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Clockwork Angels

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iTunes Review

Clockwork Angels is the 20th studio album from rock’s holy triumvirate of Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart, but it also reconfirms Rush’s 35-year-plus dedication to musical and lyrical exploration. The recipe remains the same (as the credits always note, “Music: Lee and Lifeson, Lyrics: Peart”), but the potential for ideas encased in air-guitar perfection keeps flourishing. Clockwork Angels is a conceptual tale about a young man’s dream quest. It involves steampunk, lost cities, pirates, a watchmaker, and more. Musically, Rush doesn't slow down. “Caravan” and “BU2B” exude a heft and dark resonance that recalls Tool. “Headlong Flight,” meanwhile, is another freewheeling Rush track, coasting on a zipline over jagged crevices with Lee as narrator, Lifeson’s careening guitar the guidance system, and Peart’s fluid percussion the accelerator pedal.

Customer Reviews

Perhaps their masterpiece.

20 albums, same guys, nearly 40 years of recording and touring together. Imagine that for ANY of today's newer bands. They're lucky to get 2 records in a deal. Even really talented, grounded ones disband over the dreaded 'creative differences' within a few years. Matt Stone said it perfectly in the Rush documentary "Beyond the Lighted Stage": 'You have to give them their due, or you're just being a dick.:' Keep that in mind as you listen to this album. It is brilliant. Objectively, it is brilliance and excellent and a celebration of all that is (or should be) wonderful about music, about musicianship, and about the long-form album. This is what today's youth miss when they can buy a track here and a track there. As Ani DiFranco said, a record is an event: the event of people making music for a record. And a good album should be listened to from beginning to end. Although the songs themselves stand on their own, the collection is greater than the sum of the parts. Each of these songs is brilliant individually, but together they lead you on this fantastic/fantastical journey - best experienced in its totality. Buy this thing - buy it for what it represents - or used to represent I guess. Buy it so that you can take the journey, and end with something as jaw-droppingly beautiful as "The Garden". It left me in tears.

Slappin' Da Bass

44 years. 44 God d*** years and the Holy Trinity still going at it. I can't seem to fathom many bands that can still have the steam left in them to pull off something like this, let alone actually still around to being with. Unlike most other bands in this age group that still perform yet with a lack of feeling and the possible need of geriatric care to prevent defecating their drawls, these guys still tear it up! Just by looking at any of their performances from the Time Machine Tour not only proves their retained youthfullness; they might as well have taken a sip from the Fountain Of Youth. This however, is a step above that.

I'll cut to the chase: How is the album? Good...d*** good. Now, does it compare to my two personal favorite Rush albums, "Hemispheres" and "Signals"? Absolutely not. Does it compare to classics like "Permanent Waves" and "Moving Pictures"? Eh. What I will say is that this is some of thier finest slabs of material since at least "Hold Your Fire."

For a band that has been around this long though, I have never heard an adaptation to the modern soundscape pulled off so well. The steampunk drenched progressive metal aura the trio pulls off is so very fresh, all while still sounding like quintessential Rush. I won't go into specific songs like I usually do as this is one of those albums where the whole is better than the sum of the parts. The musicianship is extreamly tight here; Alex can go from his smooth arpeggio's to downright thick & heavy riffs in less than a second, Geddy spilling off bass lines so tasty it's mouth watering, and I'm convinced Neil is a complete madman (I have never heard him destroy his kit like that before); all wrapped in fantastic lush production values and complete lack of pretention.

To keep this short, this is possibly the best comeback album I've ever heard in my life. Rush does have a tendancy to split all listeners into a "love it" or "hate it" group though with barely anybody as middle of the road casual listeners, and most likely this album is not going to sway anybody's current opinions on them either. Even so, I still completely recommend at least trying this fantastic work. It is an album absorbed in the retained youth of the band, yet executed with the knowledge and wisdom of three long lived musicians.

Keep slappin' dat bass.

Better Than Ever!

The mix is superb. Lerxst, Pratt and Dirk only get better with age!


Formed: 1968 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Over the course of their decades-spanning career, Canadian power trio Rush emerged as one of hard rock's most highly regarded bands; although typically brushed aside by critics and rarely the recipients of mainstream pop radio airplay, Rush nonetheless won an impressive and devoted fan following, while their virtuoso performance skills solidified their standing as musicians' musicians. Rush formed in Toronto, Ontario, in the autumn of 1968, initially comprising guitarist Alex Lifeson (born Alexander...
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