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★★★★☆
(815 Reviews)

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  • While it was gratifying to hear a new Rush album after all that has happened with Neil; i am disappointed that they didn’t closely supervise the mixing or just wanted the record released after working on it for so long. There are some good songs on here, however in some cases it’s almost impossible to tell due to the heavy wall of sound and crackle present. For instance, “Earthshine” could be great but during the part where it appears that Alex is trying to solo, the sound is way too muddy and there is too much distortion.I for one like the fact that Rush put limitations on themselves for this album: no keys and no solos; however, i don’t particularly enjoy the results that much. The guitars aren’t layered that well, and though there are some good riffs sprinkled throughout the album, they eventually mesh into a heavy sound that has little definition.If they would have fleshed out that sound a little and cut down on some of the vocal harmonies, then the album could have been quite a bit better. I enjoy some of Geddy’s harmonies, but i think they were done too much.I won’t go as far to say that all the songs sound the same; but i will say that there is no tension and release to this album. It’s just heavy and hard but not all that memorable.

    Posted on January 3, 2010