by Pechorin USER (23 Reviews)
January 21st, 2006 | 197 replies

Release Date: 1993 | Tracklist

According to a lot of people, I have a tendency to get a lot of things backwards. I drink coffee at room temperature; I think Amnesiac is better than Kid A. This is also the case in the Rush albums I listen to. While some say that Rush doesn't count past 1989, my favorite albums of theirs are from that often ignored period. Counterparts is probably my favorite Rush record. Often considered their return to guitar-driven rock, I feel it's an often overlooked gem in the Rush catalogue. While some complain that it's too polished or not proggy enough, I think it's a wonderful sounding album. While there are not a ton of Lifeson's solos on this album, the work of the three musicians (especially Peart) is definitely still top-notch.

From the beginning, you can tell that Rush has changed a lot. Drums start off the hard-rocking Animate, along with a throbbing bassline and a meandering guitar/synth line. It's obvious that Rush has become much more aggressive than they have been in the past, partially due to the fact that some traces of the grunge movement made their way on here. Overall, "Animate" is a great way to start off any album, and a Rush album is no exception. Next is one of the darkest Rush songs I've ever heard, Stick it Out. Driven by heavy guitar/feedback in the intro and some dissonant chords as it builds up, the song moves seamlessly into a chorus with a chunky bass/guitar lick. Essentially, if Rush made a grunge album, it would be full of songs like this -- heavy, but with multiple sections and a good (albiet short) Lifeson guitar solo. Now that the boys from Toronto have set up the general sound, it's time to move on deeper into the album.

Cut to the Chase is probably on my top 5 of all-time favorite Rush songs. Starting off with a wandering, clean guitar line, the song explodes into the chorus, with everyone playing at their loudest. Lifeson's guitar is perfectly balanced, and Geddy's bass complements the music as well as always. It goes without mention that Peart's drumming is spot-on throughout the song. Again, Lifeson goes into a lightning fast solo, but it's over much too quickly. Structurally it's quite a simple song, but its a great soft verse to rocking chorus type song that almost anyone, prog fan or not, could get into. Next, for me, is the low point of the album, Nobody's Hero. Throughout the song, there seems to be a confusion between the lyrics and the music. Both are adequate on their own, but together, they almost seem forced. However, this is one of the only songs on my WMP I regularly skip.

Between Sun & Moon took me a while to appreciate. Once again,Rush is able to make an oddly syncopated beat quite catchy. While not like something you'd expect to hear on the radio, it's surprisingly accessible. I must say that the chorus is different, with almost a tribal-drum section coupled with a progressive section. There is a quasi-solo that sounds more like a bridge, but Lifeson's riff is pretty
strong there, as well. Alien Shore has one of the strongest intros on the album. Odd timing on the drums and a driving riff give way to an airy verse with loose arpegios. I'll also say that this one goes on a bit too long for me. I'm usually a fan of long songs ("Camera Eye," anyone?), but the same motifs keep being repeated for too long in this one.

Next is probably the most 'chill' song on the album, The Speed of Love. I'll admit it's a bit cheesy for a Rush song, but they're allowed that every once in a while. Overall, instrumentation on this song is pretty loose, with spacey guitar and relatively simple bass and drums. If there's filler on here, I would give that to this song. Next is the...odd song of the album, Double Agent. Switching between spoken-vocal verses, harsh, dissonant odd-metered sections, and light bits, this song is quite a hodgepodge of styles. It is often debated about; some love it and some hate it. I'm still somewhere in the middle.

Now it's time for the instrumental of the album, Leave That Thing Alone. This is another more chill song, letting alight, distant guitar riff take charge, while the others fill in during the 'verse' of the song. While it isn't a "YYZ," the fills and general feel are still good. After this is another upbeat song, the radio-friendly Cold Fire. However, catchy riffs and nice, tight vocals don't make this a bad song. Harmonies are together, and as always, the instrumentation is top-notch. Again, too, Rush is doing the quiet verse-loud chorus thing a lot on this one. My only complaint is that there isn't a real solo on here. Last is Everyday Glory. While not my favorite song, it is still pretty strong as an album closer. I like the texture of vocals, light synth, and acoustic/electric guitars on the chorus, myself.

As always, Rush are amazing songwriters and instrumentalists on this album. Though often overlooked, Counterparts is a great Rush abum to just sit back to and listen to. It does have its shortcomings -- few guitar solos that are too short when they do occur, monotony on a song or two, and the occasional cheesy lyrics. That's why though I rate Counterparts a 4.5 on my personal scale, I only give it a 3.5 overall.

Apologies if formatting is messed up at first; I'll be fixing the problems ASAP when I

post it.

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Comments:Add a Comment 
January 22nd 2006


The album is alright.
It is pretty good, but there are a lot of other better Rush albums.

January 22nd 2006


I've never heard this with the exception of 'The Speed of Love.'
I didn't like your style, but I admit your review was well written. You didn't really describe the sound of the album that much, you just went over the albums tracks.

January 22nd 2006


this was my 1st rush album, but this is nothing like moving pictures or farwell to kings, but still geddys voice wasnice and high as always

January 23rd 2006


Album Rating: 4.5

As I said, I tried to do the review fairly objectively. I would give it a personal rating of 4.5 or higher, but I know it is generally not considered a Rush masterpiece.

As for the style, I generally feel that TxT's, if done in a detailed way, describe the album's high and low points better than an overall review. To me, this is an album where I focus more on the individual songs rather than the feel as a whole. Likewise, when I listen to an album such as Tommy or Kid A, I'd be much more inclined to do a general review instead of a TxT. There are some things along those lines I'll probably go in and add later, though. I just wanted to let you guys know why I still continue the TxT method.This Message Edited On 01.23.06

March 25th 2006


I liked your review. And i disagree with other people, i do think Rush still puts down some awesome songs past 89. I havent had the pleasure of hearing this album yet, and the only one ive heard is animate from the 30th anniversary and i love that song. And for those who think rush doesnt count past 89, just think Roll the Bones, Dreamline, Animate Earthshine=Awesome

March 30th 2006


Album Rating: 4.5

Good Review. Well-written, as well. I saw Rush for the first time in 1976. I saw them for the 12th time in 2005. The band has evolved and grown in that time as evidenced by each album. The true Rush afficienado has embraced every effort the way a mother embraces her flock of a dozen children; loving each one in its own way.

April 13th 2006


Album Rating: 5.0

Excellent review! Leave that thing alone is an awesome instrumental.

December 28th 2007


Album Rating: 3.5

Great Review, I love everything Rush makes.

February 3rd 2009


Album Rating: 4.5

Nobody's Hero is the best song on the album

February 3rd 2009


Album Rating: 3.0

Nope. Leave that thing alone is better

June 22nd 2009


Album Rating: 4.0

Geddy Lee just singing the word 'sex' makes me laugh.

August 8th 2009


Album Rating: 3.5

There are around three or four excellent songs on this album, a couple good ones and a couple decent ones.

I certainly enjoyed this more than Presto. Or even Caress of Steel for that matter, both good albums though lacking something, especially since they're Rush.

January 20th 2010


Album Rating: 4.5

Double Agent is awesome

April 22nd 2010


the whole album is tits

June 15th 2010


Album Rating: 4.0

so good

June 15th 2010


Rush are the best progressive rock act in the world.

August 18th 2010


Nice review./

September 19th 2010


Album Rating: 4.0


November 20th 2010


Nobody's Hero is awesome.

Digging: Armor For Sleep - What To Do When You Are Dead

January 11th 2011


Album Rating: 3.5

But in all seriousness, cut to the chase!

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