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Roll the Bones

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Reviews

Average Rating
★★★★☆
(115 Reviews)

Metal Album Reviews[RSS]

  • My boyfriend has been giving me a crash coarse on Rush’s music this week and thanks to his brothers MP3 device I have heard pretty much all of them.Between ‘Moving Pictures’,
    ‘Hold Your Fire’ and their debut ‘Roll The Bones’ is one of my favorites.The album is essencially an extended anthem to the exententialist in all of us-destiny and fate being continual lyrical themes.The best of the lot musically is the title track-a catchy tune and a highly successful attempt at merging funk with their sound (Neal’s ‘rap’ in the middle is terrific) and anyone remember “YYZ”?Well this includes another great instrumental in “Where’s My Thing”,if possible even funkier and ferocious then the title track.Elsewhere ‘Roll The Bones’ finds Rush searching out groove after groove of every kind-”Dreamline”,”Bravado”,”Face Up” and the wonderfully fluid “Heresy” are so dramatic and catchy that they would’ve been huge successes on ‘Hold Your Fire’ or ‘Presto’.Rush spend the rest of this album exploring harder,more guitar oriented grooves-the best of them being “Ghost Of A Chance”,”The Big Wheel” and “You Bet Your Life”.
    No matter how one looks at it ‘Roll The Bones’ represents a great balance in Rush’s musical developement.The album continues the jamming groove based underpinning of their late 80’s records but puts the synthesizers much farther back in the mix and/or integrates them more into their sound.This is also one of Rush’s more overall eclectic albums as the band explores some R&B,funk and (on the title track) a small drop of hip-hop.This was the bands most successful album of the decade,not a bad job for such an album oriented band trying to make due smack in the era of Curt Cobain and the emmerging alternative rock scene.So hats off to Rush for not only maintaining but expanding on their already wide musical pallet at a time when it could’ve been commercial suicide,and succeeding despite the odds!

    Posted on December 20, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • This album seems to be slagged off by many people and I don’t really understand why. Rush has only done what many other true artists have done, which is grow and evolve. On here Rush returns to progressive hard rock with less synths, and the songs are mostly around the 5 minute mark. Every track on here is great, but my personal favorite is “Heresy”, featuring ethereal vocal overdubs and soundscapes which is trademark Rush at their finest. Also worth checking out: “Where’s My Thing”, Rush returning to instrumentals. Not as flashy as YYZ or La Villa, but still great and refreshing to hear. The title track, which reminds me of something John Lennon could have written for some reason. “The Big Wheel”, and “Ghost of A Chance” also, but everything on here is excellent as I’ve said earlier.There is nothing wrong with this album, it’s just a prime example of a band that’s grown and evolved and I’m personally pleased with the results.

    Posted on December 20, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • This album seems to be slagged off by many people and I don’t really understand why. Rush has only done what many other true artists have done, which is grow and evolve. On here Rush returns to progressive hard rock with less synths, and the songs are mostly around the 5 minute mark. Every track on here is great, but my personal favorite is “Heresy”, featuring ethereal vocal overdubs and soundscapes which is trademark Rush at their finest. Also worth checking out: “Where’s My Thing”, Rush returning to instrumentals. Not as flashy as YYZ or La Villa, but still great and refreshing to hear. The title track, which reminds me of something John Lennon could have written for some reason. “The Big Wheel”, and “Ghost of A Chance” also, but everything on here is excellent as I’ve said earlier.

    I can’t find much, if anything, wrong with this album. It’s just a prime example of a band that’s grown and evolved and I’m personally pleased with the results.

    Posted on December 19, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I am getting tired of people rating recent Rush albums based on their past works. Without question, the past albums such as Hemispheres and Moving Pictures were fantastic, but my goodness, GET OVER THEM when reviewing more recent Rush efforts! No band that I know of spans the generations more effectively than Rush, so why hold them to their past? That said, Roll the Bones represents yet another groundbreaking effort by the group. That’s why they appeal to so many; always willing to try something different, expanding their own musical talents while smirking at the mainstream music buerocracy. . . . a true indication of a band still in their prime; confident, aware, and powerful. The title tune, Roll the Bones, is wonderful and, in my opinion, cautiously happy — saying “Live, dammit!” and not waste time wondering why we’re here or how we got here. More than previously, this album seems to communicate ‘follow your dreams,’ and the band is doing JUST THAT. Can you imagine what we’d get if the guys themselves decided, “Well you know, ‘Where’s My Thing’ is good, but its just not The Necromancer, so lets scrap it.”? So appreciate them for now while they’re still with us.

    Posted on December 19, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • “Roll the Bones”, to my ears, represents the first time in a long time that all the elements of the band are coming together– after experimenting with softer sounds and cleaner tones on the last couple records, and synth-driven rock before that, Rush seems to have found a good balance with “Roll the Bones”. With Lee’s confident vocal delivery supported by unparallel musicianship, great songs, great lyrics, and (finally!) great arrangements, Rush has turned out an album as good as the work they’d done ten years beforehand.

    A trend with Rush albums is that they seem to be putting the songs I enjoy the most right up at the front of the album, “Dreamline”, opening this one, is no exception– what a great song, churning verses breaking into a driving chorus, blazing guitar solo, its a song born to be listened to rolling down the highway (likely a bit too fast at that…). The band shifts gears into the rolling grooves of “Bravado”, a great minor key ballad, clearly showing how much better they’d gotten at this form than on “Presto”. Following this up is one of the more interesting cuts on any Rush album, the title track, “Roll the Bones”. Funky rhythms, synth hits, interspersed acoustic guitars and a bizarre rap make this one totally unique in the Rush catalog. Its a lot of fun– this is an element of the band that started to emerge at this point, the fact they COULD have fun, but beyond that, its a great piece, stellar vocals, and a compulsively funky bassline accentuated by great playing from Lifeson and Peart.

    So this was a pretty golden start, the album does kind of drift after this– similar to the Rush albums of old, none of the material is really bad, it just doesn’t grab you– “Face Up”, “Where’s My Thing?” (the latter being an instrumental– first on a Rush album since “YYZ” on moving pictures), a pair of funky songs, like I said, both really listenable, and good album tracks, but not noteworthy. Ditto for “The Big Wheel”, “Heresy” and “Neurotica”.

    But there’s one more gem on in here as well, the stunning “Ghost of a Chance”– a straightforward love ballad, really a rarity on Rush albums (the only other ones I can think of prior to this is 1980’s “Entre Nous”), this one is really a pretty, sweet song, and for a band that doesn’t really explore these themes, they succeed quite well at it.

    Bottom line, “Roll the Bones” is a great record, probably the best the band did in eight years or so at this point. Recommended.

    Posted on December 19, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now