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Rush - The Studio Albums 1989-2007 CD (album) cover



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4 stars Much has already been written about the albums, so please check the reviews. Now, on to the actual box.

PACKAGING - Definitely a box for the music only as the packaging is similar to the "Original Album Classics" series released on Columbia Records. The only extra in this set is a booklet with lyrics for each song on every album.

MUSIC - If you're a fan of "Presto", it's worth the price alone as this is the ultimate remaster. It doesn't sound all that digital and cluttered and there's a great separation of the instruments. It's always been my favourite "Neil album". The keyboards and other sounds are more clear. Better than the remaster in 2004. "Roll The Bones" is the same as "Presto", although I've always found it to sound like an outtake album of Presto. The actual track "Roll The Bones" is a sonic treasure on this one and a drastic improvement. The leadoff Dreamline has a lot going on, moreso than the original and reminds of the remaster of Signals, especially the improvements on Countdown. "Counterparts" opens with the driving "Animate" and again, much more clear sounding. The rest of the allbum is still about love and things I'd prefer Rush not sing about. Yes indeed, I would rather dine on honey dew and drink the milk of paradise. They should leave love and heartbreak to J-Lo and Myley Cyrus...alhough "Double Agent" is a sonic treasure here. "Test For Echo"...I quit listening to Rush at that point, but I credit them for releasing a turkey(or what appeared to be a turkey at the time) so I could direct my attention to newer discoveries of yore like Soft Machine and all things Canterbury. Rush always plays some part in my life. Thanks, guys! I'm hearing new things on this one and gaining an appreciation for it. "Vapor Trails' (Remixed...but still not grammatically correct as these guys are Canucks and their english teachers would`ve rapped their knuckles for spelling vapor without a "u"...the Queen's English..."vapo[u]r"). Well, if you liked the original...then stay away. I couldn't stand it and it hurt my ears. I relate the original Vapor Trails with the Level 42 album called "Retroglide". That album too received complaints about a "hot mix with too much compression". I actually prefer the original Level 42 Retroglide-mix to the newer one (Level 42 remixed it, much like Rush did with "Vapor Trails"). But, I digress. What we have with the remixed "Vapor Trails" is a new album, as far as I am concerned. I had hard time getting through the original mix as many times as I tried, but my ears were fatigued (and I've got big ones, ladies and gentleman). If you're a Rush completist, get it. If you like "Vapor Trails" as is, don't do it. If you want to hear a new album, BUY IT! Hmmm...what to think of "Feedback". It's Rush running out of ideas but doing a decent job at some covers. I never bought the original, so I can't really compare if it's been remastered or not. The boys do a snappy version of Love's "Seven And Seven Is"(Arthur Lee would hate it! Yeah...he'd HATE it!) Congratulations. "Snakes And Arrows" sounds great, but I've always liked the sound of that album anyway. I don't have the original, so again...can't comment.

On the whole, the set gets an even 4 stars. Here's my breakdown

5 stars for "Presto" (I'd give it an extra if I could) 3 stars for "Roll The Bones" (Dreamline! and "Where's My Thing?'! Bravado and Ghost Of A Chance, Heresy...all sound reborn. BONUS!) 2.5 stars for "Counterparts" (Animate, Leave That Thing Alone and Double Agent!) 4 stars for "Test For Echo" (revisiting this one quite a bit...liking what I hear A LOT!) 2.5 stars for "Vapor Trails - Remixed" as there are some tracks on there my dog won't even smell or consume. I`ve found the back-up vocals irritating then and still do now. 2.5 stars for "Feedback' (just covers) 3 stars for "Snakes And Arrows" (on the album I can't compare it to the original...someone stole it out of the Lizzymobile)

Conclusion. A great box to fill in your Rush blanks, but not essentail Rush(notwithstanding Presto and Test Fr Echo). During and after "Roll The Bones", I found Rush to be hit and miss. However, the remixed Vapor Trails has made me reconsider it when I couldn`t listen to it at all in the past. "Test For Echo" is worth revisiting in this box(a real sleeper and underrated).

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Posted Thursday, October 24, 2013 | Review Permalink

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