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Rush - Grace Under Pressure CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.69 | 1104 ratings

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3 stars As cheerless a record as they've made, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Some have cited internal strife as the catalyst, others the choice of new producer PETER HENDERSON, but regardless of the underlying reason for the change, "Grace Under Pressure" marked the end of the teenage fantasy and the beginning of a darker (and more mature) world view. NEIL PEART emerges as a sullen sceneshifter, the weight of the world upon him (addressed in the opening "Distant Early Warning"), who finds his darkest voice in the concentration camp setting of "Red Sector A." The arrangements are less exuberant than past efforts, though still crafted with care and precision. The knock on "Grace Under Pressure" is a lack of standout songs; "The Body Electric" (which recalls The Who's "905") and "Kid Gloves" are a fair match for anything on "Signals", but beyond them only "Distant Early Warning" and "The Enemy Within" invite the comparison to vintage RUSH. The rest of the record bristles with a dry energy, restless and resentful music that offers no solution to the problems it poses. Oddly, some have found their own dark sentiments echoed in this wasteland, hearing in "Grace Under Pressure" an elevated musical dialogue. Superimposing the problems of the past on a bleak future strikes too close to the bone, which is probably why I never liked "1984" so much as "Brave New World". Perhaps seceding along similar lines, RUSH fans are divided over whether "Grace Under Pressure" is a step forward or a step back.
daveconn | 3/5 |


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