Rush
Grace Under Pressure


4.0
excellent

Review

by sonictheplumber STAFF USER (107 Reviews)
November 12th, 2010 | 12 replies


Release Date: 1984 | Tracklist


In 1984, progressive rock was long dead and synthesizers had become the norm for any 70's band who had survived into the 80's. While bands like Yes and Genesis were making simple pop music for the era, Rush were using synths to progress their sound in true progressive fashion. The type of music the band wanted to make was perfect for the synthesizer. The synths that Rush used conveyed many emotions that many other bandwagon-jumping bands could not perfect. It complimented the music perfectly, and Rush were still undeniably themselves; refusing to jump on trends but rather keep the same attitude while adapting to the changes around them.

Signals was one of the first examples of a completely synth-dominated album by a prog band that was actually good, and with Grace Under Pressure this sound continues, with the synths becoming ever more prominent in the mix, and while there isn't much guitar solo wankery, or any wankery at all, this is not a bad thing. Rush are trying to write respectable songs here; and they accomplish it. They sound great. And the new sound provided a sleek, smooth sound to the band. While it was not a welcome change for all, the music is widely agreed to be worthwhile.

While the lyrics on this one delve more into actual realistic themes like the Cuban missile crisis ("Distant Early Warning"), wasted youth who sit on their ass all day ("Between the Wheels"), and even the Holocaust ("Red Sector A"), the musicianship is just as great as it once was as well, despite the radical changes. Musically, the band is far tighter than on their previous album. The synths sound less awkward and mesh in with the overall sound far more smoothly than before. Geddy's bass has more groove than it ever had, and his voice is at a peak from a professional standpoint. Neil's drums are exactly what you'd expect from Neil Peart, and Alex, despite being referred to as a weak link on the synth-era albums, showcases some riffs that belong in the goddamn Rush Hall of Fame, like the aforementioned "Between the Wheels" featuring an excellent solo among the band's most soulful pieces, and on "The Enemy Within" Lifeson's guitar is filled with reggae-influence.

But of course a Rush album is good musically and lyrically. But the attitude and overall feel that the album has is simply wonderful. The band sound so exciting here; like they really love to play. Every note, every vocal, every lyric; it all adds to the package. The album has stellar flow, with themes of persistence and perseverance through tough times, and these emotions reflect in the sound of the music itself, which is another area where the synths prevail. The songs on Grace Under Pressure will inspire you to get up and do something with your life (besides listen to Rush).

This is another worthy piece in Rush's extensive catalogue and while the dominative synths may be a turn-off for some, those that do not mind a little polish will find a fantastic album.



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user ratings (628)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Ovrot
November 13th 2010


10494 Comments


Red Sector A is kickass

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
November 13th 2010


6098 Comments


sonic are you doing the whole Rush discog?

i will read the review later this day.

Digging: The Sabbathian - Ritual Rites

KILL
November 13th 2010


71750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

great review as usual man love this album so much fucking afterimage distant early warning red sector a between the fuck it all of the songs are amazing

Digging: Invisible - El jardin de los presentes

XulOnerom
November 13th 2010


1818 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

my favorite Rush album

KILL
November 13th 2010


71750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

5 comments what the fuck sputnik you're all fags

Jethro42
November 13th 2010


12438 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

no rush

Edwin
November 13th 2010


1399 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review man, fuck this is a good album. Best post-Moving Pictures Rush album for sure.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
November 13th 2010


6098 Comments


Great review.

i only have 2112, Moving Pictures and Permanent Waves from Rush.

Edwin
November 13th 2010


1399 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It's all good man, not much of a Power Windows fan myself. And yeah Hemispheres is the best.

KILL
November 13th 2010


71750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

power windows is where they went too far with the synths but it still has some awesome songs

XulOnerom
November 13th 2010


1818 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

there is no such thing as a bad Rush album

KILL
November 13th 2010


71750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

ya i think their worst is tes for echo but even then its still m/



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