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Rush - Signals CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.95 | 1408 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars (A kind of a follow-up to my Meddle review last Friday; I'm tired of shying away from the heavily reviewed albums of the most popular groups, and from now on I will visit them every now and then besides my usual habit of concentrating on less reviewed artists.)

There's one clear reason why this RUSH album is among my favourites: it was one of the very first Prog (or Prog Related) albums I ever came to listen to, even before I started buying vinyls. My elder brother had this. But I believe I would still prefer Signals to many others even without the nostalgia factor. It has very nice songs that are catchy in a good way, and compared to the next albums the synth department is not disturbingly up front. Yes, there are plenty of them all right. So? Their sound is meaty, not plastic at all.

The opener is the wonderful concert classic 'Subdivisions' with its effective synth riff. The lyrics, as throughout this album, are more dow-to-earth, of everyday issues, than on the 70's RUSH, and I like that. Here, on at least a couple of tracks, the point of view is of a young lad. "Be cool or be cast out", the central dilemma of youth. 'The Analog Kid' is just fantastic, bright song full of youth spirit. The album's weakest moments are on the latter half of Side One. 'Chemistry' and 'Digital Man' don't feel as inspired as the rest, but bad songs they are not.

'The Weapon' is again a powerful and meaningful song with anti-militarian message. It's also the longest track (6:22) as it has an instrumental middle part. This album is not very progressive what comes to song structures, but that doesn't make it weak. The songs, almost all of them, are very good and so is the sound - what else matters? The two last tracks are among the best ones. 'Losing It' is a moody, even tragic song about, well, losing it: a writer, a dancer, all admiration behind and now they feel empty and useless. Have you noticed the allusions to Hemingway in the lyrics? Electric violin of Ben Mink is a beautiful addition. And the album closer has the same synth riff as the opener; otherwise 'Countdown' stays far enough from 'Subdivisions'. The lyrics about a rocket launch may not have depth, but the tense atmosphere is captured greatly.

A strong album, perhaps the most undervalued in the RUSH catalogue.

Matti | 4/5 |


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