I've listened to Rush on and off since one of my best friends introduced me to the band when I was in high school. My friends were impressed by the vocals of Geddy Lee and the guitar skills of Alex Lifeson. For me, I was amazed by the percussion skills of drummer Neil Peart. Over the years Rush has gained and lost favor in the public eye, but has largely maintained a steady and popular following. They are a group of musicians who have a very distinct style, yet aren't afraid of exploring new territory and have been constantly progressing since their first album.
Besides the percussion, the other thing I really enjoy about Rush is how deep their lyrics are. Rush's songs are full of literary allusions, philosophical questioning, and thoughtful meanderings. Peart writes many of the lyrics for the songs and though he comes from an agnostic and humanistic starting point, e.g. "The Larger Bowl" on SNAKES & ARROWS, many of the lyrics of their songs can be identified by a searching for Truth.
"Far Cry" is the opening song on the album. This song seems the most refined of all the tracks and is getting some airplay on radio stations as the lead single. Musically, there are some impressive bits on the track, but I find the song one of the weaker tunes on SNAKES & ARROWS. The songs I enjoy most are:
"Armor and Sword"
"The Main Monkey Business" (Instrumental)
"We Hold On"
SNAKES & ARROWS doesn't break any new musical boundaries, though the aging rockers do pull off some impressive performances on several of the tracks. Not the best Rush album, but a good collection nonetheless.
Pros: Far Cry, Workin' Them Angels Cons: Few guitar solos, Geddy Lee's voice has HAD IT The Bottom Line: Can someone else write this, please? Listen up, everyone, I have good news and bad news: The good news is Rush released a new album recently, which in all likelihood will be followed by a new tour! The better news is that the album, Snakes and Arrows, is quite good. Also, I have finally thought up a title for the last decade … more
As a long, long-time Rush fan, I was, of course, thrilled to acquire yet another album. I had been listening to "Far Cry" (the single) for several weeks, and was pretty excited to hear the rest. For the most part, the boys from up north have delivered! There are some true gems on this album...particularly lyrically. I wouldn't say this is one of their best albums ever, but it doesn't sit near the bottom either. It is certainly a very solid effort, clearly indicating that these … more
A return to their former glory days,Snakes and Arrowsshows this seminal prog rock band reclaiming some of the sonic territory that they'd lost over the past few years. It's not certain what contributed to this artistic rebirth, but Rush has crafted a historical and emotional odyssey that shows many both where they've been and where they're going--from the baroque soundscapes of "The Main Monkey Business," reminiscent of their earliest work to the seductive almost folkloric urgency of "The Way the Wind Blows," which is as dangerous, anxious, and prophetic as anything that Arcade Fire or Mars Volta is doing currently. Main Lyricist Neil Peart has spent the last decade getting over the death of his wife and daughter, and those tragic events have given his songwriting more depth and gravity as he explores the strengths and limitations of faith in both metaphoric and literal detail. While never didactic or ponderous, this disc is really an instruction manual for how one conducts themselves with grace and hope through unendurable pain and the vagaries of life. Gone is much of the shrillness of their earlier incarnations--Geddy Lee's trademark high pitch shrieks have mellowed considerably and Alex Lifesong's guitar playing has an assurance and freedom that can only come with age.--Jaan Uhelszki