) in between. As in Hemispheres, which I just reviewed, the album's length leaves somewhat to be desired, specially if we have in mind that the short pieces are not up to par with the near-epic ones.

A Farewell to Kings, (8/10), a good short track with Rush at their most ROCK-prog (not prog-rock). It actually takes two listens to appreciate it (at fisrt It sound rather bland to me) but finally you realize this song works.

2. Xanadu, (10/10), Rush's finest moment from the 70's, my favorite pre-Moving Pictures song, with amazing lyrics by Rush's pen master Neil Peart (who happened to be a masterful cymbal-beater, too). It has a main verse followed by a chorus-like section, with a repetition of both with amazing soloing and a great introduction.

Closer to the Heart, (9/10), a very short song but actually the most memorable from this album, not only because of Peart's intelligent lyrics but because the melody is one of Rush's best. It's not a love song for a woman, is a love song for, well, love. Great.

Cinderella Man, (7/10), weak short track ("weak" in Rush never translates into "bad", that's why it still gets a 7), good lyrics and a good performance by high-pitched witch- look-alike bass-master Geddy Lee.

Madrigal, (7/10), the least memorable track in the album, but enjoyable nevertheless.

Cygnus X-1, (9/10), a near-epic that begins a story that ends in part II in Hemispheres; I prefer this one to its longer conclusion, because this one has all the unity and coherence that the one in the following album lacked. A good, even great song that closes the album in style.

So what we got here is a very, very good album by one of progressive-rock's true legends; I've already stated my general complains about Rush's 70's era (too much fillers, saw sounding guitars) but not one of those has anything to do with their musical talents, which they had and in unusual amount. A fantastic, beyond-his-time drummer, (also one of the genre's best lyrics writers), an amazing guitarist and a excellent bass player and competent, at times great singer. This album contains Rush's best song from the 70's (Xanadu), and as a whole feels more complete than its follow-up, Hemispheres. It only lacks that albums' biggest asset: the outstanding Villa Strangiato. But, those points made, these two albums are the best from that era in the band's history and two necessary cadditions to any prog- collection worthy of respect.

Recommended for: Prog lovers, rock lovers, music lovers.

Not recommended for: again, fans of album-elephantism. You won't get more than 37 minutes from the canadians.

The T | 4/5 |


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