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Various Artists (Tributes) - Subdivisions (RUSH)  CD (album) cover


Various Artists (Tributes)

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1 stars Don't buy this album. Don't even look at it. Try to avoid stores that carry it so that you don't pick it up by mistake like I did. When I stumbled across this the day it came out and took a gander at the back of the case, I can't deny the great excitement I felt. Hey I like Sebastian Bach, I like Vinnie Moore, I like Alex Skolnick, I like Rush. What could go wrong? Then taking a glance at the track times I noticed how they were usually a full minute longer than Rush's version. Wow I thought, they must really revamp these songs and make them their own. Wrong, boy was I wrong.

I remember I started playing "Limelight" because I had recently been on Caress Of Steel and Grace Under Pressure listening binges and was afraid of "Distant Early Warning" and "Lakeside Park" loosing their kick. For the first minute of the song I had no idea what was going on. The band decided to write their own song with some annoying hair metal guitar and keyboard riff and tack it onto the beginning of "Limelight." Then when the song finally enters I'm met with Kip Winger singing like he is in fact in Winger and almost immediately I'm hit by a guitar solo. What's going on? I stomach through the song filled with annoying little meaningless alterations, and for some reason another terrible guitar solo in that atrocious, emotionless, cliché tone that should have been outlawed, to get to the part where Alex's phenomenal solo should be. There is a guitar solo, certainly not Alex's, acting as an intro to the reprise of the alien, unrelated song tacked on at the beginning of the track. After they noodle on in nonsense with that for awhile they return to "Limelight" and Andrea Kisser throws out the seminal solo of Alex's for his own which could have been lifted from any album of Motley Crue, Poison, or Skid Row, take your pick. Then the song closes with, another guitar solo. The extra minute and a half can be accounted for by a completely unrelated song tacked on at the beginning and the middle of the song and superfluous guitar solos. Besides that meaningless embellishment the song is left almost completely unchanged except for annoying guitar pyrotechnics anathematic to Rush thrown into Alex's riffs.

This same formula carries on for every track. The whole spirit of Rush has eluded this band. Instead we have useless fills and solos, keyboards in every single song serving no purpose, and the worst vocals I have ever heard and hope I ever hear. Listening to this album again for this review I can now say I will never listen to this album again. Out of every album I've heard on the archives this is the worst. I mean that.

Report this review (#130928)
Posted Tuesday, July 31, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Actually surprised!

When it comes to imitate Rush, better not even thinking about it. Reaching the melody, the complexity and the technique is a waste of time if you want to show off what you've got, it won't be as good as the original so... better think of something else to give tribute to these guys.

Here, we have a different approach than Working Man album, and to me, it gives a fresh and new vision of the same old classics we heard for the gazillionesque time. In this album, the point is not to show off but to create a new 'remix' of the song by adding more instrumental passages and bridges, that the band actually never writtten. The result is a collection of songs that sounds like Rush but they have been 'make-upped', stretched and tweaked.

You have a chance to hear new covers and remixed Rush classics with Stu Hamm on bass (worked for Joe Satriani) and the most annoying diva of all rock singers and actor in the Gilmore Girls, you named it: Sebastian 'Baz' Bach.

My favorite over Working Man by far.

Report this review (#134643)
Posted Thursday, August 23, 2007 | Review Permalink
Queen By-Tor
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Rush gets some fanfare.

Over the years Rush has been a very influential band, whether that be in Canada or otherwise. Many bands or band members in interviews have stated that they loved Rush growing up, and why not? Rush have always been musician's musicians, their instrumental skills have impressed the best and amazed the rest for many years. It was only a matter of time until a tribute to them would be formed, and though this is the second of such an album it's still impressive to see such great musicians come together to record the music they loved none the less. This album maybe had less "star" musicians than the last work did, but this one still has some good moments.

The music itself is very different than Rush's originals. Of course, this is to be expected from musicians that come from a very different time period, and listening to the music with a fresh ear can lead to interest results. Trying to compare this music directly to Rush would be a bad thing, as the music is very different. Each of the artists have put their own spin on the music and it's just as much as an acquired taste as Rush was to begin with. Some of the vocals are not nearly as good as the originals and sometimes the pacing has been altered dramatically, again, don't expect Rush. After all, what would be the point of buying it if it sounded just like the originals.

Some of the material on the album sounds pretty cool. Some of the songs have been extended using some hair-metal-esque instrumentals (something most prog fans may be fearful of), such as SUBDIVISIONS or LIMELIGHT. Others ave been made slower such as 2112 or BASTILE DAY and these songs actually have a pretty cool sound to them. BASTILE DAY in particular (while sometimes a bit too electronic) is given a new side to it through this performance, however, the original is still better. Both TOM SAWYER and LAKESIDE PARK are now voiced by the over-the-top Sebastian Bach, someone who actually does a fairly good rendition of the songs listed.

Other material on this album are not nearly as good as Rush's masterpieces. The opener, DISTANT EARLY WARNING, is voiced by a peculiar vocalist that doesn't sound nearly as good as Geddy (though his voice is likely the closest to Geddy's), same goes for SUBDIVISIONS. DIDACTS AND NARPETS is one particular track that does no justice at all to the original contained in Rush's 1975 epic "The Fountain of Lamneth", the drumming is done okay enough, but it's the "LISTEN!" at the end that Geddy does so well that just comes off as silly in this version. The rest of the songs on the album also often come off as average, doing no justice to the song but also not making it sound bad.

So in the end the album is for collectors/fans of Rush or the performers on the album. Definitely listen-to-able, but not quite as well performed as the original. Still interesting, but not an album that's essential by any means. 2 stars for a good bunch of covers, and a couple less than impressive ones. Still recommended for anyone who wants to hear new versions of the old songs, and maybe gain new appreciation for the old ones.

Report this review (#155306)
Posted Thursday, December 13, 2007 | Review Permalink

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