Monday, July 9, 2012

Classic album review, Hemispheres by Rush

 Hemispheres by Rush

Every so often an album comes along that utterly changes the way some people look at music or a band. These albums are often time referred to as classics. These are the albums that garner an overall positive feedback by the everyday listeners and critics of the world. To be considered classic to this reviewer they must meet some criteria, they must be well rated, they must be popular, they must be something I like, and they must be something that can withstand the test of time. 

To begin this new feature I decided to go with reviewing none other than the album Hemispheres, by the progressive rock band Rush. At this point I should prepare the setting for the reader. This would have been Rush’s 5th full length album at the time of its release, at this point in time Rush was at, one could say, at the top of their progressive rock game. They were coming off the release of highly praised albums 2112, A Farwell to Kings, and there debut. Four years into their career they were at the point of being experienced, yet not being worn out of ideas. With all that being said it’s no surprise that they churned out a masterpiece.  It’s got everything one could ever want, the long overblown song that makes you jaw drop, the short catchy songs that will get you moving, and a killer instrumental. 

This record starts off with the 18 minute epic Cygnus X-1 Book II. For some this may be a little much, but for those people who can really get into a song of this length, it’s damn good. We hear a wonderful dancing of bass, guitar, and drums over the next couple tracks. Geddy’s voice works perfectly with the sound of this album and we really see a great performance by him on bass. If it’s one thing that takes away from the performance is that the band doesn’t seem to be firing on all cylinders throughout the album. We get a good flash of interesting material from the guitar and drums now and then, but for three quarters of the album they aren’t quite up to par with what will turn out to be one of the greatest instrumentals ever made by the band. 

That instrumental being the 9 and a half minute closing track La Villa Strangiato, this blows everything before it right out of the water. This is a rare time when all members of a band are flying forward on all cylinders at the same time. It’s a beautiful thing because they are all giving their all and what is the result of this? Possibly the greatest rush song ever recorded. Even after repeated listens this song is so technical that it is always refreshing. Like taking a drink after a couple hours without water it quenches your thirst for music.

After all the years between now and the time this was released it still manages to carry with it a charm when pulling it out to listen. This is one of those albums that should be mandatory listening for all music enthusiasts.  While it may not hit you at first, give it a couple listens, you may just find your next favourtie album.


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For another review of this album click here. 

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