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Rush - Snakes & Arrows CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.57 | 940 ratings

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Una Laguna
4 stars A very, very solid album. Probably one of my favourite Rush albums and one of my favourite albums of 2007 (second only to Porcupine Tree's Fear of a Blank Planet).

Musically this album is a combination of the band's hard rock work from the '90s coupled with their late-'70s prog, but with a new emphasis on acoustic guitars. Lyrically the tracks on the album share the themes of faith and war; nothing groundbreaking but no particularly bad lyrics.

The strongest tracks on the album are definitely the first four tracks (Far Cry, Armour and Sword, Workin' Them Angels and The Larger Bowl), which compare very favourably with the highlights of Rush's career. These tracks might even be better than the best tracks on Counterparts, which was arguably the best Rush album of the '90s. Those four tracks by themselves are incredibly diverse: they are all standard guitar-bass-drums-vocals tracks (plus acoustic guitar), but range greatly in terms of emotion and energy.

The three instrumental tracks on the album (The Main Monkey Business, Hope and Malignant Narcissism) are also very well-written. The Main Monkey Business is an epic mellotron-driven track. Hope is best compared to Broon's Bane from the live album Exit... Stage Left. It's just Lifeson playing an acoustic guitar. Very relaxing, emotional playing. A nice break from the rest of the album. Malignant Narcissism is a piece of highly-charged, energetic fun, primarily driven by Geddy's bass.

That's seven of the thirteen tracks on the album, and they're all outstanding. The other tracks are far from bad, but they lack that polish which makes the other tracks shine. They're perfectly listenable, but feel more like padding to the album rather than well-crafted songs in their own right. This is probably due to the fact that these tracks aren't particularly varied. I generally don't listen to the whole album in one sitting, because the latter half of the album is largely unexciting.

Despite that, this is a very strong album and in my opinion the best Rush album since the '80s. Recommended to any Rush fan, and anybody interested in music which isn't overtly prog and isn't too heavy. A definite 4/5.

Una Laguna | 4/5 |


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