Album review: Rush debuts ‘Clockwork Angels’

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First off, I should say that I’m a Rush fan, and in my humble opinion, their music will pass the test of time. The Canadian rock band’s peak came with their 1981 release,  Moving Pictures, which included perhaps their most popular song, “Tom Sawyer”.
The band, consisting of front-man Geddy Lee, drummer and lyricist Neil Peart and guitarist Alex Lifeson, has written music that has divided audiences everywhere, establishing an intensely loyal fan base, while receiving unrelenting negativity from some critics. Rush has definitely made their mark, but does the material in Clockwork Angels, Rush’s latest album, bring the same emotion and feel into the work, or has the trio lost some of its magic? I’m happy to say that they have not. Clockwork Angels is an electric, upbeat album that’s more than worthy of being picked up or downloaded.
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Something I immediately noticed when listening to this album was the production quality. Everything about the music is so clean and crisp that it feels like you’re right next to them in the recording studio. Lee’s signature, well-enunciated high-pitched voice sounds as distinct as ever, and it combines perfectly with great bass guitar riffs. Lifeson’s melodies are infectiously fun and Peart’s furious drumming compositions are a highlight of the album.
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The songs of Clockwork Angels are varied in their tempo and aggression. Some of the tracks are more upbeat and furious such as “Headlong Flight”, or “The Anarchist”, while others, like “The Garden” and “The Wreckers”,  are slower paced and keep the album balanced by focusing less on the ferocity of the instruments, and more on casual melodies. This approach to the music makes the album engaging in more than one way.
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Rush has been in the game for over 30 years, and it’s good to see they’re still making rockin’ music. Clockwork Angels carries Rush forward, with a track list that is never boring, but full of energy and range in an approach which captures long time listeners and new fans alike. Each of the members is consistently intense with their respective instruments, and this power is bolstered with the great production quality. It’s a shame Rush isn’t better-known, but all it takes is a patient ear to change that.