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Rush - A Farewell to Kings CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.33 | 2289 ratings

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James Lee
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I can't add much to what has already been said. Along with "Hemispheres", this is my favorite RUSH album; they had a perfect balance of hard rock and exploration on these two releases. The raw rock sound of 2112 had been refined but not yet as smooth as it would get on "Moving Pictures" and beyond. The transitions and style changes are smoother (although "Cygnus X-1" is still a bit choppy in parts), and they can establish a textural mood with more finesse.

The title track is grand, soaring, and allegorically critical, displaying some of the most successful lyrics that Peart had yet penned. "Xanadu" is as fine a soundscape as they ever created, evocative and faithful -though probably presented a bit different than Coleridge envisioned. It's also probably what inspired IRON MAIDEN's later metal epics (especially their Coleridge-authored "Rime of the Ancient Mariner"!), and thereby the birthsong of prog-metal. "Closer to the Heart" is their first really good pop song, accessible and yet loaded with notable sonic details (a fine synth solo, for instance). "Cinderella Man" is less well done, but still full of good moments. "Madrigal", on the other hand, is a suprisingly impressive and simple piece, the successor to "Rivendell" but so much more polished- and it really is a madrigal.

It's hard to say that this is the best RUSH album, or the ideal place to start with the band, but it and "Hemispheres" are the best expressions of the band's progressive journey. It was only three years before this that they released their debut- can you believe it?

James Lee | 4/5 |


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