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Rush - Grace Under Pressure CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.69 | 1303 ratings

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3 stars After initially being disappointed with the sound of the album "Signals", I hoped that the old Rush was back with this album, but once again I was disappointed. At that point, I figured the old days of Rush were gone and I was unwilling to move on like Rush did. But I would always love their harder and heavier (and proggier) albums from before. It was quite a while before I started really listening to the Rush from the 80s, but now at least I enjoy some of their music from that decade. You do have to admit, that out of all the 70s bands trying to cross into the 80s, many of them didn't do so well and sounded even older and more dated than they would if they hadn't tried to change their sound. Rush was one band that made the cross over quite well, and survived it without hardly scratch, and they actually didn't sound dated, just different.

With Grace Under Pressure being the 2nd album after the big change, Rush had decided to go with a new producer. They also kept the emphasis on keyboards, but they did at least bring more of a guitar sound back to the forefront than they did with Signals. But the guitar sound was more 80s sounding and the hard sound was turned into more of a "Police" mentality in that it was more of a support for the vocals. The new production pushed back the sound of any particular instrument standing out or emphasized, yes even the vocals in my opinion. The lyrics were still top notch, but the overall delivery of vocals and instruments were evened out and this made everything more flat and similar sounding, as a result, not many of the songs stood out much either. You can listen to a Rush album from this decade and not remember anything about it which is completely opposite of how it was before.

After becoming more accustomed to the songs on this album, I can now say that there are a few that stand out more than others, but it took a long time for that to happen for me. For every good song, there are a few mediocre songs. For every "Distant Early Warning" there is a "The Enemy Within" and a "Between the Wheels" that was good and two that were nothing special. On this album, Rush also took to experimenting with sounds that were new to them like Ska/Reggae or Funk. Now, there is nothing wrong with that, it's just that at this point, there wasn't much to distinguish the different sound because, again, nothing stood out. So these new forays into new sound still sounded too much like the song before it. You had to listen really close to even realize they were doing something different from the track before it.

After listening to the 80s albums a little closer, this one comes out of the decade as not the worst of the decade, but not even close to any of the best from the decade's just slightly better than average because of a few good tracks. It's not quite good enough to give 4 stars to, but it's still better than average, so it comes out of it with 3 and a half stars, but I can't bring myself to like it enough to round it up , so 3 stars it is. Besides, the description really fits this one anyway, Good, but non-essential. A little better than average, but not much.

TCat | 3/5 |


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