Alright, so the jury’s still out (for me) on Power Windows. Let’s get into this next one! I do not (yet) own this album, but I will! For now, the youtubes are going to have to suffice – I’m fortunate that they had they whole thing available, and in HD no less!
Force Ten is a hit, I knew it from Chronicles. It’s a great song with a driving beat. The synths are still here but (perhaps) a little less the main focus. The vocals are loud and clear, up front in the mix.
Time Stand Still, of course, is a huge track (another hit, on Chronicles). You know this song. I loved it, everything about it. This could have been on an album of theirs a few years previous. I hadn’t known that that female vocal was Aimee Mann, but thanks to Wiki, I do now! Fantastic track.
Open Secrets is another full pleasure to hear, and based on what I’m hearing here, I’m now getting hopes raised that we’re returning a bit more to form (as much as Rush can have one form to which they stick). I mean, the synths are still here but they seem to not be the only focus anymore. This track, for example, is mighty fine indeed. Aimee Mann sings here, again, too.
Second Nature is a wonderful track about a need for common sense and human decency. It starts off slow, with keyboards, then becomes a full band track. I loved this.
Prime Mover is another great Rush rock song. Yes! This album is a step away, and towards, and tracks like these are the proof.
Lock And Key is another hit song, right? Shoulda been, anyway. OK I am so excited about this album. I love the messages, I love the music, everything.
Mission is a track Mike our brother in rawk Lebrain mentioned (in the comments for Power Windows) as being a current favourite. I understand why! This is a sprawling, gigantic song. There’s a lot going on, the tempos shift, the sounds change… Yes!
Turn The Page turns up the rock and quickens the pace for a bit, then slows it down to make its point. This one hits hard. I love the Lifeson guitar solo, all three instruments locked into that great Rush groove… I’m also realizing that I definitely need to go back and check out the lyrics on this record. I have a feeling I’m going to agree with a lot of it…
Tai Shan is, according to Heavy Metal OG (in the comments for Power Windows), the song Geddy finds most embarrassing in the Rush Discography. The music is interesting, but the lyrics… well, they’re a bit weaker fare than we’re used to from these guys. Check out the chorus: “I stood at the top of the mountain/and China sang to me/in the peaceful days of harvest time/song of eternity.” Um, yeah. I’ll bet that’s what he meant. The song itself is musically strong, though. Interesting!
High Water closes this efort out mid-tempo, yet with buzzing guitar and slinky bass. Another strong song. Hot damn!
In sum: Oh boy, I loved this one. This is a challenging, interesting and excellent Rush record. I’ll be buying this one, when I see it, for sure.