Rush
Caress of Steel


2.5
average

Review

by Caleb McAlpine USER (109 Reviews)
January 14th, 2010 | 525 replies


Release Date: 1975 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Rush dive into the deep end of 70’s progressive music and hit the ocean floor.

Rush’s transition into the foreboding realms of progressive music wasn’t subtle at all. The band didn’t tip-toe cautiously into the likes of pretentious lyricism, and they certainly didn’t mark their adventurism from album to album with gradually expanding song lengths. No, instead of easing their abilities as songwriters and musicians slowly and carefully, they went with an “all-or-nothing” method. Rush, without warning, dove into the deep end of progressive music and released Caress of Steel.

And they got everything completely ***ing wrong.

Instead of maintaining any sense of coherency, both of the album’s epic passages (The Necromancer and the Fountain of Lamneth, respectively) suffer from a crippling disjointedness and lack of consistency. Sure, Lifeson and Lee churn out some fun and undeniably classic-prog riffs and many of the mellower segments within both songs highlight the band’s under-appreciated attention to atmosphere, but both compositions - well over ten minutes in length each - are teeming with seemingly unfinished ideas and flimsy narrative. ‘The Found of Lamneth’ is actually a rather pleasant song until Peart decides to interrupt the flow with a completely irrelevant and needlessly technical drum solo - which is later further complimented by erratic guitar shots and Geddy Lee’s always irritating heliumized shrieking. The song never really finds its feet after this crucial mistake - it merely meanders around aimlessly without any unifying musical themes until the song finally collapses upon itself. This moment of defeat on Caress of Steel is a microcosm of the entire album - a boatload of terrific ideas marred by lack of direction and outlandish, unnecessary “prog”-moments.

Granted, opener ‘Bastille Day’ and minor radio-hit ‘Lakeside Park’ are good examples of Rush playing it safe and mostly succeeding - each song abides to a standard classic rock sound that is identifiably Rush, but neither song manages to capture the glory of Fly By Night’s ‘Anthem’ or 2112’s ‘Passage to Bangkok’ (don’t even get me started on ‘I Think I’m Going Bald’). The magic isn’t there. Yet, I can understand why Caress of Steel feels so unfinished and lifeless - Rush released Fly By Night, Caress of Steel and 2112 all within less than two years of each other. It’s only natural that Caress of Steel would be a little undercooked contextually... but the band truly did rush themselves into the album and it’s made obvious. The objective truth remains - Rush are better when Peart isn’t narrating kitschy plots through a vocoder and writing lyrics about losing his hair. Luckily, by 2112, Rush learned how to write a progressive song that doesn’t titillate you with promise only to lead you to disaster. Progress is a beautiful thing to observe.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Waior
January 14th 2010


11454 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

a quick write up for nagrarok

life is busy and I don't have a computer (or music collection) anymore, argh

Ponton
Emeritus
January 14th 2010


5803 Comments


It's good to see you review again, man. Well done. Pos.

KILL
January 14th 2010


71957 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

life is busy and I don't have a computer (or music collection) anymore, argh

shouldve got a pc

Digging: Exodus - Blood In, Blood Out

Waior
January 14th 2010


11454 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Snagged both of those errors, thanks! There were a few new releases that I'd like to be covering right now but until I get my computer repaired, I won't be hearing anything new

shouldve got a pc


regrets regrets regrets

Ponton
Emeritus
January 14th 2010


5803 Comments


Oh it's cool. I always feel like a jerk when I point things out like that out. I'll remove that part out of the post. I'm sorry about your computer; that's got to be terrible.

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
January 14th 2010


23909 Comments


Waior swears?

Digging: RATKING - So It Goes

Phantom
January 14th 2010


8930 Comments


it's his new shtick, didn't you know

bloc
January 14th 2010


34919 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

swaioring

Relinquished
January 14th 2010


25200 Comments


that word is trademark to the TDWP thread bloc

bloc
January 14th 2010


34919 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

my bad, bro.

Nagrarok
January 14th 2010


8259 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Rush are better when Peart isn’t narrating kitschy plots through a vocoder and writing lyrics about losing his hair. Luckily, by 2112, Rush learned how to write a progressive song that doesn’t titillate you with promise only to lead you to disaster. Progress is a beautiful thing to observe.


Awesome. Perfect conclusion. Listening to this now.

Now that wasn't so hard, was it? Please make it a shorter time between this and 2112 than between Fly By Night and this...

Waior
January 14th 2010


11454 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Thanks for the feedback. I'll write up 2112 the next time I'm dawdling around with nothing else to do - which could be tomorrow.

profanity in this case was just emphatic language that hopefully makes things less robotic, but if you think it's unnatural or such, it can go

AnotherBrick
January 14th 2010


9771 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

time review man, i agree with your rating. some dude at my work said it was his favorite rush album so i went and got it and was totally disappointed. i still cant decide on my favorite rush album but right now its vapor trails

Relinquished
January 14th 2010


25200 Comments


Isn't there supposed to be four *'s cuz it really doesn't make sense.

Waior
January 14th 2010


11454 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

i still cant decide on my favorite rush album but right now its vapor trails


Haha, wow... that's such a peculiar choice, most people neglect post 1982 rush. Well done though, Vapor Trails is awesome.

Relinqué, blame the Sputnik filters. Besides, I could be improperly using a three-letter expletive...? ha

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
January 14th 2010


23909 Comments


Haha I was joking but you would offer to take the curse word back, wouldn't you?

You're unusually nice for the internet....

Nagrarok
January 14th 2010


8259 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Damn, those epics are boring. 2.5 is probably generous. Bastille Day is pretty cool.

Waior
January 14th 2010


11454 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I tried being deliberately degrading once but nobody noticed

Yeah, Yoda, they're super strenuous to listen to in entirety... but they have their good moments. Very good moments peppered
amongst utter drivel

Nagrarok
January 14th 2010


8259 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Gonna play me some 2112 (the track) after this to forget about those dreary last two.

PuddlesPuddles
January 14th 2010


4784 Comments


But Rush's 2.5 is still like a regular band's 4.0, eh? ;-)



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