Rush
Test for Echo


3.0
good

Review

by Pechorin USER (23 Reviews)
October 6th, 2006 | 197 replies | 20,992 views


Release Date: 1996 | Tracklist

Review Summary: With this album, Rush is still evolving from their synth-dominated eighties sound, but they are finding some trouble making a definitive statement. While not a terrible album, this is by no means great, either.

4 of 4 thought this review was well written

Sometimes it can be hard to put a band like Rush into the proper perspective. How can one reasonably quantify the contributions of a band that is twice as old as them and continues to release strong material thirty-eight years after they formed? Their influences are far and wide amongst today's music. Les Claypool wouldn't be Les Claypool if it weren't for Geddy Lee's way of making the bass more than a background instrument. Neal Peart and the underappreciated Alex Lifeson have inspired legions of musicians, and they all remain some of the best players of their respective instruments today.

Most legendary groups don't last nearly as long as Rush has. Test For Echo is the 1996 release from Canadian prog-rockers, which is almost a full thirty years after the band first started making music. And the band has come a long way over this time. Starting as a Led-Zeppelin clone, then becoming the kings of progressive rock in the seventies, Rush saw a turn towards synthesizer-dominated music in the eighties. Following contemporary musical trends with their previous release Counterparts, Rush was starting to break away from the synth-dominated sound of much of their albums from the 1980's, and they changed their sound with an excellent effort. After hearing Counterparts, I was excited to hear how the band progressed from there.

Test For Echo continues with this more guitar-oriented sound, but for some reason it doesn't quite have the same feeling, the "bang" that Counterparts had. There are times where the album almost seems confused with its identity. Test for Echo and Virtuality are all very heavy, very strong prog-rock tracks. However, these are juxtaposed next to airy songs such as Resist and Limbo that kill the vibe. While they are all good songs in their own right, Rush accomplishes what Radiohead did with Amnesiac -- Instead of creating an album that is easy to listen to from beginning to end, they made an album that cries to be listened to one song at a time (at least for me). Yes, Rush was evolving at this point, but it seems to me that they seemed to have trouble deciding exactly what direction they were aiming for here.

That's not to say that Echo is a bad album at all. In no way, shape, or form have any of the members become lax with their duties. There are still songs in odd time signatures such as Time and Motion. Geddy Lee's voice has matured nicely (no more Fly by Night shreiking), and his bass cuts through the mix in his signature way of smoothly playing meandering lines under Alex Lifeson's liquid guitar. Alex still proves he can solo on (unfortunately only) a few moments on the album. And it goes without saying that Neal Peart's drumming and lyrics are top-notch. The three members have that chemistry that can only come after playing together for three decades. And they still manage to write good songs and sound fresh doing it.

My final verdict is this: If you are already a Rush fan and don't have this album, you will probably still want to purchase it. If you aren't sure about Rush, though, this is admittedly an awful place to start. They have much better material from around the same time that represents the new Rush stage. However, if you are a fan of the band or prog in general, the good songs on here are worth the price. Due to some obvious problems with the album, I have to rate it only a 3/5.

Pros:

Rush is starting to sound better with their overall style shift
Band members are still killer musicians
There are numerous great songs here

Cons:

Album is very disjointed
Band cannot seem to decide on a sound
Few guitar solos
Many tracks can get long and very repetitive

Recommended Tracks:

Test for Echo
Driven
Time and Motion
Totem
Virtuality

Final Score: 3/5


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user ratings (429)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Two-Headed Boy
October 6th 2006



4527 Comments


Nice review, short 'n' sweet. You supported your opinions very well.

I've never been a big Rush fan, though I enjoy the odd track here and there.

MrKite
October 6th 2006



5020 Comments


nice review. havent heard anything from this. i love rush though./

Angmar
October 6th 2006



2689 Comments


I pretty much agree i wouldve given it a 3.5 but Driven is one of my all time fav songs

NOTINTHEFACE
October 6th 2006



1653 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

FINALLY someone reviewed this. This is my least favorite Rush album other than their (IMO) awful self-title. However, it has some very excellet songs. I love Half the World, Totem, Resist, and Carve Away the Stone. But I pretty much agree 100% with your review. Not as cohesive as Counterparts. Fortunately, their next album was much better.

La Revolucion
October 6th 2006



1060 Comments


Decent review. The only full Rush album that I enjoy is their self-titled.

Pechorin
October 8th 2006



160 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I appreciate the feedback. It's my first review in several months, so I'm a bit out of it. If you want to hear great new Rush, Vapor Trails is probably one of my favorites of theirs.

NewMetman
October 9th 2006



21 Comments


Nice review. Test for Echo and Driven are great songs. Resist i kinda liked at first but IMO sounds better acoustic and even then not that great. Not the worst album by rush (Presto takes the cake there) but not the best by far

Pechorin
October 10th 2006



160 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It's the worst of what I own, I think.

Counterparts
A Farewell to Kings
Hemispheres
Vapor Trails
Roll the Bones
Spirit of the Radio
(A hits collection, so I don't know if that would count)

I can't really compare it to Presto, as I haven't heard it.This Message Edited On 10.11.06

peartdrummer
November 1st 2006



92 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

There are only a few keeper songs on this album. Test For echo, Driven and Resist. Good Review.

FR33L0RD
September 4th 2007



1458 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I agree with your review.
/my pos vote

TheStarclassicTreatment
December 5th 2007



2909 Comments


Title track and Resist are great. Overall pretty good album.

endlessartix
June 24th 2009



275 Comments


I love Driven but haven't heard anything else from this.

Mags172
November 1st 2009



127 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

diehard rush fans will like this, probobly not many casual fans.

Tendencies
January 29th 2010



9 Comments


Great album and review. "Dog Years" is definitely Rush's strangest song. #2: I Think I'm going bald.

KILL
September 1st 2010



67116 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

i can learn to coexist

AnotherBrick
September 1st 2010



9766 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

favorite song

KILL
September 1st 2010



67116 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

yea

KILL
October 9th 2010



67116 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

agreed, resist rules too

AnotherBrick
October 9th 2010



9766 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

wtf. resist is the best song here

KILL
October 9th 2010



67116 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

dog years is definitely the worst



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