Rush
A Farewell to Kings


4.5
superb

Review

by Killerhit USER (43 Reviews)
April 5th, 2012 | 18 replies


Release Date: 1977 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Fuck you robert christgau!

The later 1970's were indisputably an important period for Rush. Now with 2112 out and sawbuzzing through everyone's Walkmans, they had finally found their footing that they had deserved so many years ago, but never got. Following on the heels of the release and popularity of the album, Rush decided that a live album release sounded pretty necessary. So they cleaned their guitars, checked to make sure Neil was in attack mode, and recorded for three hot, dry, damp June days in Canada; that would become the stellar All the World's a Stage. So now, after all this, Rush decided to not change their own successful formula and high-tailed it into the UK to paint their next picture. Increasing their musical abilities and expanding on their sound, thus came A Farewell to Kings. With Rush correctly falling into the progressive genre, this follow-up album proves their long uphill climb was worth the trek.

First and foremost, Kings is, without a doubt, the most progressive album Rush has made to date. The shifting time signatures with its crafty composure, the varied instrumentation of intricate guitar, bass, and keyboards, the different tones, and the scattered use of vocals; Rush definitely rose up here, but only a smidge higher than they were before. Somehow Rush distinguishes themselves from the rest of the progressive act (not because they put down the mellotron for once) because they seemed to know what their limits were. Even with every sci-fi ripoff, every Zap knockoff, they do it in their own style and with class. They were able to successfully incorporate a more 'hard rock' approach to the progressive genre. All without being too pretentious.

Kicking off with its title track, A Farewell to Kings opens up with a quiet acoustic guitar, which is more dark and brooding in the hands of these three; accompanied by a slow Moog and a few bells courtesy of Peart himself, the track is really just a cat on a coiled spring; it jumps out right at you with an insane riff that clashes in. The entirety of the track is a classic Rush sound, with odd-timed bridges, and that same Objectivst view that Peart seems to drool over. (Would he of dated Ayn Rand?) Madrigal is a very quiet track with an effortless bass playing, and Closer to the Heart employs some wonderful acoustic guitars, which builds up into an upbeat closure. Almost all of the tracks are a reference to something; with Cinderella Man taking many hints from Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, which is about a man who inherits a great deal of money and then is thought mad when he starts spending it to help the poor; which is played with a funky little soundscape and a shining bass riff by Geddy. All of the aforementioned tracks, though, are nothing compared towards the longer epics.

The album's piste-grand are Xanadu, which follows the opening track, and the 11-minute closer Cygnus X-1. Both track are gorgeous in their complexity; the brilliant composition and the vast array of sounds and music all come out well here, which builds and slows and grows again - both incorporate gorgeous openings, with Xanadu eventually cutting in with a sharp riff like a storm rolling across a field, completed by sharp keyboards and cowbell. The insanity of Cygnus paints a very discrete picture, with some of the highest notes Geddy has ever reached and changing in signature constantly (3/4, 7/8, 3/4, 4/4, the list goes on). And somehow, they hold all this together with a hard rockin' flair.

There's barely any flaws here to Kings - it's close to perfect. Perhaps some of the songs lack a bit in terms of production or class, but it's hard to say if the trio even messed up a little. Whether presented in furious sounds or in quiet little whispers, Rush definitely reached their best here and perfected their style. It proved of good years to come, and the album's status is well-deserved.

...So buy it.



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user ratings (1343)
Chart.
4.3
superb
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Killerhit
April 5th 2012


5509 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Had to do it.

Leave thoughts

Parallels
April 5th 2012


7575 Comments


Walkmans weren't even around until 1979

Digging: Craft Spells - Idle Labor

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
April 5th 2012


51437 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

pos for summary

Digging: Main Attrakionz - 808s & Dark Grapes III

Tyrael
April 5th 2012


20997 Comments


rules

NeutralThunder12
April 5th 2012


8742 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

robby gave it a d+



but souljaboy an a-



lil wayne a



kings of leon b+



/logic

TheFonz123
April 5th 2012


2793 Comments


I feel it's not properly acknoledged but one of the most compelling aspects of rush's music is how smart the lyrics are. When one listens they realize that they have profound things to say it makes the band even more great.

RunOfTheMill
April 5th 2012


1740 Comments


Hahaha Robert Christgau is so pretentious

Killerhit
April 5th 2012


5509 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah whatever. Christgau wouldn't be so bad if she wasn't so fuckin supercilious and egotistical and suffering from a steady case of Aspergers

KILL
April 6th 2012


73904 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

best album ever no joke

KILL
April 6th 2012


73904 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

dude i am arguing with ravens hard in the veil of maya thread its hilarious

Itishappeningagain
April 6th 2012


320 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Can I be a raven too?

johnnydeking29
April 6th 2012


10258 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Summary ftw

smaugman
August 25th 2014


473 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Robert Christgau is a bitch, album rules

LunaticSoul
March 15th 2015


764 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Robby c is a dick - 'he is too old to like metal' yet drools all over 90s pussy-ghetto-nigga-bitch hip-hop





Digging: Benjamin Clementine - At Least For Now

smaugman
March 15th 2015


473 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

"Christgau readily admits to disliking the musical genres heavy metal,[1] art rock, progressive rock, bluegrass, gospel, Irish folk, and jazz fusion,[27] but in rare instances has recommended albums in most of these genres."



Why the hell does he review them if he doesn't like them?

LunaticSoul
March 15th 2015


764 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Why the hell is he a reviewer if he doesn't like music?

smaugman
March 15th 2015


473 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

He's just a rock n roll dude

LunaticSoul
March 15th 2015


764 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nah, I just don't get it. He's a music reviewer, heck he eats music for a living and decides not even to ignore, but rather despise some of the most innovative scenes of the last 40 years (the whole metal scene, progressive and art rock)? It just fucks me up.



aaaah well



I don't know why / You wanna impress Christgau / Ah let that shit die / And find out a new goal



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