Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog)

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Rush ~ Snakes & Arrows

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Style: prog rock, classic rock, Canadian
Label: Atlantic
Year: 2007
Home: Canada

Members: Neil Peart ~ drums/percussion
Geddy Lee ~ bass/mellotron/vocals
Alex Lifeson ~ guitar/bouzouki/mandola/mandolin

Additional: Ben Mink ~ strings



For anyone that thinks Rush is just a leftover band from the 70's, not just do these people not know their music history, including Rush & not, but they also haven't heard this album from 2007. It may not be the first Rush albums folks talk about, but for a later era release this is a must own ... & I say this as someone who enjoys Rush but isn't a fan & doesn't listen to them a lot. It doesn't have any radio hits, those days are long gone, while some may say if you've heard one Rush song you've heard them all as outside flirting with keyboards in the 80's Rush has never varied its sound too much nor had the change in membership that causes a band to change in such way. So, if you like what you've heard from Rush this won't be too much of a surprise, yet while the classic hits every knows are indeed classic in their feeling there is nothing musically nostalgic here nor sounding out of date. It feels like Rush, it's got all the trademark Rush quirks, but sounds not like a band rehashing or tire but as in with the times as any band can be, or any prog rock band can be which is a lot more than one might think as the 3rd generation prog scene is a thriving international one. The guitars grind, distort, solos careen, the bass is heavy & busy. The end result is a prog album of epic proportions that just touches on the prog-metal arena, while being epic without being mind-numbing or over-the-top or unfocused. Drummer Neil Peart's lyrics continue to be what we know them for - heady, full of historical or cultural references & as complex as the music, while he also turns in a lot of heavy drumming that helps give this a harder edge than a lot of classic Rush albums have had. This is a dark album lyrically & the music reflects that. Though, it's heavily overdubbed & the bass sometimes gets lost which is ashame, while chorus's don't always jump out at the listener. It doesn't have the sing-a-long hits like the old days but provides a musical experience that those hits don't have. It's almost amazing that a band like Rush has been able to steadily keep sounding relevant when so many of their peers haven't or tried & failed. Few bands have a career like Rush & hearing this album makes one want to go out & buy a biography of the band. While some old fans might not like the harder edge of this album, which is understandable, it's really hard to find any major flaws here & the band has done much worse. There's a couple weaker tracks, but they do little to deter the power of the album on the whole. This would be their last studio album until 2012, followed by numerous lives albums including a two album set from the Snakes & Arrows tour.

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