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Signals

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Average Rating
★★★★½
(207 Reviews)

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  • I’ve been a Rush fan since 1983. During my angst-ridden early teenage years, the music and lyrics of Rush meant more to me than anything else. Although my fanatacism for the band has toned down considerably in recent years, Signals remains one of those rare albums that I can listen to over and over again, and practically never grow tired of. There is not a weak moment on this album, and as far as I’m concerned it is this, rather than the oft-cited classic Moving Pictures, that represents the high water mark of the Rush oeuvre.Not unlike Yes’ 90125 or Marillion’s Misplaced Childhood, Signals fuses a majestic synthesis of Hard Rock, New Wave, and Progressive Rock. If only more bands had plied this particular stylistic nexus! From the opening chords of the soaring, synthesizer-dominated Subdivisions (one of two tracks, along with New World Man, which probably needs no introduction to anyone considering the purchase of Signals) to the closing moments of Countdown, this album virtually crackles with freshness and exuberance. In it lie some of Rush’s most underrated tracks: The Analog Kid, a joyous and rocking exultation to the overwhelming beauty of the world, as seen through eyes untainted by cynicism; Digital Man, a reggae-tinged, atmospheric masterpiece; Losing It, a gentle and touching paean (in 5/4 time, no less!) to those who once achieved greatness. The latter remains as one of this bands greatest ballads.Signals is an underappreciated masterpiece, and a fitting capstone to a trio of albums that captured Rush at their absolute zenith (the first two being Permanent Waves and Moving Pictures, respectively). It also marked a turning point for the band, as they were entering a period that favored sythesizers and lush, complex arrangements to overt instrumental virtuousity. That particular period culminated in 1985’s Power Windows, a breathtaking technical marvel, however on the basis of sheer songwriting quality, Signals can’t be beat.

    Posted on March 16, 2010