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Test for Echo

4 out of 5 stars 234 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 31, 2004
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 31, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Atlantic
  • ASIN: B0002NRQUW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (234 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,172 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
Almost everyone who hears a new Rush studio album in the 90's refers to it as "the best since Moving Pictures". Although that may be true, I feel that is an unfair statement, because it dismisses all of the work they released in between, many of which were fine works (Roll The Bones, Presto, Grace Under Pressure, and Signals[still my favorite]), as irrelevant in the continuing evolution of this band. Rush has always used a "clean slate" approach with each new project, creating work that is true to their convictions, and in tune with the times. If they had stood pat and attempted to recreate "Moving Pictures" every time they returned to the studio, they would have disappeared like so many other bands that came along, had their 15 minutes of fame, then faded into oblivion.Back to the subject at hand. Test For Echo, while not Rush's greatest work, is still a very solid offering. It continues the more organic musical approach evident during the Counterparts sessions.The use of an American mixing enginneer (Andy Wallace) gives this record a more "alternative" sound, dirtier and less processed. Alex Lifeson's guitars are much more dominant in the mix and have a rawer sound. Geddy Lee's bass work, while it has always been stellar, has reached a new dimension with his experimentations with dropped tunings. And Neil Peart, drummer extraordinare, is excellent, as always. The work he invested in the reinvention of his style definitely paid off. He really grooves here, more than ever before, and his fills are more creative than ever. Let's hope this is not the last testament from Neil (or the band, for that matter) and pray that he finds the inner strength to begin again after the tragedies he has been dealt.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
Rush has much to be admired for. They still continue to make progressive rock, evolving and growing with each release.

This album seems to flow in a hard-edged, straightforward fashion, yet there are still complex arrangements, particularly Alex Lifeson's guitar parts.

The title track starts off things in a somber, yet energetic way. "Driven" is one of my favorite Rush tracks featuring heavy riffs and catchy chorus'. As usual, Neil Peart's lyrics never disappoint. "Half The World" is one of the most melodic tracks on here, giving this track, as well as many on the album a "worldly" sound to match the "aiming for higher horizons" artwork. "The Color Of Right" is probably the most pop oriented on here. "Time And Motion" is dark, aggressive and complex, featuring a rhythm in 10/8, and bringing reminiscence to such Rush-influenced progressive metal bands as King's X and Tool.

"Totem," while airy/ethereal, is also catchy. "Dog Years," despite the corny title, is one of the hardest rocking tunes on here. The lyrics as usual ARE thought-provoking ("Dog Years/For Every Sad Son of A.....) seem to ring true. "Virtuality" is a funky hard rocker, reminding me of Living Colour. The lyrics I find rather charming, which are about the internet experience (communication without faces or voices). "Resist" is very poignant, deep and arguably the most impressive in terms of combining lyrics and music. Geddy Lee's vocals are very moving (I'm not joking!). "Limbo" is an instrumental in the Rush tradition. It starts with water drops followed by Geddy Lee's funky bass playing. From there, it becomes hard rocking. Once again, reminding me of Living Colour. Also, check out Geddy's echoing voice. "Carve Away The Stone" ends the album perfectly with some complex arrangements, poignant guitar/vocal harmonics and great lyrics.

Overall, Rush continues to progress in their long career, and this is another jewel in the Rush anthology.
Comment 19 of 24 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
While I have little to add to the spot-on sentiments expressed by the first reviewer of this item (the one who aptly referred to the album as "very peculiar"), I have to strongly disagree with the suggestion that Test For Echo is similar to Counterparts, or that you'll enjoy the former if you like the latter. Not by a longshot! Counterparts is a strong album, both musically and lyrically, and is one of my favorite Rush offerings. TFE, on the other hand, lands somewhere near the bottom of my list, with forgettable tunes and lyrics that don't quite jell. It's not a terrible album, and it certainly contains elements that (weakly) attempt to emulate Counterparts...but Counterparts it ain't. And unfortunately, time and repeated listens have done little to change my opinion.
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Format: Audio CD
I've been a Rush fan for many years, and I listened to this CD for the first time in a couple of years recently, and I had forgotten how good it was. Geddy Lee, Neal Peart, and Alex Lifeson continue their fine tradition of being one of Rock's top power trios, and their chemistry which has been forged over many years shines through on this CD.

Peart's lyrics, along with Lee and Lifeson's music, once again combine perfectly to form a more complex sound which Rush began to porduce in the late 80s and early 90s. This CD has a great compilation of songs which will surely please the listener. There are some up-tempo tracks as well as some more "thinking person" type music. Regardless of which song the listener chooses, Geddy Lee's voice, Alex Lifeson's guitar, and Neal Peart's drums bring life to it as no other group could. My only disappointment with this CD was the lack of keyboard playing by Geddy Lee. In previous Rush albums such as "Hold Your Fire" and "Presto", Lee's keyboards added another dimension to Rush's music. The keyboards are mysteriously absent from this CD. Regardless of the keyboard omission, this disc is still very good.

I give this disc my highest recommendation. Lee, Lifeson, and Peart have forged a chemistry over the years that few beands can match. This great CD is a perfect testament to their hard work. Listen to this disc and hear some truly great music.
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