So, I got this Rush boxset. Rush has always been a hole in my musical education. The members of Rush are renowned for the technical skill, but I just never really got around to listening to them for some reason. So I got a boxset that contained five of their albums remastered. I kinda wanna talk about each album separately though, even though I may not have a whole lot to say. This was their fifth album and it’s the one that came immediately after the album many consider their best, 2112. It’s short, just a bit over thirty minutes and I found it pleasant enough. It features two really long tracks, Xanadu, over 11 minutes, and Cygnus X-1 Book I: The Voyage, over 10 minutes. Those tracks are memorable, I suppose, even if they’re not particularly great. I mean, just the title of that last one turns me off; Xanadu has some nice rocking riffs in it though. Prog isn’t a genre that really speaks to me, so I’m not particularly enamored of these long, multi-time signature, thematic pieces; I find them to be variable, though I did love ELP’s Tarkus (and really everything I’ve heard from ELP). Still, I found a couple of the shorter songs to be the better ones here. I dug Closer to the Heart, which is the closest thing here to a pop song; it’s got a solid, catchy melody. And Cinderella Man, based on Mr. Deeds Goes to Town of all things, was also pretty great. Still, I found this album to be mostly forgettable; fun to play the drums with though. But just judging it musically, I mean, there’s certainly great technique, but it’s all in service of pretty forgettable songs and the longer songs smack of great artistic pretensions without ever really delivering. On the whole, I’d call it an average album; nothing just horribly wrong with, but nothing really good either. I’d say don’t waste your time on it. Recommended against. 2 stars.
tl;dr – couple of songs are solid, if not particularly remarkable; the musicians have great technical skill, but no songs to apply said technique too. Promises great art, but fails to deliver. 2 stars.