Rush
A Farewell to Kings


4.5
superb

Review

by Killerhit USER (43 Reviews)
April 5th, 2012 | 16 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 (1262)
Chart.
4.3
superb
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Killerhit
April 5th 2012


5440 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Had to do it.
Leave thoughts

CaptainDooRight
April 5th 2012


30369 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

best album ever

Digging: Henryk Gorecki - Symphony No. 3, Op. 36

Parallels
April 5th 2012


6643 Comments


Walkmans weren't even around until 1979

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
April 5th 2012


50960 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

pos for summary

Digging: Friendzone - Collection 1

Tyrael
April 5th 2012


20979 Comments


rules

CaptainDooRight
April 5th 2012


30369 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

tits


A Farewell to tiggobitties

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

CaptainDooRight
April 5th 2012


30369 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

raven will be raven

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


1561 Comments


Hahaha Robert Christgau is so pretentious

Killerhit
April 5th 2012


5440 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


72295 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

best album ever no joke

Digging: Throwing Muses - Throwing Muses

KILL
April 6th 2012


72295 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


9575 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Summary ftw

Digging: Blueneck - King Nine

smaugman
August 25th 2014


46 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Robert Christgau is a bitch, album rules



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