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Neil Peart, Geddy Lee & Alex Lifeson

Thu, Sep 16, 2021

Snakes & Arrows reviews, round 6

Mon, May 14, 2007@2:25PM | comments removed/disabled

UPDATE - 5/14@10:33PM: A mini-review of the album from the magazine Rush fans love to hate - Rolling Stone - just came out today. Not surprisingly reviewer Rob Sheffield only gave it 3 out of 5 stars:

If you're a Rush fan, add two stars; if not, subtract two. Snakes & Arrows gives Geddyheads the first new Rush material in five years, unless you count Neil Peart's 2005 instructional DVD, Anatomy of a Drum Solo. Highlight: Alex Lifeson's guitar in the second half of "Malignant Narcissism."

Thanks to 1-2-bucklemyshoe for the heads up.

----- snip -----

I received several emails over the past several days regarding this first review. It was posted by Camp Chaos founder Bob Cesca in the Huffington Post last Thursday. He focuses for the most part on Peart's lyrics and gives probably the most insightful commentary on them that I've read yet. From his blog post:

... Rush isn't prog rock. Or, I've never seen them in that light. They've evolved into their own genre. Progressive, alternative, heavy rock. I have no idea and I don't care. But I've always liked Rush for their ability to reinvent their sound. So suffice to say, this album is very different from their previous release, Vapor Trails. No disrespect intended to Vapor Trails, but this is simply a better album in terms of production values and songwriting, and, thematically, Snakes & Arrows is a vastly more important album. ...

Adrian Begrand of PopMatters gives the album an 8 rating out of 10. He concludes his review with this statement:

... It's enough of a marvel that Rush has managed to remain intact for 33 years now, but the fact that they’ve done so while retaining their musical vitality and integrity is an even mightier achievement.

Brett Milano of The Boston Herald gave Snakes & Arrows an A- grade. Here's the entire review:

As deep and complex as Rush albums go, this one is especially deep and complex. The music is densely textured and nearly all midtempo, with ominous minor-key riffs and few obvious hooks. Acoustic guitars are more prominent than before, and Geddy Lee’s layered vocal harmonies are a long way from the screechy leads of old. The lyrics are pro-faith and anti-religious, with drummer/lyricist Neil Peart getting both personal and topical. It’s heavy going, but stay with it: The melodies start grabbing hold the second or third time around. And if you need cheap thrills, the instrumental "The Main Monkey Business" offers a good six minutes’ worth. Download: "The Way the Wind Blows."

Thanks to rmull for the heads up.

Bad news last this time. Jocelyn P send me this negative review from Johnson Cummins of the Montreal Mirror. He only gives it 5 out of 10:

First, let me come out of the closet and say that I'm a big vintage-Rush fan. Unfortunately, what I love about Rush is when they're wanking up a storm, as Lee, Peart and Lifeson are all obviously masters of their instruments. Over the past 25 years or so, though, Rush have actually tried writing choruses while nipping at the heels of whatever the contemporary music of the day is—and Snakes and Arrows is sadly no wank. Rush obviously have the skills to show young bucks like the Mars Volta how it's done, but this just sounds like an I Mother Earth reunion.

Related Posts:
[Snakes & Arrows reviews, round 5]
[Snakes & Arrows reviews, round 4]
[Snakes & Arrows reviews, round 3]
[Snakes & Arrows reviews, round 2]
[Snakes & Arrows review at AllMusic.com]
[Snakes & Arrows review in Toronto Sun]
[Snakes & Arrows reviews, round 1]
[Another Snakes & Arrows review]
[Snakes & Arrows review]

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