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Rush - Signals CD (album) cover




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3.95 | 1326 ratings

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3 stars Going from the career-defining brilliance of 'Moving Pictures' to this very different follow-up really did bamboozle many a Rush fan, yet it's a move that almost perfectly highlights the difficult balancing act that faces all great(and not-so-great) rock groups. Fans will always want their favourite acts to play the hits and stick to the stadium-pleasing riffs that made their rock heroes so popular, yet at the same time each-and-every group is always desperate to try new things and showcase the other areas of their musical personality. No-one likes to stand still. Here, on 'Signals', the Canadian power trio made an almost deliberate about turn, eschewing the progressive pomp of their previous five albums in favour of a more streamlined approach, an approach that kick-started their synthesizer-heavy 1980's phase. It was a move that certainly didn't please everyone, yet it also took Rush into new sonic realms, showing real artistic backbone and a bravery lesser groups simply don't possess. Churning out more of the same was obviously not an option for the trio, and despite the fact that 'Signals' ultimately failed to reach the giddy heights of it's predecessors, it still attracted a strong following. Rush survived the 1980's in healthy shape, much healthier than many of their cohorts, and its thanks to albums like this that they did, navigating the tricky synth-pop flavoured decade without truly selling out, in the process exhibiting a very different side of the group. A self-satisfying exercise this may have been, and musically Rush have certainly produced many better albums both before and since, yet the actual importance of 'Signals' is hard, almost impossible, to deny. It bridged a difficult time; it shows the group's dextrous compositional abilities; it gave us Rush for the new decade and allowed them to, of course, have their cake and devour it. So, 'Signals' is by no means a classic then, yet it was the perfect transitional album and arguably a major reason the group are still going strong today. In every walk of life you have to play the game that wins; Rush played this one almost to perfection, even to the detriment of their very lifeblood - the music. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2012
stefro | 3/5 |


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