Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Rush's Clockwork Angels release open thread
8:56AM EST | comments (332) |

UPDATE - 6/14@9:14AM: Here's a review from, another from the Irish Times and another from The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (thanks highwater). Also, Billboard reports that Clockwork Angels should land one of the top few spots in the Billboard 200 this week. Unfortunately it looks like Usher is a lock for #1, but #2 is a definite possibility. The chart should be posted next Wednesday, June 20th.

UPDATE - 6/13@2:19PM: Here's an 8/10 review from Ultimate Classic Rock (thanks Don).

UPDATE - 6/13@11:16AM: I added a few more reviews to the list below. The album is now #3 on iTunes and is still holding at #1 on the Amazon Best Seller list for Music.

UPDATE - 6/12@11:52AM: The album is now also available for purchase as an Audiophile 96kHz/24bit download via (thanks Jeremy).

UPDATE - 6/12@11:42AM: Roadrunner has just posted a 4-minute-plus video interview (thanks simont2112) with Geddy Lee to their YouTube channel where Geddy talks about the Clockwork Angels album. You can check it out at this link and I've also embedded it at the bottom of this post.

UPDATE - 6/12@10:25AM: Clockwork Angels is currently the #1 best seller in Music on, and #20 in MP3 Downloads!

UPDATE - 6/12@9:56AM: The album is currently sitting at #4 on the iTunes album charts, and is numero uno on Amazon's Top 100 Movers & Shakers album chart!

Today is the official North American release of Rush's 19th full-length studio album Clockwork Angels.

The band has been hitting the airwaves promoting the album over the past week and will continue to do so into the coming week. There was Planet Rock's Clockwork Angels special on Saturday, the FMQB Clockwork Angels special, Geddy Lee's Bob & Tom interview yesterday, Q107's Q&A session with Alex and Geddy, and Geddy's interview from The National last night (available for viewing online). Today Alex and Geddy will be on Q with Jian Gomeshi, and Neil will be on Jim Ladd's Sirius XM show tomorrow. There have also been several interviews in the press and online, and the album is getting great reviews from all corners. Here are a few of them:

[Pittsburgh Post-Gazette] 3.5/4
[The Irish Times] 3 stars
[Ultimate Classic Rock] 8/10
[The Village Voice]
[Time Magazine]
[Cleveland Channel 5 News]
[The Imaginative Conservative]
[Blinded by Sound]
[Yahoo! Music Canada]
[The Calgary Herald] 3.5/5
[USA Today] 3 stars
[Buffalo News] 4/5
[Peffer Reviews] A+
[Montreal Gazzette] 4.5/5
[] 9.3/10
[] 4/5
[Something Else!]
[Toronto Sun] 4/5
[Toronto Globe and Mail] 3.5/5
[Audio Times]
[Martin Popoff]

If you haven't already, you can purchase the album on CD or on Vinyl, or digitally via Amazon or via iTunes.

Related Posts:
[Inside Rush: Clockwork Angels one-hour radio special hosted by Billy Corgan now online]
[Rush producer Nick Raskulinecz talks Clockwork Angels track-by-track in new interview]
[Planet Rock's Rush Clockwork Angels album special now available online; album review update]
[Clockwork Angels title track now streaming on Rush's Facebook page]
[Geddy Lee Classic Rock bonus content video interview now online]
[Rush Clockwork Angels liner notes, lyrics now available online]
[Rush Clockwork Angels additional sample clips now available]
[Some Rush fans already receiving their Clockwork Angels fanpacks]
[Inside Rush: Clockwork Angels one-hour radio special hosted by Billy Corgan to air week of album release]
[Rush Clockwork Angels album 30-second sample clips for all 12 tracks now available]
[Rush Clockwork Angels fanpack sampler e-zine now online]
[Alex Lifeson talks Clockwork Angels track-by-track in new interview]
[Clockwork Angels review from music journalist Martin Popoff]
[Clockwork Angels biography/essay by Neil Peart available online]
[Clockwork Angels track-by-track album review from The Digital Fix]
[Rush producer Nick Raskulinecz talks Clockwork Angels in new interview]
[Rush Clockwork Angels full album review track-by-track]
[Rush Clockwork Angels feature in April, 2012 issue of Prog]
[Rush Clockwork Angels official announcement, video trailer with Headlong Flight preview, cover art and track list!]



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#332 - Posted 7/4/12 @3:10AM by ythesun [contact]

Although it's true, I'm biased, I've been in love with this band for decades, Clockwork Angels blows my lid off.

Caravan is tighter than saran wrap. BU2B's scary chord progressions revive that classic Rush signature, that of the Orchestra of The Temple of Doom. Neil's performance on Clockwork Angels reveals the true Watchmaker. The Anarchist produces a mild sensation of levitation; or wait, that's actual levitation. Carnies pokes you between the eyes and tickles your brain. Halo Effect thus produces one. The beginning riff in Seven Cities of Gold will cause neighbor complaints, make peace now. I sang The Wreckers to the bank teller this morning. (How nice am I?) Headlong Flight is, quite simply, a MASTERPIECE. That bridge with jam toward the end of Wish Them Well is astounding, and live will likely leave me curled up like a baby on the ground, crying and in desperate need of oxygen. And the Garden is, alas, complete.

I've renamed my dog Pedlar.
#331 - Posted 6/17/12 @9:48PM by Jimbo [contact]

The "happy" riff from The Anarchist simply won't leave my head. Ever. Like, it's there while people are talking to me, and I'm just smiling and trying to act as if I can hear what they're saying. Really didn't expect the album to be this good, which is saying something after all the build-up. Also, Wish Them Well is simply wonderful. Different in a *good* way. This is the first Rush album since Power Windows in which I don't want to skip (or miss out on) a single track. The mix is particularly well executed, very few "punch-in" feelings, if any (Vapor Trails felt like a ProTools experiment, as much as love that album). And . . . those bass pedals. Man. My subwoofer just woke up.
#330 - Posted 6/17/12 @4:54AM by HaloEffect [contact]


I'm in violent agreement. I just listened to the whole thing as I walked Alex the dog (coincidence, honest!) this morning. Just as well there weren't many other people around as I walked through the fields (of early June) making all sorts of weird noises, hand movements, jumps, skips and grinning like a madman.

Truly, this album makes me as happy as a carefree boy again.

I really enjoyed The Anarchist this morning. :o)
#329 - Posted 6/16/12 @8:21PM by bflo-snowdog [contact]

Haven't read all the posts, so if i repeat anyone else's views, my apologies! Have listened to the album about 7-8 times now in sequence. Just blown away....i have seen every tour since PW & i have to say that this may be their masterpiece.

The riffs, production, lyric quality, Gedd's vocal phrasing, Lerxt's solos & power chords, etc. just amazing. I will second other peoples opinions on this forum that this album should be played in its entirety on this tour..they have the time to do it & why not feature the new music they are passionate about?? We've all heard Sawyer, Limelight, etc enough times anyways (love those tunes BTW)

So, after 38+ years together, my hat is off to Geddy, Alex, Neil, Nick (god bless em) Richard, Andrew, Hugh, Ray, & crew....for an amazing, inspiring run. If this happens to end up being their final album (which i doubt) what an inspirational note to go out on! Long live the mighty Rush!! Can't wait till September 7th!!!

"draw another goblet, from the cask of 43"
#328 - Posted 6/16/12 @3:51PM by dogslikeRUSH [contact]

I struggled to write this summary without including the amount of detail that I did. I did not type this word for word - it's still an abridged version but I wanted to include enough detail to give everyone as best a sense as I could of how he ends up on the caravan. I hope you enjoyed it.
#327 - Posted 6/16/12 @3:50PM by dogslikeRUSH [contact]

While Owen's father is moved by the memory of his wife (Hanneke) that the books evoke, he then makes it clear to Owen that once he reaches his 17th birthday the books must be put away forever. "You have to look forward. Once you become an adult, The Watchmaker has expectations. You must put all this foolishness behind you."

They wound all of the clocks in the house and Owen's father went to bed. Owen went to bed with no intention of falling asleep - he had an appointment to keep. He lay awake daydreaming, thinking of a notion he had always had. That Hanneke had actually faked the fever that she died from and, instead, his Mother had gone off to see the world and had seen the Seven Cities of Gold, ridden on steamliners and found distant shores. He imagined her as the Queen of some lost country and that he and Lavinia might someday run off to explore the continent of Atlantis and find her and she would welcome them as prince and princess. As his thoughts swirled, he dozed off...

He awoke at 11:38 and rushed to the orchard hill. He arrived at 10 minutes to midnight - The Watchmaker claimed that punctuality was the surest demonstration of love. While he waited for Lavinia he gazed up at the stars tracing the constellations he knew from books but had rarely seen himself. To Owen the lights in the sky looked random and he began picking his own patterns, drawing lines and connecting dots. Were his proposed constellations any less valid than the ones in the official books? How did the stars know which patterns The Watchmaker imposed? Engrossed in his own thoughts he lost track of time and realized it was now 5 past midnight - no sign of Lavinia. Maybe she had overslept. By 12:36 she still had not shown up. He thought that maybe Lavinia's house had burned down! But there was no sign of fire in the village. Maybe her parents had learned of their illicit plan and locked her inside. By 1am he knew she wasn't coming - she had let him down. But he also knew why she hadn't come. She was either afraid, or simply unwilling, to bend the rules and break her habits. He realized she hadn't taken his bold suggestion seriously at all. A stolen kiss at midnight under the stars - what a silly idea.

In another few weeks he would be expected to put his dreams away. It didn't seem fair - all his life he had followed the rules and had done what was expected of him rather than what he wanted. Every day mapped out, every event scheduled, every part of his existence moving along like a tiny gear in an infinite chain of other tiny gears, each one turning smoothly but never going anywhere. In the distance he heard a clanging sound and turned to see a caravan of swollen steamliners chugging out of the mountains. It was the 1:27am caravan that he knew from the printed schedules but had never been awake to see or hear. On impulse, and determined to do something exciting this night, Owen began racing down the hill towards the rails. To see a steamliner up close! That would be something to remember! Owen reached the glowing tracks and stared as the steamliner rumbled past. It came from mysterious lands he had never seen, rolling across the landscape toward Crown City, which he had also never seen. He stood transfixed as cargo and passenger cars passed by. He felt the breath of wind as it rolled past, smelled the steam and sparks and hot metal. Albion was vast and Barrel Arbor was not. Would he ever see Crown City and the Clockwork Angels? Ever meet The Watchmaker in his tower? Ever sail the Western Sea to Atlantis? Soon he'd have to put away his mother's books, never again to look at the pictures. It seemed impossibly sad to him.

As a battered old cargo car came toward him, he noticed the silhouette of a head peering out, and a waving hand. Owen was startled as the man shouted over the noise of the steamliner "Hold out your hand, and I'll pull you up!" He froze - this was his chance to ride a steamliner into Crown City and see the Angels with his own eyes, before it was too late. "I shouldn't" Owen yelled back. "But do you want to?" the man called. The car suddenly upon him, Owen instinctively - impulsively - reached out and grabbed the man's hand and was yanked off the ground and onto the caravan. "You did it, young man" said the stranger. "I'm proud of you." Owen looked back to watch with a dazed feeling as his village rolled away in the distance.

He couldn't believe he had actually done it, even though he didn't yet grasp WHAT he had done. Still leaning out of the cargo car, Owen felt the brisk night breeze on his face. He turned his gaze away from the receding view of Barrel Arbor, to look forward, toward Crown City and the future.

"On my way at last" he said.
#326 - Posted 6/16/12 @3:50PM by dogslikeRUSH [contact]

Here's the rest of my summary of the Kevin Anderson Clockwork Angels "booklet" that I got at Book Expo (If you missed it I posted a summary of the first ½ of the booklet in this thread yesterday). I would have gotten this up sooner today but I first had to play through the album a couple more times on my bass and then I got distracted by a dog's belly that needed a rub.


So again, the booklet is basically the beginning of the CA story and explains the world that Owen Hardy lives in (the country of Albion and the world of the Watchmaker) and how he ends up on the Caravan to Crown City. In fact the 2nd half of the booklet that I finished last night basically tells the story of how it came to be that he manages to GET on the Caravan - something that was more of a dream, or a fantasy. Not truly intended, just desired. Owen lives in an ordered society where such foolishness is outside the realm of most people's consideration. Owen's 17th birthday is approaching and he will become a man, and he will be expected to marry, take over his father's cider mill and live his life by the schedule of the beloved and benevolent Watchmaker as everyone else does.

After Owen returns from the orchard and having met the Pedlar he helps his father press the apples and, before dinner, he takes a moment to flip through the book that the Pedlar had given him. Titled "Before the Stability" and imprinted with a honeybee on the spine (the Watchmaker's symbol), the book describes the days over a century ago, prior to the Watchmaker's arrival, when Albion was a place of chaos and desolation: plundering, starvation, rape, plagues, thievery and isolated survivors resorting to cannibalism. He rushes to the back page, certain that it must have a good ending, and is relived to read that his village of Barrel Arbor is mentioned as a perfect example of what The Stability has brought; "the best village in the best of all possible worlds , where every person knows his place and is content".

After dinner he and his father head down to the Tick Tock Tavern, as they do every night, so his father can catch up on the town gossip and have a few mugs of hard cider. Lavinia's father arrives (Owens sweety) to read aloud the days dispatches from Crown City. Lavinia's parents run Barrel Arbor's newsgraph office that receives daily reports from Crown City and words of wisdom from the Watchmaker, as well as thought-provoking statements from the Clockwork Angels that are printed in the village newspaper. First he reads the announcement from the weather alchemists stating that the afternoon rainshower would be delayed by 7 minutes "in order for the moisture distribution systems to run more efficiently". He's then embarrassed to realize he has read them old news and moves onto the next dispatch announcing that the Anarchist has bombed a portion of the northern steamliner rails (the airship captain is credited for the fact that no one was injured) and everyone in the tavern comments scornfully about the Anarchist (a "freedom extremist"). Lavinia's father then reads the next dispatch: "The Watchmaker is also saddened by the loss of a cargo steamer fully loaded with precision jewels (used for timekeeping) and valuable alchemical supplies from Poseidon City. The Wreckers are believed to be responsible". More grumbling and derision is expressed by the tavern occupants.

Earlier that day, when Owen and Lavinia had returned from the orchard hill (and just before he meets the Pedlar), Owen had suggested to Lavinia that they meet back up on the orchard hill at midnight for a "stolen kiss" and he would point out the constellations for her. More foolishness - such matters (astronomy, the phases of the moon, movements of planets, combinations of elements and magic) were the province of expert alchemist priests, not simple country folk who rarely if ever saw the night sky as they were expected to be in bed early each night and up early each morning per The Watchmakers schedule.

After returning from the tavern Owen's father first balanced the mills ledger (per The Watchmakers prescriptions - how many barrels of cider were to be delivered, how many to store for fermentation for hard cider, how any were reserved for vinegar, and how much The Watchmaker allowed him to charge for each) and then read the newspaper while Owen turned to the picture books he had loved since childhood. "3-D", alchemical books which depicted Crown City, the Clockwork Angels in Chronos Square, and legends of sea monsters, mythical beasts and imaginary places far from Albion such as the wondrous Seven Cities of Gold. The books, printed before The Stability (Owen considered it a wonder that any of them had survived), had belonged to his Mother and Owen is suddenly startled to realize his father is standing right behind him looking over his shoulder
#325 - Posted 6/15/12 @3:07PM by dogslikeRUSH [contact]

bucklemyshoe - sent you a PM
#324 - Posted 6/15/12 @1:45PM by Most Endangered Species [contact]

#307 Halo Effect - Thanks for your perspective on the song order of Wreckers/HF/BU2B2.
#323 - Posted 6/15/12 @1:17PM by broughttoyoubytheletterj [contact]

It wont happen, though I am sure they will play most...they will be opening and closing the "vault' door so often, 3 hours of time will be consumed into what will seem like, 1...

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