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Rush - Permanent Waves CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.28 | 2123 ratings

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Eclectic Prog Team
5 stars I consider this to be one of Rush's finest moments. While the album is admittedly short, even for vinyl standards, there is zero filler, as every second is infused with creativity and intelligence. Geddy Lee fires off some excellent bass parts throughout while sounding at his best vocally. Alex Lifeson mainly holds down the rhythm with some highly inventive riffs, yet does not at all disappoint when he takes off with a blazing solo. Neil Peart contributes with more "in the pocket" drumming on this album, as well as his ever-inspired lyrics. These lyrics are expertly penned, generally scientific and yet without coming across as pedantic.

"The Spirit of Radio" One of Rush's radio hits, appropriately enough, this is a fantastic yet simple song. The music stays upbeat and the lyrics are brilliant. There's some difficult bass licks stuck inside this one, as well as a "bristling" guitar riff. More than anything, this is a fun way to kick off the album.

"Freewill" One of my favorite Rush songs of all time, this piece has it all in a concise five-and-a-half minutes: A stellar main riff, intellectual lyrics, odd time signatures, a catchy chorus, a gritty bass solo that's all over the place, guitar shredding, and killer drumming. The words are some of the best and most thoughtful ever penned.

"Jacob's Ladder" Steady bass, static keyboard, bright guitar, and a light marching snare over an 11/4 time signature make for an intriguing beginning. A synthesizer line, which sounds a bit like the main riff from "Subdivisions," occurs halfway through, with Lee's voice recorded through some warbling effects. This is an extremely great example of restrained progressive rock music.

"Entre Nous" One of the greatest overlooked gems in Rush's vast history, this one has a great opening riff and an equally great vocal melody. I love how the crunchy electric guitar during the verses is contrasted with the acoustic on the brilliant chorus. In addition, there's a basic synthesizer solo over more dynamic bass.

"Different Strings" Yet another often unnoticed work of brilliance, this has soft guitar and a likewise gentle vocal performance. This (like "Jacob's Ladder" is a great example of how a virtuosic band institutes restraint.

"Natural Science" I first heard this song live, and was floored when I did. It begins with watery sounds, simple acoustic guitar chords, and a galactic-sounding lead vocal. The lyrics are quite remarkable- some of the most meditatively scientific Peart has written. They compare a microcosmic world to the one in which we live. There are various sections to this lengthiest track, with different riffs that keep it fresh and invigorating. Lee's bass work during the excellent guitar solo implies a simplistic chord progression, but is incredibly vibrant. What an impressive way to end such a stellar album!

Epignosis | 5/5 |


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