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Album Review

Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson's 1996 solo project Victor, his first, released a self-titled album in 1996. Victor is an odd blend of modern hard rock and swirling, programming-heavy songs. Lifeson's trademark Rush guitar style — ringing chords and sharp, brief solos — is utilized in some places, but not throughout. Guest musicians on Victor include I Mother Earth vocalist Edwin, Primus bassist Les Claypool and Lifeson's son, Adrian Zivojinovich, who contributes programming. Musically, the songs with a traditional, straightforward structure are the least interesting, with the exception of "Promise." It's the odd material that stands out on Victor. Two instrumentals — the slow, quirky "Mr. X" and the atmospheric "Strip and Go Naked" — are noteworthy. "Shut Up Shuttin' Up" — a title almost certainly lifted from one of Yosemite Sam's many orders to Bugs Bunny — is practically a novelty song; two women carry on a man-bashing conversation before instructing Lifeson to "shut up and play the guitar," which he does before interjecting his own yells telling them to shut up. Due to its complex music and lyrics, Rush is often incorrectly viewed as being comprised of humorless members, but die-hard fans know that Lifeson is the joker in the trio and this song proves it. The two best songs on Victor, "At the End" and "Victor," are unorthodox in musical construction and lyrical tone. Lifeson himself doesn't sing the lyrics, he recites them, often in a whisper. "At the End" is an intense, brooding song about an elderly widower whose soul-crushing loneliness after her death drives him to commit suicide. "Victor" uses a musical bed of programming and warm horns underneath the disturbingly vivid lyrics, taken directly from English poet W.H. Auden, about a cuckold who murders his cheating wife.

Customer Reviews


Only a great mind like Alex Lifeson's could create such a great album. I've listened to the album so many times, yet I feel like I haven't discovered it all. I also find this album to be fantastic because, Alex used dialog in his songs to express human emotion that music could not do. For example "Shut Up Shutting Up" where he uses dialog of two women gossiping, then have a man screen out shut up to express the feelings we had listening to the annoying women and how the majority of people feel about these women. Another great example is "Victor" where the whole song(poem) is being spoken with deep emotion regarding the life of a boy called Victor growing up and his father. Listening to this album had made me realize that Alex Lifeson is the "heavy" part of Rush because of his album. Rush fans enjoy the music of Rush for the complexity, the time signatures, the vocals, the powerful bass, the precise drumming, the great live performances, the hilarious comedy sketches the band present live and the heaviness. And so I've come to realize that that heaviness comes from the one and only Alex Lifeson. Just listen to the album Victor and you'll see rush's music in a totally different way. You do because you realize that each one of them, Geddy Lee, Neil Peart and Alex Lifeson bring many different genres of music together to make RUSH! Thank you, and I recommend listening to Victor.


Born: August 27, 1953 in Fernie, British Columbia, Canada

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Although it's widely agreed that all three members of Rush are incredibly talented at their respective instruments, guitarist Alex Lifeson tends to be the most underrated of the bunch. Born Alex Zivojinovich on August 27, 1953 in Fernie, Canada (his parents were Yugoslavian immigrants), Lifeson grew up in Toronto, and received his first guitar as a Christmas gift when he was 13. Soon after, Lifeson discovered rock & roll (via the usual suspects -- Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, etc.), and began jamming...
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Victor, Alex Lifeson
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