I got the CD on Friday and I've pretty much been listening to it whenever I can since then. I'm not a music critic and I don't play one on T.V. so I'm not going to give a detailed track by track review like I have some special knowledge to impart. Besides it's all subjective anyway.
I can tell you that I've been a Rush fan since 1979 (my 8th grade year) and I have every one of their albums. Like most of their albums it takes me a few listens before I begin to "get it" and CA is no different, except that it is. CA seems to be a throwback in some ways to their earlier, more ambitious and more complex work, and yet they still lay down some serious grooves like their last few albums.
Clockwork Angels (the song) is maybe the best example of this. It took me maybe four or five listens to begin to really appreciate it, whereas Headlong Flight grabbed me from the first note. CA is more of a concept album than they've ever done before but the concept never gets in the way of the music. Each song stands (almost) alone both musically and lyrically.
It just amazes me that these guys who have been together for nearly 40 years can still make such great and original music and not stoop to self parody. If you are, or ever have been a fan of Rush, you should grab CA and give it a few listens from end to end. It's a pretty safe bet that you'll find yourself amply rewarded.
It's phenomenal. I'm literally floored, stunned, astounded. I'm very critical of them and though they have made no truly bad album, they have made a few I don't care for much (at least compared to other Rush albums: compared to the thousands of other albums I own in many genres, the bad Rush albums are always about on par with the best of them! lol) and I have long had an attitude of "win me over" instead of "I'm going to love it!" when listening to a new Rush album.
With this one, while I liked it at first, it really took about 7 listens for it to all gel and go from good...but not sure of this or that or what's going on to: OMG! HOW did they manage this achievement!
This is a gift, one I'm privileged and thrilled to listen to over and over.
I really enjoy the album but, to be honest, I would like it a LOT more if it hadn't been brickwalled.
Go back and listen to the single release of Caravan and BU2B, then listen to the official album versions. They were mixed by two different people and the difference is stunning. The album version has been pushed so loud that the songs have lost a lot of dynamic range - and, therefore, "punch".
I'm tempted to order it on vinyl where they can't play the manipulative digital mastering tricks as much. That, alone, should tell you how much I like the album. I'm willing to buy yet another copy on a completely different format just to enjoy it more!
Please ignore the troll Pritchett. This is not a SQ critique of CA thread so start one if you want to argue/rant over its sonic merits (which are just fine, but I will give you that the single releases I bought on cd at a concert do sound better than the versions on the album; however musically they are better on the album with the extra flourishes) with the others who lack decent stereos and hearing.
@rf - check the reviews of CA - many people have posted similar concerns about the production by Nick Bruasnfkwenrkwjuhakshawicz.
That said, I agree with you that the sound is fine (in fact I like the album version of Caravan and BU2B better than the singles version, esp the intro to BU2B). However, calling someone a troll for voicing concerns about the sound production is completely unnecessary - esp since we are all supposed to be RUSH fans and on the same side.
I just do not see the issue of "brickwalling" that everyone seems to be talking about. The dynamics (changes in tempo, volume and feeling) are all over the place on CA. I don't consider myself an audiophile by any means, but listening to the CD on my Grado SR80's I don't hear the compression and clipping that some others have complained about either...I have to wonder if they are listening to mp3 files? Listening with my Grado's is an amazing experience; I can hear Geddy just shredding the bass while Alex is riffing at full volume while Neil lays down a serious groove, man I haven't heard anyone play like that since...well, since Snakes and Arrows, but I think with CA they surpassed that effort. Yes, some tracks and some portions of tracks are like a wall of sound, but that's not all there is going on here, not by a long shot...
The more I listen to CA the more I like it, the more I see it as a cohesive whole, and the more I marvel at the artistry of both the music and lyrics. Rush is hands-down my favorite band of all time, but I haven't liked everything they've ever done. I'm not someone who feels obliged to love something just because its Rush, but I have learned that I sometimes need to give it time. Further, I've learned that with Rush it's usually worth taking the time. Clockwork Angels stands up there with their best efforts.
What Rush needs, though -- before they go on tour -- is to hire a singer who fits. Geddy still fine on the studio recordings, but that's with a lot of electronic treatment and the chance to rest his voice. They play great live, but yikes, he's lost range -- a lot -- and they could use someone like a Chris Collins of early Dream Theater type to hit the notes. It might also be kind of a fun departure to hear a bit of variation in their sound. But CA is a good, good, album. It's the band in a nutshell, as good as they've ever been with no clunkers all the way through. Just super. Something about the way they've put the album together -- and the type of album it is -- gives me the sense it could be it. S&A took them 90% of the way back to great, and CA's got 'em 100% there. They say in comedy "always leave 'em laughin'..."
Geddy may have lost some range, but there's no way I'd ever want to see Rush with anyone but Geddy at the mic. At some point they will have to hang it up but today isn't that day, and I'm looking forward to seeing them in Tampa.
>"I am surprised that these nuts also haven't tried to say that there are many GLITCHES on C.A. , just like these turds wrote about the RUSH Sector box set remasters."
Why are you surprised? There WERE glitches on the Fly By Night CD and the label even admitted it and issued replacement discs - I got those replacement discs myself and the new one was fine. Just because your copy was fine doesn't mean everyone else got a good copy as well. CA does not have any issues so no one is complaining about glitches. So simple yet you are surprised, lol.
This is one of the band's most complete albums. There is not one single marginal song among them, and somehow in the context of the album I like Caravan and BU2B even more than when they were originally released. I would be hard pressed to believe that this isn't the absolute best Rush album between Moving Pictures and now. You may be able to make a possible argument with Signals or Counterparts, but I still think CA is better. With respect to the 'loudness' argument, it is a valid concern. I am not a sound-geek but I do believe that the album is slightly overproduced in parts and can sound noisy or at worst, messy, but it isn't as big of a problem as it was on Vapor Trails. The music just doesn't seem as clear as was produced during the Terry Brown era, like The Trees, La Villa, Red Barchetta, or Xanadu. Even 2112, which had a lot of heavy, chaotic guitar parts, still seems to sound a lot more direct and clear.
All that being said, CA is phenomenal is probably my 3rd favorite Rush album of all time. The kind of excitement they packed onto this record makes me hope they have another one up their sleeves in 3 years. Thanks to the guys for this one.
Gotcha? Are you kidding me? lol... A PHYIC. , would have a field day with you.
Am I your life's work? ...lol...
As I wrote ,
" there was not the huge mountain of problems that some people wrote about "
I wasn't the only person who wrote that my SECTOR CDs were fine. Many other people did as well. Some of the reviews were real and some were fake , just like some of the bogus reviews here about C.A.s' sound.
CHEERS and HAPPY 4 of JULY!!! CANADA DAY , was on , JULY , 1st.
Yeah, you know, of course I generally agree. And until a few years ago, he was a very, very fine singer (and all this is said as a MASSIVE fan of the band). I gotta say, though, hearing them live, yikes, the top of his range is just not there anymore; he often has to invent some slightly hokey harmonies to get around it, and they just don't match some of the tunes. I know it's almost sacrilege in the Rush community, but I heard some cuts off the Rush tribute album, Subdivisions, with some guys like Sebastian Bach and Kip Winger singing -- I mean, ok, cheesy guys -- but a bit more youth and more pipes really made a better presentation of some elements of the music. Not saying it should be those guys... But... Geddy sounds better when he sings newer stuff which was written with his new, lower and more limited register in mind; he's not straining so much. Love, love, love the band -- my favorites of all time. CA a PHENOMENAL album. But as someone who took studying music seriously for a while and with a pretty good ear, yikes; he's lost half an octave off the top of his range, and he shouldn't try to go up there too often... Respect, though;-).