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Rush - Hemispheres CD (album) cover




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4.37 | 2483 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 'Hemispheres' - Rush (8/10)

The concept of 'Hemispheres' can be seen in the album art, read in the title, and heard in the music and lyrics. The concept of 'art versus science' has long been an interesting debate, and Rush address the topic in the best way they know how, through intelligently constructed science fiction lyrics and an epic song length. Wrapping up the story the was started in 'A Farewell To Kings,' 'Cygnus X-2: Hemispheres' has the greatest lyrics Neil Peart has ever written, as well as some great music that feels like Rush's most cohesive epic to date (despite the criticism it's gotten for being a tad repetitive.) I've always liked the first side of this album more, but side two is a fantastic three song arc that is only hindered by the mediocre track 'Circumstances.'

The 'war between heart and mind' borrows lyrical elements from philosophy, classic science fiction, and greek mythology and melds it all together into a massive poem that could easily be the topic of a university paper in terms of it's complexity and deepness. While the music isn't up to par with the ingenuity of the lyrics, the flanger guitar is a very interesting addition to the sonic tapestry, and the vocal performance for the acoustic closing chapter 'The Sphere' is very emotive.

The other highlight of the album is the instrumental 'La Villa Strangiato.' Arguably the band's best instrumental, theres some really great guitar work from Alex Lifeson here, possibly his best. Thrown into the mix as well are some homages to ragtime, which are unexpected and bring something new and refreshing to the table. The guitar solo in 'La Villa Strangiato' is one of the best of all time, and it stands as being a Rush classic.

'The Trees,' while being better than 'Circumstances' sort of feels like an extention to lengthen the gap between the two longer songs. 'The Trees' (as shorter Rush songs go) is really cool, and like 'Cygnus X- 2,' the lyrics are of particular appeal.

Despite being only four songs long, Rush has made a prog classic here, and while it's not their most consistent, it's a great addition to their discography. Well done, Rush. My hat is off to you.

Conor Fynes | 4/5 |


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