Neither fans nor critics were especially impressed with 1985’s POWER WINDOWS. Most weren’t so fond of Rush’s next release, HOLD YOUR FIRE, either. That’s a shame: if one really listens, there’s much to appreciate in this album. The songs here are more calm and warm than those in previous Rush releases, due largely to Neil Peart’s spiritual lyrics. This makes for a far more relaxed listening experience. The album gets off to a great start with the fast-paced “Force Ten”, followed by the beautiful and emotional “Time Stand Still” (the latter includes vocals by Aimee Mann). Other stand-outs include “Open Secrets”, “Lock and Key”, and “Prime Mover”. Geddy Lee’s bass is prominent and his vocals sound even more personal than usual, and while his oft-critiqued synthesizers do occasionally shut out Alex Lifeson’s guitar, the synthesizers really work towards creating a passionate atmosphere for the album. HOLD YOUR FIRE is an excellent, emotional, and underrated album that ranks among Rush’s best.