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Rush - Counterparts CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.75 | 901 ratings

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Biff Tannen
5 stars Since their 1981 classic, "Moving Pictures," the height of the band's career, Rush has gone in many different directions and alienated a fair share of fans, but grabbed just as many new ones. It would have been easy to keep churning out their unique blend of hard rock and progressive rock year after year and milking it for all it was worth, but Rush has always been about trying new things and doing the unexpected. As a result, they have produced quite a few more great albums since 1981..."Grace Under Pressure," "Power Windows," "Roll the Bones" and, lastly, "Counterparts," my choice for best Rush album of the last 25 years. On the surface, it is just a good old hard rock album, but it really is much more than that.

The lyrics are some of the best Neil Peart has ever penned. That is a bold statement considering the lyrical jewels he has composed over the past 30 plus years, but I find the ones on this record to be of the highest quality. "Cold Fire" and "Everyday Glory" are shining examples and are two of my favorite Rush songs, lyrically and musically.

The production is tremendous. The previous two albums, "Presto" and "Roll the Bones," suffered a bit from the polite sound of producer Rupert Hine, but Peter Collins took the reigns on this one and the result was a CD that sounds as good as any other Rush album. I have never heard Alex Lifeson's guitar have this much bite before, Neil Peart's drums sound dynamic and crisp, and to say Geddy Lee's bass has major punch to it on this record would be an understatement.

One of the strongest elements on this CD are Geddy Lee's vocals. They have never sounded better. Granted, they are a far cry from his shriek-happy days of the 70's, but he has matured into a very good singer and this is his finest work to date. Check out the verses to "Nobody's Hero," for example.

And it goes without saying that none of this would matter without having good songs and "Counterparts" is loaded with them. In fact, every song is at least very good, even the oft-maligned "The Speed of Love." My personal favorites are "Animate," "Double Agent," "Everyday Glory," "Cold Fire" and "Leave That Thing Alone." However, ask twenty different Rush fans what their favorites are and you will get many different answers, which is the mark of a good album. Most of the songs are someone's favorite instead of being a disc with three or four great songs and a bunch of throwaways.

When it is all said and done, this is probably the Rush cd I listen to the most. It is still sounds as good as the day I bought it back in November 1993.

Biff Tannen | 5/5 |


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