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Rush - Permanent Waves CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.28 | 2123 ratings

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5 stars Rush made many great records. Everyone has a favorite and, especially if you were young during the band's heyday, each album brings you back to a certain time, often one of musical discovery and the realization that rock music could be more than just three-minute ditties about broken hearts and drinking. And that was the beauty of progressive rock, it took us away from the confines of the blues and allowed further growth. Rush accomplished this as well as anyone but added cool heavy metal flash and high-tech bravado. A Farewell To Kings was good, Hemispheres was a huge leap forward but Permanent Waves was their most realized, eloquent and precise statement of what they did best.

Alex Lifeson wastes no time ripping open 'Spirit of the Radio' with a Hackett-like riff, Neil Peart and Geddy Lee's accents beginning the day with a friendly voice, a track that shows the dynamic range of these maestros. Quirky guitar lines and a classic lyric from Peart on the importance of independent thinking in 'Freewill', and compelling drama for 'Jacob's Ladder' as the sky grows dark with Lifeson's stern muted chunks, building into a distant overture of synths and great space-filling by Peart. The second half is even better, if that's possible, and features the wise and wistful 'Entre Nous', a sophisticated rocker showing remarkable sensitivity and intelligence for a power trio, even more than they had shown in previous work. Love song 'Different Strings' is a tender tribute, further demonstrating a band with much to say and a drummer-turned-lyricist who knew how to say it. And to top-off an already classic piece of modern rock, the brilliant 'Natural Science', full of light, charged molecules, and a deft commentary on the rhythm of life.

Though they produced albums that were more popular, Rush never did anything that was superior to this. Permanent Waves remains a critical turning point for them and a coming-of-age record for all young people interested in what progressive rock has to offer.

Atavachron | 5/5 |


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