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Rush - Hold Your Fire CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.26 | 871 ratings

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3 stars By the time the last half of the 80s was rolling around, Rush had settled into it's keyboard/lyric dominated sound. The songs for the last 3 albums were starting to sound too similar, except for in a few cases. That trend continued for "Hold Your Fire" and, if there were any changes, it was a trend to a more popular sound than ever. There is no mistake, when listening to this album, that it is a product of the 80s. There just isn't much guitar domination here. Those crazy and irresistible guitar hooks and anthems were non-existant at this time, except for a few guitar breaks which are much too short, the guitar has become totally supportive to Geddy's vocals and Neal's lyrics. And the songs, for the most part, continue to sound the same.

Not that there weren't some gems on this album, but seemingly less than on the previous 3 albums. Two of the best songs, "Force Ten" (which was the last song recorded for the album) and "Time Stand Still" (the album's huge hit) start the album off quickly and things seem great at first. But after that, the songs fall into that sameness as before, yet now even mellower and more keyboard laden. After those first two great songs, the only other songs worth mentioning are the fairly decent "Mission" which contains a more unique melody and some tricky rhythms in the instrumental break that stands out better than the others, and the very distinctive "Tai Shan" which is more experimental, and as such, breaks up the monotony of the rest of the album. Interestingly enough, the latter mentioned track was named as one that the band had wished they left off of the album because it was so different from the rest of the material. Hmmmm....well, it works for me to at least add some variety to the album.

But the highlights are too few and far in between and even the highlights can't come close to the earlier albums that came before "Signals". Again, we have a keyboard heavy album, with songs that don't stand out much and fail to generate the excitement of their earlier albums. Only the few highlights of the album save it from falling below 3 stars. Not a great album, just good, but not one I would recommend.

TCat | 3/5 |


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