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COUNTERPARTS

Rush

Heavy Prog


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Rush Counterparts  album cover
3.77 | 678 ratings | 70 reviews | 20% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 1993

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Animate (6:03)
2. Stick It Out (4:30)
3. Cut To The Chase (4:48)
4. Nobody's Hero (4:54)
5. Between Sun And Moon (4:37)
6. Alien Shore (5:45)
7. Speed Of Love (5:02)
8. Double Agent (4:51)
9. Leave That Thing Alone (4:05)
10. Cold Fire (4:26)
11. Everyday Glory (5:11)

Total Time: 54:12

Lyrics

Search RUSH Counterparts lyrics

Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Geddy Lee / basses, bass pedals, synthesizers, vocals
- Alex Lifeson / guitars
- Neil Peart / drums, percussion
+ John Webster / keyboards

Releases information

CD Atlantic 82528
Mercury Remaster 83738-2 08/31/2004

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Snow Dog for the last updates
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RUSH Counterparts ratings distribution


3.77
(678 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
20%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(43%)
43%
Good, but non-essential (30%)
30%
Collectors/fans only (6%)
6%
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)
2%

RUSH Counterparts reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by chessman
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars This is my seventh, and final, entry for the greatest Rush album ever. A tremendous record from start to finish. The production is excellent. No weak tracks here. The opener, Animate, is a fine start to the album. A wonderful bass line drives the song on and shows the band at their powerful best. Between Sun and Moon, Cut to the Chase, Leave that thing Alone and Alien Shore are the other highlights. If I had to choose a weakest track, it would be Everyday Glory or Speed of Love, but both of these are more than adequate in themselves! Alex is again in fine form here, and Neil is his usual world class self. A must have for Rush fans, and for fans of good music everywhere.

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Send comments to chessman (BETA) | Report this review (#21061) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, March 28, 2004

Review by daveconn
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Starlog 040310.0736: "Counterparts" goes dingo. Tape malfunction, and the anticipated RUSH reverts to Primus (choppy, warped). Engineering will requisition a better counterpart on disc, but until then a little emptiness dogs me, whispers from the corridors "Counterparts", fills the spaces between my footsteps as it speaks its name in a fabric's friction. The review from yesterday was terrible. A band that puts so much energy into a work of art should fuel ambition, and trouble in Cazetistan left me underfueled yesterday. Not just me, of course. RUSH is a machine, and the smooth hum of their parts has lulled others into a sleepiness that finds the quaternity pre-charted: great, good, fair, alright already. Then rinse it out with a live show and repeat. At least that's the hidden rhythm heard chugging in the machine since "Signals". "Presto" clearly found them recharged, "Roll The Bones" not so much, and "Counterparts" should have been running on half a tank by previous estimates. No. This is a better album than "Presto". This is a better album than I've heard from RUSH in a long time. Maybe it's because I saw the live show (thank you Johnny B. for dragging me). Maybe it's because I owned this on tape, and played it constantly (familiarity breeds fanatical devotion, transferring the notes from the magnetic strip and coding them into your brain). Again, no. It's the songs. "Cold Fire", "Alien Shore", "Between Sun & Moon", "Stick It Out", "Animate." Any one of them could have rolled around on the radio as the new single from the RUSH album, and fans would have snatched up "Counterparts" with gusto. The honor instead fell to "Nobody's Hero", which got under my skin like few songs do (actually, for me the reference point is probably Big Country's "Come Back To Me"). Thematically, "Counterparts" speaks to the relationships between man and woman (in case the nut-and-bolt illustration wasn't obvious enough), the role that sex plays in life and death, searching for a balance between masculine and feminine, and an instrumental ("Leave That Thing Alone!") that might be better left to the imagination.

NEIL PEART's lyrics and GEDDY LEE's bass have sounded better on past efforts, ALEX LIFESON's guitar hasn't sounded this good in a while, but it's the melodies that stick out. To my ears, this is probably as close as RUSH has come to making a KING'S X album (though I'm reversing the formula), another band that just seems to get better with age. In other words, some of the most intelligent metal this side of DR. THEOPOLIS (which kinda ends where we started).

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Send comments to daveconn (BETA) | Report this review (#21081) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, May 03, 2004

Review by Menswear
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Rush went trough some hard times. A dark period was over them after Hold Your Fire. They didn't split up but that was a close call. Rush was heading for strange FM directions. Some like this period, I personnaly could live without it. Instead of taking risks, pushing limits forward, investing in new sounds and re-inventing the band over and over, they just wanted a piece of the commercial cake that is rock n' roll. And it failed. Rush stayed a great rock band, but a poor post-pogressive band. The spark is definitly gone, the sound is du- jour (heavy and rude). But the artwork is awesome, to say the least. The concept of Counterparts is an amazing bonanza of eye-candy pictures and cool logos. The cover art is by far one of the coolest ever. Simple, provocative (hey, obvious dude!), and reflects the theme of the record....man vs. woman. So Peart is a human after all! But, despite the lack of creativity and the disappointing song filling hides a couple of great songs. 'Leave that Thing Alone' is by far one of the greatest songs Rush ever produced. It's a rather sad piece of music, but strong in emotion and musicianship. Catchiest 4 minute song in a long time! 'Stick it out' kicks some serious butt and has a great videoclip on top of that. In one word like in a hundred ones Counterparts stands out in rock heavyness and FM material. Not the most essential record, but the best of what came out in the 1991-2002 period. It's like a Betty Crocker cake. Not very nutricious...but the icing is divine.

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Send comments to Menswear (BETA) | Report this review (#21072) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, June 04, 2004

Review by richardh
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Probably their best nineties album and showing a much more 'slimline' Rush.Although there's none of the pomp of earlier days, the band's playing is still as strong as ever while the songs provide a compelling soundtrack to the world we live in.'Animate' is my favourite here but there are no bad songs.

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Send comments to richardh (BETA) | Report this review (#21076) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, July 18, 2004

Review by Eetu Pellonpää
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Though this album's music sounds quite market-oriented, "Counterparts" stands still as one of the great albums of Rush for me. Songs burst with excellent musicianship, good songs and feeling of power. The CD's volume level is very high, which underlines its energetic qualities. The dynamic opener "Animate" has quite straight rhythm in it, but Neil can get a good kicks out of such beats too. The melodic lines and harmonies are also very pleasant. "Cut to The Chase" has some hard-rock elements, but surprisingly I have found myself liking this quite much. Really good chefs can make a good dish even from the ingredients one isn't so much fond of. "Alien Shore" is also a wonderful track, having good twists in the rhythm section. "Double Agent" is a bit more adventurous song, having parts with spoken lyrics and mysterious feeling. "Leave That Thing Alone" continues the series of instrumental songs started in their previous album, and "Cold Fire" a nice song with even hit-potential. The fans of the early Rush aren't maybe very pleased of this album, but I would recommend it. I think that this is one of those albums which you and your non-prog listening friends can listen together.

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Send comments to Eetu Pellonpää (BETA) | Report this review (#21092) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, April 01, 2005

Review by Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This album was the beginning of the early revival for Rush. Long gone were the heavy synth lines, now they were being used as a background instrument again, and the guitar was taking the main stage again. Lifeson uses a rougher tone on this album, giving it a slightly grungy feel. Geddy's bass was now becoming as it once was, intricate and yet it hadd the power it used to. Peart was back writing thoughtful lyrics, but still was writing some mediocre stuff, and his drumming became more hard rock oriented.

Noteworthy tracks are the opener, Animate, which features a great Lifeson riff, and a very catchy chorus. Neil drums on this one are superb, especially the opening drum solo (so to speak). The heavier Stick it Out features one of Lifeson's rare tuning changes (Other examples are Between the Wheels, Resist, and most recently 2112). It has a slightly darker feel than the rest of the album, and yet still has a catchy chorus. Nobody's Hero, a song concerning the AIDS epidemic, features an orchestra, great acoustic work from Lifeson, emotional vocals from Lee, and some of the best lyrics Peart has ever written. And last, the instrumental Leave That Thing Alone! (which was nominated for a Grammy), featuring a funky bass groove from Geddy, a searing guitar solo from Lifeson, and some precision drumming from Peart. One of the best Rush instrumentals available.

Overall, this album, while not better than Roll the Bones, was good in its own right. It marked a new era for Rush, and it was a breath of fresh air for the aged rockers. 3.5/5.

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Send comments to Cygnus X-2 (BETA) | Report this review (#39766) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Review by el böthy
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars You know...I really dont like this one...I tried, oh the Lord knows I have tried...but...no..I cant, I cant like it! ITS NOT A GOOD ALBUM!!!...At least not a good prog album, r a good Rush album. The songs are all too...simple?...Yes, but dont get me wrong, simplicity can be great...but this time it sucks...big time! Enourmus time! The only song that I can say its good is Leave that thing alone...the rest...oh, I dont want to say it...but crap!!!...And the lyrics?...Among Pearts worst...among? No, Pearts worst! Alien shore?...Oh, my ears hurt! You and I are strangers by one chromosome?...C´mon, what are we? 15 year old boy who want to put the firast thing we heard in biologie class?...and the rest...well, if theres one lyric which doesnt suchs...in fact its quite good, Nobodys Hero...good lyric, the only one... But...Everyday glory? oh Maria, mother of Jesus...(Im to spiritual today...right?) it sound like if the Backstreat boys learned to play descent instruments...the result? Mega CRAP!!!

I really dont like this album...but I love this band, so this, talking so bad about this album doesnt feels right...but I had to do it!

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Send comments to el böthy (BETA) | Report this review (#50325) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, October 06, 2005

Review by Raff
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars As my nickname shows, I'm proud of being a Rush fan, and this is definitely my favourite album of theirs from the '90s. It is quite different from their '70s 'proggier' efforts, but it strikes a chord with me all the same. As a matter of fact, I've just finished listening to it, so I thought it would be a good idea to write a review immediately afterwards. It is an album I play very often, one that never tires or bores me, contrarily to other records I own.

"Counterparts" might be very loosely termed a concept album, as it is mainly centred on the relationship between the sexes. As such it boasts some of the best-ever lyrics by the inimitable Neil Peart, or at least some that have touched me in a special way, like "Nobody's Hero" or "Alien Shore". I know Peart's lyrics are not everyone's cup of tea, but I've always found them to be emotionally moving as well as intelligent and well-written. However, the real strength of the album is the music, not to mention Geddy's singing. The bassist gets quite a lot of flak from critics and fans alike for his distinctive vocal style, and I for one must admit to not being extremely keen on his high-pitched wailing in the '70s. When he started singing in a lower register, though,I really fell in love with his voice. Last year, on the R30 tour, he sounded absolutely great!

There is hardly any filler on the album, the only somewhat weaker tracks being the last two, "Cold Fire" and "Everyday Glory". Everything else ranges from the excellent (the opening "Animate", driven by Lifeson's furious riffing, "Cut to the Chase" with its intricate drumming patterns, the instrumental "Leave That Thing Alone" and the already- mentioned "Alien Shore") to the very good (all the other tracks).

In short, one of the all-time great albums by the Canadian trio - a pity that its follow-up (1996's "Test for Echo") was not on the same level. But then, tragedy was waiting to strike the band, and it is nothing short of a miracle that they managed to pull it through.

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Send comments to Raff (BETA) | Report this review (#53687) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, October 28, 2005

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Polarize me. Sensitize Me. Criticize Me. Civilize Me"

The above lyrics were my favorite yell when this album came out the first time. It's an opening part of "Animate" the album opener.

When this album was released I thought it was not a good album but I always bought every album of Rush. So I decided to buy the cassette version. It's cheaper. But, when I played my cassette, the opening track "Animate" blew me away at first time. I kept rewinding the cassette to play this opening track. I usually did not go any further with this opening track until sometime my classic rock friend told me that there is another good track coming from this album, i.e. "Nobody's Hero". So I did try to "fast forward" the cassette to find this track. Yes, he's right, it's another good track. So I got two favorites coming from this album. But that's not the end of my story about this album. AT one occasion I played the cassette in full album, side A and B, all of them. Then I found something like "tagline" or "theme" that sprang over the album. Yes, each song is different but I find that all of individual songs form a good theme of the album and make a cohesive whole. Boom! Then I realized that this album is an excellent one. Of course, I could only do that because I kind like forgetting their past glories. I knew that since "Signals" the band has taken a new direction with their music. But musically, the new direction of Rush is at the same quality. So, my appreciation towards this album grew significantly. The second track "Stick It Out" and the third one "Cut To The Case" are also excellent compositions. Oh by the way, there is a great instrumental piece "Leave That Thing Alone" which did not attract me the first time I listened to it. But, hey come on . this is modern world, "Yyz" or "La Villa Strangiato" were the past, live today! So I started appreciating this track and I really enjoy it very much.

It's an excellent addition to any prog music collection. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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Posted Saturday, April 22, 2006

Review by Melomaniac
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Without a doubt Rush's best album in the 90's. After two over produced albums, Rush returned with a hard-rock riff driven album. Almost gone are the keyboards, and this makes for a much more "organic" album, focusing on the power-trio approach of the late 70's but definitely with a 90's hard alternative rock feel to it. Lifeson's guitar work is not as textural as in the 80's, Geddy's bass rediscovered the joys of bottom end (thank God for that Fender Jazz Bass) and Neil's drumming is rock hard and solid.

A great rock album, that's what it is.

Only two songs are filler here in my opinion (The Speed of Love and Everyday Glory), the rest is just amazingly good and memorable.

Too bad they didn't keep it up for Test For Echo. Their best 90's album followed by their worst 90's album...

Anyways, my favorites are : Animate, Stick it Out, Cut to the Chase, and my two huge favorites "Double Agent" and the amazing instrumental "Leave that Thing Alone". I like all the rest, except the two fillers I mentionned earlier.

Not a masterpiece, but an excellent addition to any music collection.

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Posted Sunday, July 02, 2006

Review by Prog Leviathan
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars A welcome change of sound and energy when compared to their past 3 (!) albums. Rush ditches most of their synthesizers and Geddy remembers how good of a bass player he is; "Counterparts" is a return to form.

Showing off everything that made their iconic albums great but in a more adult and cerebral way, "Counterparts" almost picks up where the band left off in the mid-'80's. All of the songs are close to 5-minutes and feature thematic lyrics focusing on relationships and individuality. The opener, "Animate" is a catchy and smart example, with "Alien Shore", "Speed of Love" and "Cold Fire" showing that the band has grown up a lot, and have some new stories to tell. Also new, is the emotional "Nobody's Hero", which shows a new level of sensitivity to Peart's lyrics.

As a whole, the group sounds tight and on their game, with Alex's guitar and Geddy's bass resurfacing after a long absence. Great, meaningful songs from start to finish.

Songwriting: 4 Instrumental Performances: 3 Lyrics/Vocals: 4 Style/Emotion/Replay: 3

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Posted Thursday, March 29, 2007

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Not since "Signals" have I heard such a good RUSH record. As the title and cover art (Hugh Syme) suggests, this has the theme of "relationships" throughout it. Peter Collins produced this one and he also produced "Hold Your Fire" and "Power Windows". Alex is all over this one, seemingly overjoyed at his new found freedom.They thank PRIMUS and Eric Johnson as well as Peter Zezel and The LEAFS !! And Mark Langston & The Angels. They have to get the Baseball and Hockey thankyous in don't they.

"Animate" is an uptempo tune and check out the rhythm section ! This is one of my favourites on this album." Stick It Out" is on the heavier side. Nice bass."Cut To The Chase" features a guitar solo from Alex that doesn't sound like anything he's done in the past. "Nobody's Hero" has strummed guitar and meaningful lyrics.There is some orchestration on this one. I love the line "I felt a shadow cross my heart" when dealing with death. Can't help but think of Neil though.

"Between Sun & Moon" is a catchy song with great vocals. I remember at one of their concerts Geddy dedicating this song to the memory of John Entwhistle who at the time had just passed away. "Alien Shore" has such an incredible instrumental section before 4 minutes in. "The Speed Of Love" has some cool sounding drumming 3 minutes in. "Double Agent" is the best song as far as I am concerned. Amazing lyrics and great bass. "Leave That Thing Alone" is one of my top 3 on this record. An instrumental that was nominated for a Grammy in 1995. This song makes me feel so good. "Cold Fire" is all about the lyrics. "Everyday Glory" is an uplifting song.

This is the first 4 star rating I have given a RUSH record since "Signals". Highly recommended.

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Posted Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Review by 1800iareyay
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Presto was a return to form for the band, but Counterparts is their true comeback album. Released in the the classic rock-unfriendly alternative explosion, Counterparts seemed doomed to fail. Presto was good, Roll the Bones was a step backwards, so why should this have been any good? Though Peart uses themes in nearly all of Rush's albums, this is the first- and only- concept album by the band. It deals with relantionships and romance, and it features the band's best melodies in a long while. After half a decade of sitting in the background, Alex gets back to the front for their most guitar-driven album since Hemispheres. Lee has picked up some new tricks and Peart never fails to dazzle.

There are quite a few gems on this album, especially the opener "Animate," which is driven by a great bassline. "Stick It Out" is one of Rush's heaviest songs, and it truly heralds the return of Alex. "Leave That Thing Alone" is a fun instrumental and one of the band's best. "Cut to the Chase" shows off Peart's amazing drum skills. "Cold Fire" and "Alien Shore" show how the band has matured from the sci-fi freakouts of yore. The true highlight of this album, however, is "Nobody's Hero," which is Peart's plea for HIV awareness. It's one of the Peart's most moving songs (maybe even more so thatn Different Strings). It features an orchestra, wondeful vocals, and beautiful acoustic guitar from Alex.

Some criticize the album for sounding alternative. I always defined alternative as alternative to what was dominant on the radio. Now, the term has been twisted into a certain sound, which I think defeats the purpose of being alternative if everyone sounds like each other. True, this almost sounds like a collaboration with King's X. However, you'll be hard pressed to find a concept album in the grunge revolution. The band would follow this powerful album with the flawed but decent Test For Echo, but it would be nearly another decade before they made an album worthy of following this.

Grade: B

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Posted Friday, June 29, 2007

Review by SoundsofSeasons
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 4 stars really... but a personal 4.5!

THE BEST of the 1990's+ RUSH. This album does exactly what it set out to do, express what the band knows about love and make sweet prog rock music while doing it. If there is one thing I can say about RUSH's effort in this album is that it is consistent and focused. The intrumental, Leave that Thing alone, is easily in the top three for my favorite Rush intrumentals of all time. Although it is not exactly a concept album, the concept is heard loud and clear. From the opening gem to the very end the lyrics and music all stick to the same page and just work. Speaking of lyrics, Peart sounds like a love doctor, like Hitch or something, because he sure has wisdom when it comes to relationship's. The lyrics are well thought and easily some of his very best ever. You may even smile and think about a special someone after listening to Counterparts.

This is one of my top Rush albums of all time, and I would consider myself a die hard Rush fan as well. An album that just never grows dull no matter how many times you spin it. Although probably not essential, as it's not the most progressive Rush album out there, it is absolutely excellent.

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Posted Monday, July 23, 2007

Review by Queen By-Tor
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Mr. Peart... You have a strange perception of love.

As proven by everything Rush has ever released since 1975, Neil Peart does not like to write love songs. While there is no exception with this album, it certainly does have a 'love' theme, the thing is... it's quite skewed. Not complaining of course, what kind of prog-fan likes love songs (and love songs only [nothing wrong with some Meatloaf now and then]) anyways. The cover of the album speaks volumes as to the theme of the album alone, with the nut and bolt connecting in an empty black and blue space. Other than the theme the album is characterized by all the tight playing and supreme musicianship that comes with any Rush album, and the songwriting is just as good as ever.

The album is also a lot heavier than the (then) recent outputs by the band. Gone are the rapping segments of Roll The Bones and the pop-ish-ness of Superconductor, in comes the heavy, mind blowing riffs of songs like STICK IT OUT and COLD FIRE. Clearly the band had chosen it's direction after being more commercially acceptable since the late 80s. The album starts with Neil saying very quietly in the background 'one, two, three, four', and as the count stops the drumming starts and the heavy machine that is ANIMATE starts to roll. Good use of synths over top of a wicked riff by Lifeson and a bass line rivaling that of Yes's 'Roundabout' makes this song a fantastic starting point.

The album doesn't let down either. As ANIMATE comes to a close the crunching riff of (the previously mentioned) STICK IT OUT starts. This song was the choice for a single and has a fairly good accompanying video to it, and while some may say that it's too simple, or too rock-ish and not enough prog, yes it is... but it's good enough rock to make up for it. CUT TO THE CHASE is a bit more complex, but still some good straightforward rock that doesn't let down, and NOBODY'S HERO is an emotional song with some very haunting lyrics regarding the AIDS pandemic.

Where the concept really starts to pick up, however is near the middle of the album. ALIEN SHORE, SPEED OF LOVE and COLD FIRE all being some kind of twisted love song. Each one is played tightly and has it's own charms with some true 'thinking man's' lyrics behind it. These are definitely the songs that show Peart's view on love as a human emotion that separates and divides people as opposed to something divine as it's often thought of (maybe inspired by Ghost of a Chance off their last album?).

The album winds down at the end with the spacey-bassy instrumental, LEAVE THAT THING ALONE, one of the most sad sounding pieces of work that Rush has ever composed that still manages to have an uplifting feel to it, and the coda EVERYDAY GLORY. Another depressing song following int he footsteps of NOBODY'S HERO in it's subjectional viewpoint of simply being human.

This album represents a side of Rush which is seldom seen - the heavy, angsty side. Definitely their finest work since Signals and a must have for any Rush fan. 4 stars on the PA, recommended to all but Rush-haters.

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Posted Monday, February 11, 2008

Review by Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars 'Counterparts' - Rush (9/10)

Boy, was this a suprise... Generally bands that are out and active as long as Rush are pretty much hopeless in terms of making an album that matches up to the phantasm of their classic works. Well, this is what 'Counterparts' is. A fantastic work that could rival most of their traditionally considered 'essential' works, and a fair contender for my favourite Rush album (possibly losing only to Moving Pictures.)

What makes this album so amazing? It's definately not a highly progressive album by any measure. There aren't any epics here; just regular songs, with pretty conventional songwriting. There aren't any virtuoso guitar solos, or some concept behind the music that ties it together as a masterpiece. It's simply for the MUSIC. While it's pretty modern rock for Rush, it's still not something that I would quickly simply want to characterize. It's just music, and very honest music at that. Instead of trying to go all epic and ahead of the times, Rush has composed an album that's sincere.

The flow and songwriting are both great, and compliment each other very nicely. The music is beautiful without losing it's teeth, and the lyrics don't try to be all cryptic. They simply tell stories. And to add to the mix, there's an occasional prog section to liven things up.

'Counterparts' is fantastic. The band is in top form here. It works together both as a single work of music and as individual strong songs. Uncompromised, honest enjoyment.

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Posted Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Counterparts is the fifteenth full-length studio album by Canadian progressive rock act Rush. The album was produced by Peter Collins who had also worked with the band on Power Windows (1985) and Hold Your Fire (1987). Counterparts was released through Atlantic Records on the 19th of October 1993.

The music on Counterparts is a departure from the keyboard laden style of eighties Rush and boasts a much more guitar and bass heavy production and songwriting style. The keyboards are very sparse on the album and Alex Lifeson´s heavy guitar riffs really dominate. The production by Peter Collins is excellent and gives the music a much needed warmth. The songs are still rather simple rock tunes with only hints at progressive rock. The instrumental Leave that thing alone is one of the highlights of the album but I also enjoy Animate, Stick it Out and Everyday Glory but there are no weak songs on the album which comes of rather coherent. The musicianship is as always excellent.

While Counterparts is not my favorite album by Rush I think it´s a good album and another transition in sound for the band. One they would develop further on subsequent releases. 3 stars are deserved.

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Posted Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Eclectic Prog Team
4 stars After the 1970s, Rush essentially gave up progressive rock and became something far more accessible. Well, this is one of the most accessible Rush records ever. Nearly every track is a well-crafted pop-rock song, but that by no means stops me from viewing this as an amazing album.

"Animate" After a quick count off, the band begins a straightforward but powerful song, led mainly by Geddy Lee's chugging bass.

"Stick it Out" A heavy and dark riff underlies a message about dealing with the obstacles of life. It practically stays heavy throughout, and doesn't offer much variety until the very end.

"Cut to the Chase" One of my favorites on the album (there will be a few of these), has Alex Lifeson dealing out clean guitar notes with Lee's vocals and steady bass around it. The chorus, however, is as heavy as everything that has come before. The guitar solo Lifeson provides is one of my favorites from him.

"Nobody's Hero" This is the more acoustic number, with thought-provoking lyrics and a powerful chorus. It's one of my favorite songs on the album (yes, another one). "Between Sun & Moon" This is one of the less memorable tracks on the album. It has some great guitar bits, but nothing spectacular. Somehow it sounds like a leftover from Presto. I love the chorus, however, even though the song took a long time for me to like.

"Alien Shore" This is a good song, but is one of the more lackluster tracks on the album. It describes the differences between the sexes (in a slightly different way than "Cold Fire" will do). It's a solid song, but not amazing.

"Speed of Love" While this song runs a bit bland, I still enjoy it quite a bit. Lee jumps in the middle with some funky bass bits, but again, nothing better than anything he's done before. "Double Agent" Over his thudding bass, Lee sings the lyrics to what I feel is the worst song on the album. The spoken word is irritating, almost corny. Honestly, this album would have been better without this mess.

"Leave That Thing Alone" One of Rush's best instrumentals is this one. It has Lee's growling bass riff, Lifeson's steady guitar in the back, and Neil Peart's varied percussion. The lead guitar is well-written, and soon launches into the hard rock attack.

"Cold Fire" Yet another favorite from this album (perhaps I'm a bit of a fan?), has Lifeson chucking out heavy chords that soon become soft, delicate sounds. He also has a soulful guitar solo. The fast-paced chorus is a highlight of the whole album.

"Everyday Glory" One more favorite here (just one more- I promise), has an inspiriting opening, with some hard-to-hear lyrics that give way to even an more inspiring chorus.

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Posted Thursday, June 18, 2009

Review by progaardvark
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Following on the heels of the moderately successful Roll the Bones, Rush released Counterparts in 1993. The band practically eliminated synthesizers from the overall sound, here and there being used as backdrops. The music on Counterparts is highly guitar-oriented and much heavier sounding than previous efforts, hearkening back to their 1970s sound in some ways (but not in style). I also sense a clear 1990s alternative rock influence throughout the album.

The formula is again shorter pieces of music, primarily radio-friendly. From time to time the album feels kind of harsh in sound. It kicks off with a great start with the song Animate, but quickly loses my attention as the album progresses, with some notable exceptions being Nobody's Hero, Alien Shore, and the instrumental Leave That Thing Alone.

I'm not so sure I'm fond of the direction Rush took with this album. Over the years I have noticed their incorporation of styles from other genres that were making it big at the time, like reggae and ska in the 1980s, then African tribal percussion in the late 1980s, and now alternative rock from the early 1990s. One could say Rush was evolving, but after more than a decade they've stuck to a formula while adding in little nuggets. Were they trying to expand their sound or market themselves towards the next "in" thing. That would make an interesting debate. I think their experiments with reggae influences was interesting, but I was never fond of the 1990s alternative rock scene and thus, this leaves a sour feeling to my ears when I listen to some of this album.

I still think the good songs on here outweigh the poorer tracks, so a three-star rating seems suitable to me. Good, but not really essential. Rush has many more much better albums in their discography than this one and by 1993 prog was starting to make an underground comeback and there were much better releases than this one that year.

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Posted Friday, June 19, 2009

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
4 stars Why do so many reproach this band for changing their style and sound (and on this occasion happily their looks as well) every so often? Not only does Rush continue to provide us with the very best song writing and performance, they also try to redefine themselves constantly. For me this is exactly what makes them stand out above so many other bands. Counterparts is no exception, be it in a more accessible format then before. Except from a few weaker tracks like The Speed of Love and Everyday Glory, this album delivers everything that I appreciate about this band. Everyone who claims to love Moving Pictures should dig this album as well.

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Posted Thursday, September 03, 2009

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Well I thought Rush was all washed up after Power Windows and arrogantly dismissed their later works as mediocre only returning to this section of their music in the last three years or so. What a blessing and a relief, to not only have not been in the 'moment' for each subsequent release after Power Windows but have the indulgent pleasure of immersing myself into all their back catalogue up to Snakes and Arrows with even a revisit on the errant Test For Echo. Nice to be proven wrong!!

Counterparts released in 1993 is definitely one of their best album releases. Conceptually an album based on the yin yang of relationships, partnerships irrespective of sexual preference. The aids inspired ' Nobody's Hero' a perfect case in point. Great plaintiff vocals by Geddy Lee and lyrics speak for themselves. The album commences with the dizzy ' Animate' followed by the thumping ' Stick it Out', musicianship as tight as ever with an excellent chorus. The album has the appeal of having more layers of synth and keyboards courtesy of John Webster assisting Geddy Lee on keyboards . The highlight of the album is the instrumental " Leave that Thing Alone' where Lifeson, Lee and Peart mesmerize with complete skill and artist wizardry. The bass in particular gives even that fellow Chris Squire a run for his money. This is an excellent album, indicative that Rush did change with the times, they did plunder new territories and their main ingredients never got diluted as perhaps some ( indeed this reviewer) at the time suggested. A worthy minimum four stars.

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Posted Sunday, August 22, 2010

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams
4 stars On this album, Rush went heavier. In fact, this might be the heaviest of all of their albums. I enjoyed it more than the previous few album, but nowhere near as much as the earlier, more progressive albums.

The performances are spectacular. Neil Peart's drums are powerful and complex at the same time (How doe he do that?). Alex Lifeson's guitar playing is more aggressive than usual. And Geddy Lee's bass playing is , as always, superb. Even his voice is less annoying than usual throughout the album.

The songwriting stays mostly within the straight ahead hard rock to metal range, but the performances on the album are so good, it transcends the genre.

The closest they get to prog is on Leave That Thing Alone, which isn't as good as instrumentals like YYZ or La Villa Strangiato, but it suffices.

4 stars. With this effort, and better songs, it could have been a masterpiece.

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Posted Thursday, February 10, 2011

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
4 stars A great Rush album released during the early 90s. The excellent production quality brings out the clanging guitars of Lifeson, the pulsating bass and high falsetto of Lee, and of course Peart's pounding percussion. Not every track is an instant classic but there is enough here to satiate the Rush appetite, namely the first 4 songs.

Animate is a brilliant memorable rocker with innovative lyrics and killer riffing as good as it gets. Stick It Out is driven by a hard rock guitar riff, one of Lifeson's most inspirational moments, and very powerful vocals. Cut To The Chase is a melodic gem that is well sung and performed by the group. Nobody's Hero is a terrific single with very strong melody and unforgettable chorus. Another highlight is the ground pounding Leave That Thing Alone instrumental with great lead breaks and keyboard work.

Each track features the trademark resounding echoing phased guitar sound, and Lee's accomplished high octave treatment of the vocals. He is in fine voice throughout and the songs became favourites for MTV boasting promo clips for the first few songs. The songs have also been played live many times through the years and are fan favourites.

Overall this album is one of the best among the Rush 90s years, when Prog was coming back to the forefront of the industry. Rush are certainly one of the most important acts to keep prog flourishing, and this album is one of their best in this troublesome period.

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Posted Thursday, May 26, 2011

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
1 stars I tried to "stick it out" but soon realised that it's better for me to leave that thing alone!

Allow me to speculate a little: is it possible that the reason why (most of) Rush's 90's and 00's albums have so high average ratings is that only the band's most devoted fans have probed as deeply as this into the band's discography? It could be one relevant factor, perhaps. Something like this was at least true of this particular reviewer for quite some time, anyway. I have reviewed all of the band's 70's albums and most of their 80's albums years ago, but never got on to the 90's releases until now. I have heard some of these albums before, but always found it hard to sit through them in their entirety. Needless to add, I'm not a big fan of Counterparts.

As I pointed out in my review of the previous Rush album, 1991's Roll The Bones, that album fits better into the same category as the band's 80's albums and that the present album was the real beginning of the 90's-era Rush. The sound of Counterparts is very different from anything they ever did before. While the 80's albums from Signals onward adjusted to their time and drifted towards New Wave and Synth Pop with a more polished production, Counterparts was adjusted to its time and drifted towards Grunge and Alternative Rock. The keyboards and synthesisers were ditched completely and the guitars and bass became heavier and, dare I say, a bit muddled. Other bands made similar moves around the time. One example is Black Sabbath with Dehumanizer (an album I dislike for similar reasons I dislike Counterparts). This kind of "dirty" sound was very much of its time (the early 90's) and, in my opinion, it doesn't fit a classic Rock band like Rush at all. It is blatantly obvious that they were trying to be contemporary and adjust to new trends. This is not always a bad thing though, and Rush perhaps deserves respect for trying. But the end result is just not to my liking.

However, even if the sound and production were very different from previous Rush albums, the band's songwriting remained pretty much the same and the compositions are still based on the same tired formula as on, say, Grace Under Pressure. And, as I've pointed out in several previous reviews, Prog was clearly a thing of the past for Rush ever since Moving Pictures. Many Rush fans like Counterparts and consider it to be a return to form for the band and though I can agree that several of the songs are more energetic and powerful than on the lacklustre Roll The Bones, I have a hard time understanding the love this album gets on this site. I even get a bit bored while listening to these dull compositions and I have really given this album several chances over a period of several years. It is sad that a band once so great can fall as deep as they did in the early 90's.

Counterparts is thus a rather sad affair to these ears that I can recommend only to those hard core Rush fans that would follow the band wherever they chose to go no matter how far away from their classic sound. Thankfully, the next album would be an improvement.

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Posted Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Counterparts isn't an album I'd put in the front rank of Rush's discography, but it's still something of a return to form, firmly reversing the trend towards irrelevance and self- plagiarism that the band had been drifting into since Grace Under Pressure. This time around, the band's experiments in incorporating modern alt-rock ideas into their sound from Roll the Bones are brought to fruition, accomplishing the blend in a much more graceful and natural way than that album ever did.

The opening number, Animate, finds Rush sounding more energetic and forceful than they had since Signals, and I have to give Neil Peart credit for Nobody's Hero - a slice-of-life song which expresses Peart's shock both at the AIDS-related death of a friend and a murder that took place in his home town. (I particularly like how the opening lines take the position that straight people shouldn't be embarrassed of socialising with and supporting their LGBT friends.) However, whilst the album has a more or less strong opening, I find the material here isn't quite polished enough to sustain it for the entire 54 minute runtime.

It might be tempting to blame CDs for this, and I do believe the expanded time constraints compared to vinyl offered by CDs have prompted some bands to include poor tracks on their albums for the sake of filling out the running time, and there are plenty of albums out there which could be improved if their creators stuck to a 40 minute running time and trimmed the fat. But I don't think that's the case this time around; the fact is, Rush were coming out of a creative slump here which preceded the shift from vinyl to CDs, and whilst the better songs on here are entertaining enough, the band's classic songs blow this material out of the water. Rush were moving in the right direction at this point, but they hadn't recovered fully yet.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#612432) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Review by tarkus1980
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars The biggest improvement to this album over the last couple is that the band no longer sounds uncomfortable with the notion that they're a freaking power trio. Supposedly (maybe this is me getting fooled by another myth, I dunno), Alex and Geddy had an argument over the direction the band was taking, with Alex wanting the band to go back in a harder direction, and Neil ended up siding with Alex. This resulted in drastic changes in the band's sound; for the first since the 70's, the band put out an album that RAWKS (not "rocks," but "RAWKS"). Geddy clearly uses a different-sounding bass from the last few albums, and the bass sound returns to the low-pitched and superactive *rumble* of the band's earlier years. Similarly, Alex got to heavy up his sound and take a more prominent role than on any album since ... man, maybe since Hemispheres. He even incorporates a grunge sound from time to time (well, it was 1993); I can understand why some fans might cringe at this (Rush's guitar sound was a bit hair-metallish at times in the 80's, and grunge was pretty much created to destroy hair metal), but I definitely have no problem with grunge when there are good chops backing it.

As usual, there are a couple of great songs, and as usual they're placed near the beginning. "Animate" showcases everything good about the album's sound and couples it with strong guitar and bass lines and some really good hooks. Even the softer parts of the song are quite decent. As for "Stick it Out," well. I know many fans despise it, but I enjoy it a bunch. It's a good hard rock song! I guess I'm just a sucker for the heavy guitar sound, but that shouldn't be surprising at this point. I'd listen to this ten times in a row before I'd want to listen to "Mission" again ...

Unfortunately, as usual, the rest of the album is somewhat of a letdown. As much as I love the new sound the band adopts, it can't prevent me from thinking that there are some really stupid songs on here. Peart has some ridiculous lowpoints on this album, and there's even a bad set of lyrics from Pye Dubois in "Between the Sun and Moon" (I like the song itself, though). "Double Agent" features spoken interludes from Geddy that I think are supposed to be spooky or intimidating or whatever, but they pretty much cement the song as one of Rush's worst ideas. And, well, there's a good number of songs that are okayish, but which don't have melodies that are much better than the typical work from the past couple of albums.

I can think of least two other songs on here, though, that I think are notable. "Nobody's Hero" may have the most ridiculous first verse in the history of man, and I can only appreciate it on a purely ironic level, but once I get past the lyrics I find the song quite nice. What can I say, I think the melody is well-constructed, and even the chorus, overblown and cheezy as it might be, sounds moving to me in its own way. I'm also quite fond of the instrumental "Leave That Thing Alone" (boy, it's nice of Rush to start consistently putting instrumentals on its album), which is kind of a sequel to "Where's That Thing?", but featuring stronger and heavier basslines, and a more intense vibe.

The rest is the rest, and you know what? It's enough to make this into a somewhat decent album, even if I wouldn't recommend getting it on the grounds that all of the best songs are available on Different Stages.

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Send comments to tarkus1980 (BETA) | Report this review (#823523) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Latest members reviews

3 stars RUSH basically continued the ideas from "Roll The Bones" on their 15th studio album COUNTERPARTS but while the previous album seemed awkward and the ideas presented were so weak that they stumbled all over themselves, on this album we get a more energized RUSH beefing up the hard rock sound with a ... (read more)

Report this review (#1191102) | Posted by siLLy puPPy | Wednesday, June 11, 2014 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Rush-Counterparts After the weak effort 'Roll the Bones', Rush came back rocking with 'Counterparts'. Unlike 'Bones', Counterparts is combining the alternative rock style of 'Presto' and hard rock, instead of being more pop-sounding. 1: Animate. Being the opening song, it makes sense that this ... (read more)

Report this review (#1167121) | Posted by Unitron | Tuesday, April 29, 2014 | Review Permanlink

2 stars A dull tedious album that does little to differentiate from any other standard hard rock outfit in the early 90s. I have to be honest with my review here, I am not a huge Rush fan. Even in their glory days I find them to usually be little more than a highly stylized, quite technical hard rock ... (read more)

Report this review (#1134128) | Posted by MJAben | Wednesday, February 19, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Now that's more like it - finally a Rush album again that I could sink my teeth into. "Animate" caused me to sit up and pay attention once again relating to a band that I once loved and found I could love again. Was kind of like sitting back with an old friend who had gone missing for a long w ... (read more)

Report this review (#940381) | Posted by sukmytoe | Saturday, April 06, 2013 | Review Permanlink

2 stars With Rush's second 90's album, Counterparts, almost all of the synth and 80's cheesiness has been stripped away for a return to the more hard rock style of the 70's. Clearly this is a positive thing for Lifeson, whose role in the sound since Moving Pictures had diminished in favor of the keyboards. ... (read more)

Report this review (#771354) | Posted by Mr. Mustard | Friday, June 15, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars A strange and inconsistant album, Counterparts is not without its rewards. It's difficult to define the sound of the album, because it begins with 3 songs that have a decidedly heavier than usual sound, with Alex Lifeson's guitars having a deeper tone to them (that happen to sound great on th ... (read more)

Report this review (#637995) | Posted by 7headedchicken | Wednesday, February 22, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Wow, is this the same band as did the 2112 and the Signals albums ? Rush really knows how to renew themselves. From prog on 2112 to synth rock at Signal to becoming a guitar driven power trio at Counterparts. All this with the same members. I find that really impressive. For me, that is why I ... (read more)

Report this review (#581786) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Sunday, December 04, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Counterparts is a very solid album from Rush with very good production, instrumentation and lyrics that grows with each listen. It can be played in the background as an interesting set of songs or played loud to appreciate the power drumming, bass and chords. Certainly not the most progressive o ... (read more)

Report this review (#539194) | Posted by KeepItDark | Saturday, October 01, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Now with this album Rush got it right. I'm serious this album is absolutely great and is their best album at the time since Grace Under Pressure. This was Rush's take of an "alternative" sounding album and boy did they deliver. This album really gets the sound right again with each member righ ... (read more)

Report this review (#463569) | Posted by criticdrummer94 | Saturday, June 18, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars It took a long time to hear a really good Rush album. The last one that gave me enthusiasm when hearing it was Grace Underpressure; and between them we have three average ones and a miss, which is Presto. Animate is not only an opener, it is a killer one. It is better than Dreamline and For ... (read more)

Report this review (#437418) | Posted by Antonio Giacomin | Friday, April 22, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I'll be upfront and say that this is my favorite RUSH album of all time. GRACE UNDER PRESSURE and PERMANENT WAVES are close for me, achingly so, but this is the one that I keep coming back to. I've had it in my car now for several years and listen to it at least once a month, which is quite a lot ... (read more)

Report this review (#409672) | Posted by Gorloche | Tuesday, March 01, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars It is a fan-only dark secret that Rush really do take parts of other popular music styles and frankenstein them into their own. The anger that fans directed toward this wonderful three-piece, yelling "The Police!!!" during the Grace Under Pressure days, must have had an effect. After the ver ... (read more)

Report this review (#271170) | Posted by cronker | Thursday, March 11, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Since their 1981 classic, "Moving Pictures," the height of the band's career, Rush has gone in many different directions and alienated a fair share of fans, but grabbed just as many new ones. It would have been easy to keep churning out their unique blend of hard rock and progressive rock year aft ... (read more)

Report this review (#266938) | Posted by Biff Tannen | Thursday, February 18, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This has to be Rush's best effort of the 1990's. Some hard rocking riffs and some of the best basslines ever! The drums are so good, well, thats because of Peart of course. This also has to be among one of the best sounding Rush records ever too. Unlike the two overly produced albums befor ... (read more)

Report this review (#245408) | Posted by Rushlover13 | Tuesday, October 20, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars RUSH is a band that has been around now for over 30 years, and has gone though many musical phases. I consider the bands 1990 releases as their "Contemporary period". Albums included are Presto (1989), Roll the Bones (1991), Counterparts (1993), Test for Echo (1996), and Different Stages "Live" ... (read more)

Report this review (#182016) | Posted by Analog Kid | Monday, September 08, 2008 | Review Permanlink

3 stars And here we have my favorite band's most highly rated album since Signals... wait, what? Counterparts is an important mark in Rush's development of their current sound, and starts off their trend of their irritating alternative-ish sound and somewhat disappointing lyrics. But wait! There is def ... (read more)

Report this review (#178760) | Posted by Draith | Sunday, August 03, 2008 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Okay, I couldn't believe Counterparts rated a 3.99 on the Prog Archives.....I'd give it a 2.5, maybe a 3. So I went back and listened to it in its entirety, just to be sure. And now I'm convinced it's more like a 2 or 2.5. I mean. there's just no good songs here. Animate and Stick It Out rank ... (read more)

Report this review (#174725) | Posted by MrMan2000 | Saturday, June 21, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is a very strong Rush release. I agree with the reviewers that said this is Rush's best work of the 1990's. I totally agree. While Test For Echo is a good Rush release with some great tracks, Counterparts overall is heavier, stronger, and tighter. It is my opinion that Counterparts is lik ... (read more)

Report this review (#163269) | Posted by hardmusicfan | Wednesday, March 05, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is a great Rush album. It's solid, progressive, but still has that Rush sound. Personally, I like all the songs, but I can't listen to the whole thing straight through or replay it in a short period of time. Other than that, these guys make their music flow as all of them do a good part ... (read more)

Report this review (#128886) | Posted by | Monday, July 16, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Superb songwriting throughout make CP one of Rush's best records. Standout tracks include every tune of the ablum. This is not an album; however, for Rush/prog purists. Prog masterpieces are nowhere to found on this recording. Tight little hard rock/prog twist songs make up the matter of this alb ... (read more)

Report this review (#121791) | Posted by SnakePlisken | Saturday, May 12, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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