Depends on whether they actually had the patience and maturity to listen to it more!
Ok, little problem I've had with the Wreckers for awhile, great song, but isn't some (most) of the melody too upbeat/cheerful for the dark lyrics? I mean the whole theme of the song is very dark, disturbingly so. But much of the melody sounds like a typical mid paced rocker that could of fit many types of lyrical content, none especially dark. The music doesn't match the lyrics except from the 2:40 mark to the 3:40 mark where it takes a dark turn.
I just can't see the fit, it seems incongruent, but maybe it's me.
AE, I know exactly what you mean, because I thought that. At first. But now I totally think it works. And the reason it works is because this is a concept album. And I find the underlying message of the album is very positive. That in spite of things often going completely wrong in life, being betrayed by what you thought was true, one can still believe and have a positive purposeful and meaningful life. So much so, that even though life can really suck, you can "wish that you could live it all again." Especially if you are willing to forgive, love, and respect. So underlying the gloom of events is this sense that through our free wills we can overcome. And that's what this song is leading to. The lyrics acknowledge the irony and despair, the melody hints to the hope that is to come. At least for me. Neil is an amazing person. He's not going to deny the negative events in life, but he isn't going to succumb and feel sorry for himself either. And I think Alex and Geddy capture that feeling with the music perfectly.
EMG: Great post, thank you! I think you have enlightened me. :) I especially like this part of your explanation: "The lyrics acknowledge the irony and despair, the melody hints to the hope that is to come." Yes, that explains the issue I was having, without explaining it away. I also think that the melody, over time, has become darker to me so it fits more with the lyrical content than I had thought. But the "cheery" sound that still remains fits perfectly with your explanation.
I also will add that the lyric "Salvation in a human chain" is an important one, in that, through the strength of others and the meaningful and fulfilling human relationships we experience and enjoy we can find "salvation" amidst the chaos, injustice, and suffering/sorrow/pain of and in life we all, eventually, must endure on one level or another. Staying attached to the "human chain"; believing and having faith in humanity in general and our own personal relationships in particular no matter how compelling the evidence against such belief may be, can lead us to "salvation" irregardless of how lost and depressed we become when faced with the various vicissitudes and trials life inevitably confronts us all with.
I will say that I did consider the song within the whole context of the album (which you surmised nicely) as I have every song, but I still had a problem with it because standing alone, as Geddy has stressed over and over that each song must do, it didn't quite work for me. So although it did cohere with the overall theme of the album and was thus successful in that sense, I was kind of disappointed that it didn't stand up to scrutiny on its own merit taken apart from the whole. Now, however, I think it does!
Yeah "The Wreckers" is memoriable, but that doesn't make it good. Just like TV commericals and pop songs are memoriable because they are catchy jingles. I think the chorus is annoying. It's one of the worst Rush songs I've ever heard.