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Rush - 2112 CD (album) cover

2112

Rush

 

Heavy Prog

4.11 | 2388 ratings

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Neo-Romantic
4 stars I like this album. I think it's a really great starting point for both the band and progressive music in general. The highs are way high in the sky (space, even), and there aren't really all that many lows, and even the ones that exist are very forgivable. This album is definitely important both as a reference point for a bold close to the band's first era and as a historically influential album.

So here's my breakdown of the music itself:

2112 is a masterpiece song. Wow, what a suite it is! This is not only musically accomplished, but thematically mature. The story is emotional, well-informed from a literary standpoint, and is complimented masterfully by the music. You can practically hear the menace building in the final moments as an autocratic power grab to stamp out all freedom occurs, the tentative mystified attitude of the main character as they discover a guitar from the long lost past, and that character's cathartic decision to end their life coming to fruition in Alex Lifeson's solo during the second-last movement. Talk about a work of art! A masterpiece through and through.

While it may be true that the rest of the songs aren't on the same level as the opening monolith, they aren't completely without merit, which prevents me from writing them all off as bland filler tracks. Some may offer more than others, but I don't think of any of them as inherently bad songs. Passage to Bangkok has good instrumental work, especially in the solo passage. I'm morally opposed to marijuana consumption, so the message of the song is very much lost on me. This aside, it's a pretty straightforward track, nothing too mind-boggling, but not bad. Twilight Zone has good mood contrast between verse and chorus and is worth the listen as a short track. Lessons is okay, definitely not bad, but nothing special. Tears is a good early Rush ballad, and the mellotron passage at the end was very pleasant to hear. This along with the compelling lyrics and emotional sensitivity in Geddy's voice set it apart from other early Rush ballads in a very positive way. I like it quite a bit. The best of the post-2112 tracks is Something for Nothing in my opinion. It has an energy, drive, and variety about it that proves Rush had more to offer than just one epic track. It also points toward the type of direction they would pursue in their next era, employing heavy contrasts that are both effective and interesting. This makes for a good closer to the album and has a lot to offer.

The album is, needless to say, as powerful as it is significant. While it may not be perfect or as consistent as their later ones in terms of quality from track to track, this one still holds up and is worth many revisits, along with the recognition it has gleaned among progressive music fans throughout the past nearly 40 years it has been around. I highly recommend giving it a listen. If nothing else, listen to the title track. It's a monumental song that serves as a high watermark for prog epics, especially those wishing to accomplish more than show off each individual member's ability to solo for long periods of time.

Neo-Romantic | 4/5 |

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