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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Album review: Rush "Snakes & Arrows"

The album has been released since my previous post so I would like to give you my thoughts.

Just as they've done on their past four albums, Rush displays their ability to grow more than 30 years into their career. This notion is immediately clear as the album starts with the track "Far Cry", which maintains their signature sound but dares to be different. Their musicianship is in the spotlight on this album with layers of guitars and drums laced throughout the first song and many of the others as well. Their minimalist approach to music from the "Moving Pictures" era has evolved into a more elaborate soundfield.

Favorites on the album include "Far Cry", "Faithless", and "We Hold On". "Far Cry" is the perfect album opener with a powerful opening, a grinding guitar and uptempo drumming that flows until the end. Faithless has a sweeping melody in the chorus that pulls you in. "We Hold On" has the perfect rock beat to compliment the instrumental that it follows. I've counted three instrumentals on this cd, all very unique and worthy of listening to.

"Hope" is an acoustic track, "Main Monkey Business" can't decide whether to be acoustic or rock out (which makes it much more fun) and "Malignant Narcissism" is a hard rock track that really shows that after all these years they can still put out some good rock sound.

I'm very pleased and somewhat surprised by the strength of this album. As I said in the previous post, their last effort "Vapor Trails" was not a favorite of mine even though it does have a few gems. I think this album picks up where "Test For Echo" left off.

As I said before, I have loved Rush since "Tom Sawyer" but it wasn't until the Roll The Bones album came out that I really started to pay attention to them and I'm glad I did. I think their sound has matured and become more polished in time and with each album they've found more ways to showcase their abilities as a band. I think what amazes me most is how three people can create such a powerful sound while some bands (Slipknot for example) have 6 or more members and just create noise.

There are only a number of bands that have stayed true to their music, but still broke their own mold with each album and I'd say that Rush is right at the top.

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