…isn’t it? From reading the reviews of several Rush albums, it’s apparent that people decide that Rush is at their peak at the time they first hear the band on the radio or MTV.”Hold Your Fire” was the first time I’d paid attention to the band, and to this day it defines, for me, the greatness of the trio, despite being a fan of most of their work. The lyrics on “Hold Your Fire” are the most powerful, most beautiful of all their recordings. How many albums can spark a sense of wonder of the universe (Time Stand Still, High Water), stir outrage against the powers that be (Lock and Key, Open Letter), or remind us of the beauty of human potential and accomplishment (Prime Mover, Mission)? This wide range of themes on a single album wouldn’t work in the hands of lesser musicians, but Lee, Lifeson and Peart are the masters of their instruments, and it is by the strength of their sound that we can seamlessly shift from wonderment to outrage to wonderment again. Some fans complain of the preponderance of keyboards on the album — these are generally fans of the older, guitar-heavy Rush style (which I like, by the way). But as Lee belts out on the album, Permanent Waves: “All this machinery/ making modern music/ can still be open hearted/ not so coldly charted/ it’s really just a question/ of your honesty.” The keyboards enhance the lyrics and the music, providing a depth that guitars alone could not.Not many bands have remained as honest to themselves and to their fans as Rush — whatever their fortunes and whatever the critics say, there’s little doubt that Lee, Lifeson and Peart gives everything they have to their music.