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Rush - Test For Echo CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

2.87 | 808 ratings

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3 stars "Test for Echo" was Rush's first album in 3 years and they wouldn't release on until 5 years after. The band took a well deserved rest before releasing this one, and they returned to the studio feeling refreshed and positive. They would use Peter Collins once again to help produce the album. This time, however, they changed their song writing method. Alex and Geddy would write out the music and Neil would write the lyrics, as usual, but this time the basic framework of the music was written at the same time the lyrics were being written, and then they would try to fit the music to the lyrics, and then when they agreed on the combination, they would add all of the bells and whistles.

Alex always claimed that this was one of Rush's better albums and contains some of his favorite tracks. Unfortunately, most everyone else, mostly fans, didn't think so. Of course, it sold well, it is Rush after all. But, for some reason, this doesn't match up to the standard of Rush's other albums. It is probably more accessible than their other albums, but it also lacks a heart. It does start out well enough with the title track "Test for Echo" and "Driven", the latter becoming a concert staple that shows off Geddy's bass skills in an extended instrumental section. However, the quality of the music starts to fail in the next two sub- standard songs, "Half the World" and "The Color of Right". Although it might be true that some lesser bands and their fans would be happy with those songs, but Rush's standard had always been higher than this, and the songs become quite underwhelming compared to many of their other songs and albums. To me, the songs get to sounding to similar to each other. There are a few other bright spots on the rest of the album, but overall, this is an underwhelming effort that seems to be half hearted. Even the instrumental "Limbo" actually just consists of parts and pieces of other songs that never got finished.

Rush was in a more guitar-centered phase at this point, which had begun with one of my favorite albums "Presto", continued on one of my least favorites "Roll the Bones" and then another favorite "Counterparts" and finally ending that phase with this album. There are still bits of synth mixed in there on this album, but it is pushed way to the back of the sound. This phase worked well at times, and not so well like this time.

I put off reviewing this album for quite a while because the things I have to say about it pretty much reflect what other reviewers have already said, but since it has been a while since anyone has reviewed it now, I thought I would throw my 2 cents worth in. It manages 3 stars, but have we come to expect so much more from this amazing band.

TCat | 3/5 |


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