Vapor Trails



by tom79 USER (81 Reviews)
March 6th, 2006 | 254 replies

Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist

After Rush released their debut self titled album in 1974, the Canadian prog rockers have been consistently releasing albums all the way into the millennium. After the release of Test For Echo in 1996, tragedy struck Neil Peart's family and no plans for another album were in sight for Rush. But after six years, Rush proved they were back with their seventeenth studio album entitled Vapor Trails, released in May 2002. Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart, the same lineup since 1975, all give signature performances and you wouldn't even know their in their fourth decade of making music. However, I was disappointed with the lack of solos on the record. The album has few to none synthesizers and keyboards, much different than their 80's releases (Signals, Grace Under Pressure, Power Windows), and has more of a rock feel to it, like their 1974 debut and 1975's Fly By Night, which is displayed right from the opening track, One Little Victory. I was somewhat disappointed in the production part of the album as it didn't have the greatest sound quality that it should of had, as it feels overproduced. But on the positive side, Neil Peart's lyrics are at his best. Vapor Trails isn't the most consistent record Rush have released, but it is still great record and good to have if you are a fan of the band.

When I first got Vapor Trails I wasn't expecting that much, to be honest, as I thought maybe Rush was past its prime seeing as how their previous few records were somewhat mediocre in my opinion. But after hearing this, I was pleasantly surprised. Vapor Trails is a fairly long record for only having thirteen tracks at about seventy minutes long with the shortest track being How It Is at four minutes and the longest being Secret Touch at six and a half minutes. Geddy Lee proves he still has his bass skills right from the opening double bass intro to One Little Victory. As for the opener, it is a solid track that shows that Rush went back to their early hard rock roots for this. The track is not the greatest on the album, but one of them and a good way to open the record.

This album does have some very good songs such as Ghost Rider, a steady track that still shows Geddy Lee has his signature voice, and the title track, Vapor Trail, with an all round great performance from the group, especially Peart's drumming. Stars Look Down is another good track that could have fit nicely on Permanent Waves. Sweet Miracle is like the ballad of the album with a great hard rock intro and then calms down with some great lyrics which all adds up for a very melodic song. As I said already, Neil Peart's Lyrics are at his best on this record as displayed on Peaceable Kingdom which deals with some meaningful and serious subject matter like the terrorist attacks in 2001. Peaceable Kingdom is also one of the harder rock tracks on the album and the bass is very noticeable. So without the keyboards, Rush decided to incorporate some acoustic in this record as shown on How It Is and features a nice acoustic solo by Lifeson. Earthshine is another one of my favorites off the album. It has an almost grunge-like riff to open up, and then has one of the best choruses on the album. Much like Earthshine, Secret Touch has a heavy riff and is a decent track but doesn't stand out to me. Nocturne is very solid track with an excellent drum intro, and some great vocal work. It again is one of the heaviest on the album. Freeze is bass driven rock song that keeps the album flowing until the album finale. The album closer Out of the Cradle is very well done. Peart's drumming remains steady throughout the whole song. Out of the Cradle is in my opinion one of the best on the album and a fitting end to Vapor Trails.

So overall, Rush's seventeenth studio album, Vapor Trails is yet another solid release from the band and won't dissapoint. I admit it is no Moving Pictures, but it is a great comeback album for the band and showed their fans that they weren't done yet even after the band went through a tough time. Easily one of their best in recent memory. Since the release of this record, Rush have released the cover album Feedback in 2004. I recommend this album if you are a fan of Rush and still do not own this record, but if you are just getting into Rush, I would recommend getting some earlier albums by the band. Either way, Vapor Trails is a very intelligent album, musically and lyrically.

Geddy Lee: Vocals/Bass
Alex Lifeson: Electric/Acoustic Guitar
Neil Peart: Drums

Standout Tracks:
One Little Victory
Ghost Rider
Vapor Trail
Out Of The Cradle

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user ratings (749)
other reviews of this album
Angmar (4.5)
This Album does not get nearly enough credit and is a must have for Rush fans....

Brendan Schroer (4)
Back with all guns blazing....

Comments:Add a Comment 
March 7th 2006


Album Rating: 4.5

Solid review. I do disagree though. This is my personal favourite Rush album, and I've heard all of them.

March 7th 2006


Album Rating: 3.0


i do like this album, but rush has better albums in my opinion. Still a pretty solid album though as i said in the review.This Message Edited On 03.06.06

Digging: The Lawrence Arms - Skeleton Coast

March 7th 2006


The only song Ive heard from this is Earthshine but I really liked it. Good review.

March 7th 2006


Album Rating: 3.0

I've only listened to this album once and I liked it alot better than Test for Echo. Good review.

March 7th 2006


I like this album but I feel the sound is much to layered though, as if they went overboard with the production. I belive there are up to 21 layers of guitar overdubed on some tracks.

Two-Headed Boy
March 12th 2006


Not up to your usual standards, but maybe it's the whole Rush thing that turned me off.
I saw them live in Toronto for the 30th aniversary tour :D

Two-Headed Boy
March 12th 2006


Eh, guess I shouldn't take it out on your review. It's good. A little...too good....

March 12th 2006


Album Rating: 3.5

One Little Victory is one of my favorite Rush songs

March 26th 2006


You said 8 years, it was 6 years between albums. Good review though, and earthshine rules

March 26th 2006


Album Rating: 3.0

My bad, I meant to put six, I'll change that.

April 17th 2006


Album Rating: 5.0

Neil sounds really good after the accidents with his family.

September 22nd 2006


Album Rating: 4.5

nothing can stop the magnificent peart from Kicking @$$

September 22nd 2006


nice review, but I have no idea what Rush is like.

October 6th 2006


Album Rating: 4.5

check em out then

October 8th 2006


Album Rating: 4.5

Very underappreciated album from a great band. This and Counterparts are among my favorites of theirs. And it is much better than Test for Echo. Good review, too, but I would have rated it slightly higher.

October 8th 2006


Listening to a few songs from this album, it sounds awesome, but i think 70 minutes is a bit much, especially without the solos.

October 8th 2006


Album Rating: 3.0

Listening to this album again, I might have underrated it. Still, its a great album and some songs such as Ghost Rider and Earthshine are some of the bands best. Maybe with some more time I'll bump this up a bit.

edit: bumped to a 4. That fits right I thinkThis Message Edited On 10.08.06

October 16th 2006


Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Awesome album! Rush comes back with another hit!

I am trying to learn One Little Victory on the drums and it is quite a challenge. This Message Edited On 10.23.06

October 16th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

Has Rush ever done ne thing bad?

November 23rd 2006



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