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Rush - Permanent Waves CD (album) cover




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4.28 | 2123 ratings

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5 stars Released in 1980, Permanent Waves was the album that fused the progressive tendencies that Rush showed on their '70s material with a mint production and it even gave us a few signs of the transition that the band would undergo on their next few albums.

This album was released only a year before Moving Pictures and has unfortunately been overshadowed by that release ever since. I consider it truly a pity because Permanent Waves is a far superior package in every single category. It has stronger hits (The Spirit Of Radio, Freewill, Entre Nous), a ballad that blows Witch Hunt and Vital Signs out of the water (Different Strings) and, most importantly the best progressive rock moments (Jacob's Ladder and Natural Science).

Natural Science is by far my favorite composition that Rush have ever recorded. It has amazing lyrics which are perfectly matched by its music content. The two minute atmospheric intro transitions into one great Alex Lifeson-riff after the other and Geddy Lee adds a few underlying synthesizer melodies that elevate the band's performance to a whole new level. Still it's Neil Peart who once again steals the show for me here. Just listen to all the little polyrhythmic fills that he literally floods the music with! The only minor complaint here is the slightly trivial guitar-solo halfway through the track which sounds a bit out of place compared to all the other difficult patterns that the band has given us so far. Surprisingly enough I actually find this flaw quite charming especially since I don't believe in such a thing as a perfect recording although Natural Science definitely comes close to it!

Seeing the band perform live during their Snakes & Arrows tour was a great experience for me. The fact that they played four out of the six songs off this record during that performance really showed that the album has withstood the test of time! It's simply a great album that everyone should own.

***** star songs: The Spirit Of Radio (4:56) Jacob's Ladder (7:26) Natural Science (9:17)

**** star songs: Freewill (5:21) Entre Nous (4:36) Different Strings (3:48)

Total Rating: 4,61

Rune2000 | 5/5 |


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