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Now, cover albums are generally not that good, and this is no exception to that rule. I can't say this is really bad, but it's not as good as it could have been.
First of all, the songs are technically tight and performed perfectly, and that is part of the downfall of this album. If Rush did their own spin on these songs, rather than just performing them as they once were done, I feel it could've been much better.
Geddy's vocals don't really seem to fit, and most of the time they sound distorted, as if they were made to fit in production. If this is true, it doesn't work at all. Of course, the instruments are played amazingly, and as they should be. Every note being clearly heard, as a liking to the original songs. Alex's solos really stand out, though, as he performs other people's songs with so much passion.
The best tracks on here are Heart Full Of Soul, For What It's Worth (the best song) and Crossroads (what a solo, utterly amazing).
Summertime Blues is a big letdown, as is Shapes Of Things because it just sounds so strange with Geddy singing it.
I'd only really recommend this if you're a completist, or you really want to hear Rush pay homage to their idols. As I said, it's not that bad, but don't expect a stellar performance.
Rush have long been the kingpins of prog-metal, from it's invention on A Caress of Steel through such classic albums as 2112, A Farewell to Kings, Hemispheres, Permanant Waves, Moving Pictures, and Presto, and remain thus through an endless stream of covers from the booming prog-metal scene.
However, just like virtually every other classic metal act Rush always idolized and tried to emulate classic rockers from the 50's and 60's. Much like Sabbath it's as if they became awesome and innovative in spite of themselves.
So, after thirty years of flying digits and ultra-wordy epics, they decided to let their hair down and pay homage to their own idols. While there's nothing patently wrong with the idea, it simply comes across as a mildly derivative but ultimately unsatisfying listen. Simply put, Rush is too intelligent and advanced for this stuff, and they can't really surmount their own massive shadows to prove themselves as just a coupla guys who love to rock 'n roll.
The songs are well done, deviating little from the originals. The production is pristine and crisp, and they perform the songs perfectly in all regards. Lifeson plays note-for-note perfect, but his style and perfect playing sort of drain the fire from the songs, the cold technical mastery and unique sound actually playing against him. Peart is, for an absolute first, totally unremarkable, and Lee, well, ol' Geddy's voice is simply not right for these songs. The man's voice is hardly in the same style as Roger Daltry or Eddie Cochran, and his high-pitched willowy style is (even kept in a low register as it is here) just not right for the stuff they're playing.
Basically a one-time spin. There isn't anything really wrong with it, but too a Rush fan it just can't feel right. Here's hoping the boys are just relaxing before their next opus, continuing the virtually unbroken streak of extremely competant records by this legendary group.
Stand-Outs: "The Seeker", "Crossroads"... and meh, nothing really special here.