And here is where I fully realized the lengths to which Rush is willing to go to make the record they want to make! You guys were talking about the synths, and an 80s sound, and here is where it’s most prevalent for the first time (for me). Oh yes, tracks up to here had it, but this whole album… I heard this and I pictured big hair and.. shoulder pads. Ugh.
But what a record! I love the paranoia, very evocative of bomb shelter 50s cold war stuff. Great writing!
Distant Early Warning starts us off, a certified Rush classic tune. And hey, there’s that reggae feel to it a bit, too, in parts. This is another favourite Rush track, for me. If I were making a mix CD, this one would be on there, for sure.
Afterimage is straight-on rock with a bit of a swing beat, in spots. And lots of synths. For what we’re used to (by this point) from Rush, this track is fairly basic. And honestly, that’s refreshing! The bit at 2:20 is atmospheric. An OK track!
Red Sector A is another classic, yes! Very 80s. You know that thing I mean.
The Enemy Within has more of that reggae feel to it, but sped up. Still a solid rock song. Wow this record is definitely a sound change.
The Body Electric has a half-tempo verse, 1001001! Fun. I really liked the whole feel and tone of this song. It’s stronger than Afterimage.
Kid Gloves is a slinky rock tune fully ensconced in the era of its creation. It’s fully realized, but one might expect more from these guys on this one. I dunno, maybe I’m being harsh – it’s hard to fault a Rush song. But this one surely isn’t a hit track.
Red Lenses is a bit chaotic, and… funky! Yes! The drum work here is excellent.
Between The Wheels has this stabbing-synth thing that I at first found a bit annoying, then realized it’s integral to the song. So be it. I liked this one better when they got down to the rocking out.
In sum: I am taking this one in stride, consulting my inner 10 year old (that’s how old I was when this was released) and I deem it worthy. It’s an excellent record, these guys simply showing up guarantees that. But it’s a departure, and I’ll need another spin or two to fully assimilate it. There are parts of the old Rush I miss here (and which might have made it a very different record), but there are new Rush things here and I’m also enjoying the discovery process. I won’t be taking this one out of my player just yet!
Thanks so much, Mike, our grand master Lebrain!!!